Funded Programs


Community Partners - Portage County Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) provides information and support to disabled persons and promotes increased awareness of the needs of the disabled. Through its Community Partners Program, it initiates and supports one-to-one relationships between disabled adults and community volunteers.

Adult Day Center - The Adult Day Center provides respite to families and caregivers who support older adults and individuals with disabilities in a safe, meaningful and therapeutic environment, which allows caregivers time to work, complete errands and continue meeting their own personal needs.

Prevention Programs - The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County’s evidence-based health and fitness programs help empower older adults to take control of their health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through increased self- management and falls prevention.

Rural Delivered Meals - The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County Rural Home-Delivered Meals Program provides services to older people who can benefit from a full nutritionally balanced hot noon meal, a friendly hello, a daily safety check, and easy access to community supportive services.

Volunteer Caregivers of Portage County - Volunteer Caregivers of Portage County are a group of volunteers who offer support services to those without other arrangements. They provide friendly visits, respite services for caregivers, transportation, minor home repairs, light housekeeping, snow shoveling, and audio recordings of the local news.


Community-Based and Site-Based Mentoring - Big Brothers Big Sisters provides quality one-to-one mentoring relationships for children in need, based on a proven model that includes careful matching and ongoing professional support for mentors, mentees, and parents/guardians.

Boys & Girls Club-Almond Bancroft - The Boys & Girls Club - Almond/Bancroft School Site provides rural youth a safe, fun, and productive place to go after school and during the summer months especially when parents are still at work.

Boys & Girls Club-Teen Programming - The Boys & Girls Club Teen Center provides teen-specific and relevant after school and summer programming that prepares our teens to be well-rounded future community leaders.

Scoutreach - United Way funding helps support the many volunteers who work tirelessly to provide a strong Scouting program in Portage County for the Samoset Council, which was ranked No. 1 in the country.

Family Crisis Center - The Family Crisis Center operates 24‑hour crisis counseling and shelter to victims of domestic violence. The Center also offers support groups to help families identify long‑term strategies to eliminate the violence and its causes. The Center also provides short term crisis intervention and a shelter for runaway youth and youth in crisis.

Mental Health Navigator - Individuals with mental health concerns often are left isolated and may be reluctant to seek services. Barriers include fear or stigma of seeking mental health services, transportation, financial and insurance issues, availability of services, and discouragement. The result is episodic treatment. The Mental Health Navigator program attempts to reduce the barriers to accessing services and increase follow-through with treatment plans toward the goal of improving mental health functioning.

UPLIFT- Hmong UPLIFT is a multi-generational family literacy program that helps bridge gaps within families looking to improve their lives. UPLIFT assists Hmong parents in setting goals and gaining the skills and knowledge to advance while modeling the importance of education to their children. The program embraces parenting education, adult education, and early childhood education, as well as parent and child time together. The program is open free of charge to all Hmong families who reside in the Stevens Point School District, with a child ages 4-8 and at least one parent looking to advance their life through school or work.

Skills Enhancement Program - This project is designed to provide part-time educational and skills training opportunities for individuals working in low-wage jobs. The goal of the program is wage and career advancement above the poverty level. Financial assistance is available for tuition, books, child care and transportation.

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) - The VITA program provides free tax help for low-to moderate-income residents. All volunteers are trained and certified. Volunteers provide assistance with special credits such as Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, and credit for the elderly or disabled. Appointments are scheduled using United Way's 2-1-1 program, which is a free information and referral service.

Child and Family Counseling - Child and Family Counseling helps children and their families heal from trauma and other adverse childhood experiences so they can become healthy, productive adults.

Family Outreach & Support Services (FOSS) - The Family Outreach & Support Services program provides parenting education and support to families both in-home and through parenting classes. Components of the program include:

  • The voluntary in-home parent education program uses the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting program and provides families with extra help in caring for their children by linking them to services and support within the community.
  • Pathways to Parenting is a voluntary 10-week class that uses the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting curriculum and is designed for parents of children ages birth to 12 years old.
  • Parents and Teens Connecting is a voluntary 12-week class that uses the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting curriculum and is designed for parents to attend with their teenage children to learn the skills they need to keep their relationship strong.

ODC offers services to enhance opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in community life as valued workers, neighbors and family members.

Supported Employment - Supported Employment Program helps Portage County residents with a disability to find and secure jobs in integrated work environments that may allow opportunity for advancement, better wages and benefits. Participants work with job coaches to determine work interests, identify job supports needed, explore job options and even try out certain jobs. Families or caregivers may give information to help set job goals. A job search is initiated, and when a participant is hired in a local business, assistance is provided to employee and employer to make the job a success.

Life Skills for Girls/Reaching Out- Life Skills for Girls is designed to help girls (K-12) discover their own talents, interests and values; learn to understand, empathize and connect with others of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints; and finally to take action to identify and solve problems around them. Reaching Out partners Girl Scouts with other youth-serving organizations and schools to serve girls ages 5-17 by building upon activities offered at each site and providing educational and recreational programs that are not currently offered.

Home-Delivered Meals - The mission of Meals on Wheels of Stevens Point is to provide services that enable older and disabled adults to maintain independent living with safety and dignity. Its primary mission is to provide one nourishing meal per day to homebound clients.

Hope Center - The Salvation Army’s Hope Center is a short-term emergency shelter and a place that with provides meals for the community.

United Way funds four specific YMCA programs:

Scholarship Assistance - United Way funding provides membership and program scholarships to low-income children, adults and families.  Goals for applying for assistance often fall into one of three categories – improve their/or their families health,  provide a safe place for their family to connect, learn and grow, or a combination of both.

Adapted Recreation - United Way funding provides programs for children and adults with disabilities. Programs focus on improving the health and independence of each individual.

Youth & Teen Program - A variety of programs for teens are offered. Teens can participate without being a YMCA member. The popular Teen Night program is open to teens every Saturday night throughout the school year at the YMCA facility from 7 pm to 10:30 p.m. Teen Leaders Club, Youth In Government, Teen Adventure Club, Girls Night Out are other programs offered. The Family Prime Time Center and Teen Center also offer youth and teens a safe and fun socialization area. YMCA Teen Programs focus on providing participants with a safe environment, positive adult role models and encourage character development and leadership skills.

Child Care Youth Scholarship Program - Scholarship funds are awarded on a sliding scale fee basis to low income and at risk families participating in before and after school child care, preschool programs, and summer camp programs so they benefit from quality, affordable and accessible child care.

Safety Education - The Stevens Point Child Safety Center provides assistance with car seat installations, distributes new seats to families in need through a voucher program, offers safety products at discounted prices, and provides safety presentations and trainings in the community.  Each of the services provides an educational component.

2-1-1 - United Way's 2-1-1 connects people in Portage County with community-based health and human service resources, in everyday situations and times pf public disaster, by providing information and referral and serving as a catalyst for new or improved services. Portage County's 2-1-1 services are provided through a partnership between United Way of Portage County and United Way of Marathon County.

Born Learning Initiative - Born Learning is a public/private partnership working collectively to build a community system that creates and invests in opportunities for children to realize lifelong success. United Way is the "Backbone" agency for this initiative, with many other agencies participating in this initative work. 

Learn for Life - United Way of Portage County is working to increase the academic performance of students by recruiting and training volunteer reading tutors. The tutors are matched with children in the second or third grade who are identified as needing additional help with reading. The tutor and child meet every week for 20-30 minutes (2nd grade for 20 minutes; 3rd grade for 30 minutes) during the school day, throughout the school year for individualized sessions. This program is a collaboration made up of community volunteers, businesses, educators and local non-profit agencies who serve children and youth.

Volunteer Center of Portage County - Acts as a central referral source, recruiting and screening volunteers for placement in agencies throughout the county. In addition to matching volunteers with organizations and individuals in need, the Volunteer Center coordinates annual projects such as Make A Difference Day and Project Fresh Start. The Center also works with local businesses, schools and community organizations to promote the value of giving through service.

For more information on any of these partner programs, please call United Way of Portage County at 715-341-6740, Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.