Dear Friend of SDC,
Thank you for your continued interest and support of the Social Development Commission. I want to take a minute to let you know about some of the many activities here at the agency and how they have greatly impacted our local community.
Our programs continue to keep busy working to assist youth, the frail, elderly, unemployed and single family households of Milwaukee County. We are providing program help in five main areas: Employment, Asset Development, Family Strengthening, Education & Training, and Support Services. We served more than 80,000 residents in 2011 alone. This work was reflected in our 2011 program outcomes and continues to be our strength today.
Residents we work with continue to provide insight as to how the services we provide hasve impacted their lives. We have heard recently from residents using the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP), Ways to Work, and Healthy Relationship to name just a few. One resident, Jasmine R., wrote to her W-2 case manager “I just want to say thank you for the support as I start my GED testing tomorrow. I really appreciate it all.”
We have a number of programs that have also been recognized by their peers for effectively helping residents. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is working on its 12th season of free tax preparation services that helps thousands of households every year; a program that has received national recognition as the most effective poverty reducing initiative that exists today. In its first ten years of existence, SDC's program has helped residents receive back more than $100-million in tax credits and refunds at no charge to our clients. This program has been held up by the Internal Revenue Service as a model for other cities around the country.
Like most other non-profit organizations, we face a changing funding landscape as lawmakers in Madison and Washington seek to address their budget challenges. We have been working for months, knowing that cuts are coming, and they are now here. To ensure that we will continue to provide quality services to Milwaukee County residents, we have taken steps to make sure that service to our client families will not be compromised. We have a solid plan to remain a vibrant and viable agency. And those residents have let us know how they feel about our efforts. As Twanetta T. put it in a recent email, “Thank you everyone in the whole process who treated my family with so much kindness.”
Where problems with programs have been identified, we have quickly drawn up Corrective Action Plans and implemented them. Feedback from funders on those efforts has been very positive and we are confident that our action plans will continue to meet the approval of our funders.
I strongly invite you to explore our website or the agency Facebook page to get a complete picture of the agency and how it has responded to the challenges facing it. We think you will come away with an accurate picture of SDC and its impact on low-income residents of Milwaukee County.
Thank you for your continued support.