United Way of the Ozarks Allocates $22,000 to Community Partnership to Continue Sheltering Homeless

Vickie HicksAnnouncement, Education

Funds include gift from BKD to support emerging community needs from pandemic

United Way of the Ozarks approved an emergency allocation of $22,000 to Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Merciful Nights campaign. These funds were donated to United Way from BKD’s special employee giving campaign to support emerging community needs from the pandemic. BKD’s Springfield and Branson employees and partners participated in the gift campaign.

“Since March, through our Merciful Nights campaign, we have provided a shelter-in-place option through hotels for more than 300 households who were unsheltered and hyper-vulnerable to contracting COVID-19,” said Janet Dankert, Community Partnership’s President / CEO. “Our original goal was to provide hotel shelter for these families through June because providing shelter is a critical piece to slowing or stopping the spread among those who are unsheltered. With the virus continuing to spread and recent spikes in positive cases locally, we extended our plans and hope to continue providing shelter to these households because it has proven successful in helping to contain the spread of the virus among the homeless population.”

A variety of funding sources have been used to house these individuals to date, all of whom have one or more conditions putting them at high risk for COVID-19, such as diabetes, pregnancy, immunocompromised conditions and more. As of this week, Community Partnership no longer had funding to continue Merciful Nights. The emergency allocation from United Way of the Ozarks, including the gift from BKD, will allow Community Partnership to continue providing the shelter option for two more weeks while the organization seeks additional funding to further extend the effort.

“It will be deeply gratifying to the BKD team members who personally contributed to know that they have made a meaningful and direct positive impact on our community,” said Gary Schafer, BKD Managing Partner. “I am hopeful that sharing the story of what the BKD team did will encourage others to provide support in their own way.”

Both United Way of the Ozarks and Community Partnership of the Ozarks would like to publicly recognize and thank BKD and other partners and donors for their generosity and support of the effort to continue providing shelter for our community’s most vulnerable homeless population.

“We are grateful for the support of BKD’s employees and partners,” said Greg Burris, President & CEO of United Way of the Ozarks. “It’s our job to ensure funds are directed to where they can have their biggest impact; protecting our most vulnerable is a priority need in our community.  Without BKD’s generous donation, many families and individuals would no longer have a safe place to shelter.”

To contribute to the Merciful Nights campaign and help provide locations for our local homeless population to continue to shelter in place, visit cpozarks.org/covid19 or mail a check to Community Partnership of the Ozarks at 330 N. Jefferson, Springfield, Mo. 65806.

To donate to United Way of the Ozarks, visit uwozarks.org.

For shelter resources, contact Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ One Door Program at 417-225-7499.

For more information about COVID-19, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus.

For more information, please contact Greg Burris, [email protected] or 417.863-7700.