What should you know about Assistance & Resource Center?
Assistance & Resource Center, Inc. (ARC) has completed its 9th year of providing short-term financial assistance and referrals to additional resources to individuals and families living in the Ellsworth and River Falls, Wisconsin school districts.
ARC is the primary resource in the community for those needing support to get back on track with a rent payment, help with an overdue utility bill, or a fuel card to get to a job interview. Assistance & Resource Center continues to operate as an all-volunteer organization. Over 96 cents of every dollar goes directly to servicing ARC’s clients. This is accomplished through tight spending controls, donated office space, and most importantly, no salaries are paid to any ARC staff, board support or board members.
How does ARC provide services in the community?
The mission statement guides the organization: To provide short-term financial assistance to members of the community to help meet their basic needs and to provide access to additional resources.
The heart of ARC is the ability to address each request for help individually. Primary services include rent payments to stop evictions, utility help to prevent disconnects, gas, auto repair, laundry, and food. In addition, 2017 brought requests for tires, birth certificates, school-age care program costs, work boots, uniforms, just to highlight a few examples. ARC continues to add to its list of services to meet client needs.
ARC is the primary resource in the community providing assistance to residents in a timely manner. Results show that evictions and utility disconnections have diminished significantly. ARC’s continuing effort to provide dollars for car repair and gas has resulted in an increased number of clients obtaining and maintaining employment.
As for the process, prospective clients speak with an ARC phone volunteer who documents pertinent information regarding the need. Often the requests are time sensitive, and it is ARC’s goal to provide a response, plan, and financial assistance within 24-48 hours. Community service providers/vendors are essential partners with ARC. In every situation, the client service coordinator works directly with the provider/vendor to determine how best to support the client with a “hand-up”, rather than a “hand-out”. Funds never go directly to the client. Matching payments, pay arrangements, and access to additional resources are strongly encouraged. The goal is to keep the client as an active participant in the solution while relieving the immediate stress of the situation.
How is Assistance & Resource Center funded?
Foundations, churches, businesses, community groups and individual donors contribute a significant portion of ARC funding. In addition, successful grant proposals submitted by a dedicated team of volunteer writers brings in critically needed dollars. Fundraising projects complete the financial picture for sources of income. ARC donors appreciate the transparency of the organization, knowing that their dollars are used to directly help clients. Dollars that essentially remain circulating in the economy of the community. ARC strives to make the very best use of all donated funds!
How does Assistance & Resource Center operate?
ARC is a 100% volunteer organization. At its core, ARC has a Board of Directors with 8 members, 3 administrative support persons, and 14 telephone volunteers. Over 1,000 calls were taken by phone volunteers in 2017. Dozens of additional volunteers are on-call to help with fund raising projects, promoting community awareness and to help with delivering ARC’s services. For example, the staff at St. Bridget Catholic Church in River Falls and Jackie Slocum at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth play a critical role in the gas card distribution process. ARC is committed and dedicated to helping clients meet their basic needs with dignity and respect.
How can you help? – Join us!
- Be a Phone Volunteer
- Help with Fundraising
- Consider a donation
- Become a Board Member