A well-known Winona organization is getting ready to close for good. Winona United Way will shut down at the end of this year and its community partners have a few concerns.
The organization has been operating and funding partner agencies since 1943. But as of December 31st, those agencies will no longer be able to receive funding from the non-profit.
Winona United Way says it has tried to do its best to stay open, but sustaining its services has been a challenge.
"Declining donations over the years. If you look really from that period of recession 2007 to 2008 time frame, donations have been steadily declining for us," said Randy Skarlupka, United Way board chair.
Declining donations lead to increased financial concerns for community partners.
"The partner agencies themselves look forward to having that money come from the United Way and so when all of a sudden somebody tells you that that money is not gonna be available for them the following year, that means that they have to look for other places to make up that shortfall," said Skarlupka.
Home & Community Options, which supports 270 individuals with developmental disabilities in Winona, has partnered with United Way for 40 years and says the organization's absence will have a big impact on its future.
"United Way has helped us in a number of ways, financially of course it really helps some of our in-home programs where we don't have regular funding to meet our needs, they come in and those fundings really help educate families and help us build our resource homes," Said Suzanne Horstman, executive director of Home & Community Options.
United Way provided Home & Community Options with 11,000 dollars for training and services. And without that kind of funding, Home & Community Options may suffer from the shortfall.
"These are fundings that really aren't supplemented by any other means so losing that will be really critical if we're not able to find other resources," said Horstman.
"We're not different than a lot of other cities and communities whether it's Minnesota or around the nation so there has been several closings of United Ways and I think they run into the same thing, declining donations and it's just not enough resources to be able to meet the requirements of the national organization," said Skarlupka.