A Path to a New Future

Progress Dunnellon, led by the United Way of Marion County, the City of Dunnellon and fifteen other partners announced the beginning of their multi-year effort to combat poverty in Southwest Marion County utilizing the 2 Gen Poverty Alleviation model. The official project kick-off took place on Thursday, October 26, 2017 starting in the Dunnellon Middle School Auditorium. Two-generation approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable parents and children together.  This beginning included the commitment of nearly a half of a million dollars of support to direct services that will be available to assist residents in Dunnellon by increasing their financial stability and move themselves out of poverty.

“We are very excited to see this commitment to the families in Dunnellon and Southwest Marion County,” Scot Quintel, President of the United Way of Marion County said.  “With the efforts of our Strong Families Initiative and the programs of our other partners, I am confident that lives will be changed now, and in the generations to follow.”

Walter Green, Former Mayor of the City of Dunnellon has been a strong supporter of Progress Dunnellon as it has moved from idea, to concept, to reality.
“Several months ago, an effort was begun to study the economic facts of our citizen’s income and how this relates to the hopes and aspirations of our future here in the Dunnellon community,” Former Mayor Green said. “One of the factors evaluated was the income levels of our student’s parent’s incomes. This data revealed our children’s poverty rate is four times the average our entire country. In the coming months, Progress Dunnellon is determined to move forward with a well planned, determined approach.”

Regis Woods, the Dunnellon born and raised Para-Olympian, knows all to well the challenges that result from being from an economically challenged neighborhood.  Mr. Woods has represented the Dunnellon community across the globe, including the Rio Olympics in 2016.  Like Woods, when the starter’s gun goes off, the community of Dunnellon is out of the starting blocks in a multi-year effort to change the lives of economically challenged families in their community!