United Way invests $1M in grants to 46 local nonprofit programs and agencies


Rochester United Way of Olmsted County’s board of directors recently approved a set of new and continuing grants to improve the health, education, and financial stability of individuals and families in Olmsted County. From July 2023-June 2024, United Way will invest $1,070,000 in grants to 46 nonprofit programs and agencies that support food security, housing stability, early childhood education, health access, and equitable communities. This figure includes $70,000 in grants to programs serving Dodge County residents, following the merger of United Way of Olmsted County and United Way of Dodge County in January of this year.

This will be the first year of funding for 12 of the programs, while others are a continuation of multi-year commitments. Collectively, these grants will help to provide needed services – including hot meals, eviction prevention programming, early education scholarships, medical services for underserved communities, youth programming, disability support services, and more – to an anticipated 24,000  local residents. A complete list of grant recipients is included below.

“Education, health, and financial stability are the foundations of a good quality of life, and they’re interconnected,” says Emily Johnston, Vice President of Impact and Engagement at United Way of Olmsted County. “The past years have been challenging, between the Covid-19 pandemic, a tough housing market, and rising costs of everyday essentials. It’s critical that our community continues to invest in support systems for one another so that all residents of Olmsted County can thrive.”

These investments in local programs are made possible by donors, volunteers, and advocates throughout Olmsted County. More than 5,400 individuals donated to United Way of Olmsted County last year, and community volunteers reviewed grant applications and made funding recommendations to United Way’s staff and volunteer board of directors. “Part of what makes Olmsted County a great place to live and to raise a family is our community’s enduring history of caring for one another,says United Way President Jerome Ferson.United Way has been working with the Olmsted County community for nearly one hundred years, and we’re honored to continue that work in both Olmsted and Dodge Counties so all of our neighbors can access the resources they need to reach their full potential.”



Supplemental Food Shelf

Noon Meal

Head Start Food Stations

Meals on Wheels


Housing Stability Fund

Access Home

Eviction Prevention Program

Shelter Prevention and Diversion


Dental Home for Underserved Children

Pediatric Services

Independent Living Services

Medical Transportation Program

Auxiliary Services for East African Women

Street Medicine


GNCC Early Learning

School Readiness

Byron School Readiness

Gage East Early Childhood Program


Sports Mentorship Academy Rec Center

After School Program

Change You

Junior CERT

Community-Based Sisters Save Sisters

8 Steps to Promotion


CERT at Edgewood Area

Meadow Park Learning Center

Meadow Park Outreach and Navigation

Agency Partner

Channel One

Salvation Army

Families First of Minnesota

Family Service Rochester


Women’s Shelter and Support Center

Salvation Army

Legal Assistance of Olmsted County

Family Promise Rochester


Children’s Dental Health Services

Community Health Service, Inc.

Bear Creek Services

Elder Network

Pamoja Women

Zumbro Valley Medical Society Foundation


Good News Children’s Center

Families First of Minnesota

Byron Public Schools

Center City Housing


Sports Mentorship Academy

Life and Community Development Corporation

Change You

Barbershop and Social Services

Sisters Save Sisters



Barbershop and Social Services

Family Service Rochester

Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association

Culturally Powered Communities Agency Partners

Damascus Way Re-Entry Center

Pamoja Women

Intermix Project

Ethiopian Community of Rochester Minnesota


About United Way of Olmsted County


United Way of Olmsted County is a social change organization that fights for the education, health, and financial stability of every person in our community.

We do this in a variety of ways. We operate programs and provide shared resources that support the community, such as our 211 information and referral service or our Get Connected volunteer matching portal. We work collaboratively with partners from many organizations and walks of life to create system change and solutions that elevate our community more than any single program or organization could. We provide financial, technical, and volunteer support for programs that make a difference.

At United Way, we LIVE UNITED with the change-makers, risk-takers, and problem-solvers as we seek, find, and create lasting solutions to the challenges that face our community.


Adèle McLees

Communications Coordinator

United Way of Olmsted County