October 27, 2017
Save The Date - Kansas Public Policy Forum

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Kansas Public Policy Forum, co-hosted by UCS, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, and United Way of Greater Kansas City with sponsorship support from REACH Healthcare Foundation.  David Adkins, Executive Director/CEO of the Council of State Governments, will be a featured speaker at the forum along with a panel of policymakers including Senator Laura Kelly, Representative Kathy Wolfe Moore and Representative Linda Gallagher.
 
Date:  Monday, December 4, 2017
Time:  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location:  Matt Ross Community Center
8101 Marty, Overland Park
Southwest Johnson County Transit Plan Survey

Access to reliable, affordable transportation is a need for many in our community. If you live or work in Southwest Johnson County, take time now to share your thoughts about a future Southwest Johnson County Transit Plan through November 30, 2017 at swjocotransit.digicate.com.
Celebrating 50 Years of UCS Through the Stories We Help Create
UCS has always been an organization whose story is best told through the impact of its work.  Below is the third in a series of stories that will be featured in our eNewsletter, Facebook, and website.  Additionally, you may encounter one of our story banners that will be on display throughout the community over the next few months.  These are our stories, your stories, the community's stories.  If you have a UCS story you would like to share, please send it to Julie Brewer at julieb@ucsjoco.org .  Thank you for being a part of our story for 50 years.

UCS Mobilizes Resources to Help People
A city-county partnership to collectively allocate a portion of the liquor-by-the-drink tax to programs and services supporting residents in Johnson County has been in place since 1981. United Community Services of Johnson County (UCS) has facilitated this collaborative process through the Drug and Alcoholism Council of Johnson County, providing the grant review and recommendations for distribution of funds in accordance with Kansas law.  By working together, these dollars can be effectively allocated and monitored to ensure maximum impact on programs and services vital to the community.  Reconnecting Youth is an example of the type of programming supported by the Alcohol Tax Funds.
The Need: Connecting dollars to programs that can change lives
In 8th grade, Lauren was suspended after making threats toward other girls.  As she started high school, she was not invested in her education, was experimenting with drugs and alcohol, failing classes and skipping school.  She wore heavy make-up, dark clothes and never smiled. 
 
Lauren was invited to join the Reconnecting Youth class her sophomore year at a local Johnson County high school.  This evidence-based program for students at risk of drop-out due to substance abuse and/or other personal and familial difficulties is recognized as a model program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.  Reconnecting Youth addressed the issues Lauren was experiencing and taught her skills related to healthy living, educational success and interpersonal relationships. 

The Result
By the end of that spring semester, Lauren was attending school and qualified for the honor roll.  Her appearance changed as she gained confidence - the heavy make-up, dark clothes and angry expression were gone.
Over the next two years, Lauren spoke before community and state leaders about how Reconnecting Youth turned her life around.  She specifically mentioned the relationships she built with the staff, and developing the skills and the opportunities to help others.
Lauren visited the high school social worker during her freshman year of college to say, "thank you" for the help and redirection she received during high school.  She had finished first semester with excellent grades and was very proud that she no longer had any association with those friends from high school who continued to make poor choices. Lauren is hoping to go into neurosciences and has been going to school and working with a drug-testing company in their laboratory.  

T hank you to our Visionary, Storyteller and Bard level sponsors for helping to tell the UCS story.
      
Make A Donation: Giving to honor our past and prepare for our future is a great way to help us celebrate 50 years and those who have served our community through UCS.  We are happy to offer this easy online giving option.
Our mission: Provide data analysis, lead collaborative planning and mobilize resources to enhance the availability and delivery of health and human services. 
 
Contact us at 913-438-4764 or www.ucsjoco.org