Early in 2016 it became evident to the Board of Directors of Good Neighbor Settlement House that the organization was failing. Everyone was working hard to achieve their mission, but there simply wasn't enough money to keep the doors open. The situation was exacerbated by the illness and subsequent death of the organization's executive director, Ruth Hunter.
Jack White, who teaches Social Work at UTRGV and who has worked with Good Neighbor as a volunteer, stepped up. He volunteered to serve as interim executive director with no compensation. After assessing the situation, Jack knew that without a large infusion of cash Good Neighbor would, indeed, close its doors. He approached United Way of Southern Cameron County about emergency financial assistance, but what he came away with was much more.
United Way of Southern Cameron County's Board of Directors pledged $60,000 in immediate support to bring Good Neighbor's obligations current, but the board members recognized that just as important as financial assistance was technical assistance to ensure the organization's longer term sustainability. They formed a joint task force with members of Good Neighbor's board and went to work charting a course to help Good Neighbor not only survive but to thrive.
Good Neighbor Settlement House was recently awarded just under $100,000 in other grants, funding that would not have been possible without the stabilizing work of the task force and the funding from United Way of Southern Cameron County. Our Board of Directors congratulates Good Neighbor Settlement House on this additional funding and is proud to continue partnering with the organization's board to ensure long term viability.