The Richmond Highway-area charity formerly known as United Community Ministries announced Friday that it has changed its name to “United Community.”
The announcement came at the charity’s 50th anniversary spring gala. Executive Director Alison DeCourcey said the change reflected a new focus in the charity’s mission: changing the conditions that cause poverty to continue from generation to generation.
“For decades, we focused on providing basic human services to families,” DeCourcey said, according to a UC press release. “As we turn 50, to amplify our mission, we must alter the conditions that lead to multigenerational poverty we have witnessed far too often – inadequate transportation, education, housing, nutrition, safety, and employment.”
An FAQ released by the United Community said removing “ministries” from the group’s name did not mean it was no longer affiliated with faith-based groups.
“The faith-based community will always be an important part of our organization,” United Community said in its press release. “It has been critical to the success of our community for 50 years and will continue to be, moving forward.”
Headquartered on Fordson Road in Hybla Valley, United Community was founded as United Community Ministries in 1969 after women from Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church started a clothing drive for Gum Springs residents. Since then it has grown into an organization with a $5 million budget and 71 employees, according to its website.
United Community sponsors a number of initiatives in the Richmond Highway corridor, including the Sacramento Neighborhood Center and Creekside Village Community Center, an Early Learning Center located in the Bryant High School building, the Progreso Center for Literacy and Citizenship, a thrift store and various other services.
More than 5,600 individuals living in 2,400 households receive supplemental groceries at the UC Pantry over the course of a typical year, according to UC’s website. UC also helps families dealing with the threat of eviction, utility shutoffs and the loss of other critical needs.
Notes: Addy Krizek, a former UC volunteer development director and UC Board member, and Sen. Mark Warner, a UC Board member from 1991-1994, were honorary co-chairs of the organizations 50th anniversary gala. Each were also the 2019 recipients of the group’s Gerald W. Hyland Humanitarian Award.