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Critical Needs

Our Annual mitten tree

Weeks before the big backpack distribution, a few helpful junior volunteers packed some bags with a list given to them by Ann.


The Critical Needs Program at the Watertown Urban Mission provides emergency assistance to individuals and families in need. It is a safety net in our community to help fill in the gaps for struggling individuals and families. If you are in a difficult spot in your life and don’t know where else to turn, we may be able to help you, by advocating for you or providing you with some simple items to get you through.


In some cases and dependent on the availability of funding and supplies, Critical Needs can help provide for basic needs through vouchers to the store, gas vouchers for a medical appointment, baby formula for an overstretched family, or even help with prescription.


This program depends heavily on the generosity of donors and the availability of items in our Impossible Dream Thrift Store. Our client advocate will work with a person to address their immediate need and offer assistance to find ways to become self-sustaining.


The Critical Needs Program provides help for more than 2,500 households and more than 200 homeless neighbors in our community every year. About 25 percent of the people who come to the Critical Needs Coordinator have never been to the Mission, but the overall demand remains fairly constant.

This shows that many of the people who are served at the Watertown Urban Mission get the help they need to get back on track.


The Critical Needs Program handles special needs drives as well—Backpacks & School Supplies, Winter Coats, Toys for Tots, and more. We collect items all year round to ensure we can help students start the year right, help others stay warm and for many kids, make Christmas more enjoyable.


How can I help the Critical Needs Program?


You can help in three ways—giving your time for one of our special drives, giving your gently used items or new supplies for distribution, or by making financial donations. Donations are tax deductable because the Watertown Urban Mission is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3.


Please call us at 315-782-8440 for more information, or stop by at 247 Factory Street, Watertown, to drop off any donations.




Joanna Fassett, Critical Needs Coordinator

Joanna packs a backpack in preparation for the program's annual school supply drive.

       


Hundreds lined up for backpacks and school supplies this year, while some helpful volunteers from the local Shriners and Best Buy helped with the distribution. More than 850 backpacks with supplies were given out this year.

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247 Factory Street Watertown, NY 13601
Mission Phone: (315) 782-8440 Fax: (315) 782-8441 Thrift Store Phone: (315) 782-0090
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