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United Way seeking extended lease with county for center

Posted: July 23, 2013 7:29 p.m.
Updated: July 24, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Fraser Speaks/C-I

The United Way of Kershaw County is seeking to renew its 10-year lease of the Holsten Center with Kershaw County. The building houses the United Way, Department of Social Services and Medicaid.

The United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) hopes to secure an extended lease for the Holsten Center, which also houses Department of Social Services and Medicaid offices. The UWKC is awaiting word on the lease from Kershaw County Council, which is slated to make a decision at its Aug. 6 meeting.

UWKC Director Donny Supplee said the agency has been working with the county on the lease since February 2012. Supplee indicated at a July 18 council work session that the lease would be for 10 years.

The UWKC currently operates out of what is referred to as a “one stop shop” -- those seeking UWKC services can, for the most part, receive them all at one location. If the UWKC is able to secure the lease, Supplee said, it hopes to continue repairs, upkeep, maintenance and renovations to its current facilities.

The UWKC is currently paying $12 per square foot on the lease of the Holsten Center.

Supplee said the UWKC would like to expand facilities to accommodate more social service agencies and conferencing space.

Transportation is another area Supplee said the organization would like to improve on. It currently operates a grocery van which holds 15 passengers and runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. First Baptist Church of Camden donated the van, which is operated by volunteer drivers. The van picks people up from various neighborhoods around the downtown area and takes them to get groceries, prescriptions and “basically any other thing they need,” according to Supplee.

Supplee also said the UWKC would like to re-establish a three-month reserve fund. The organization would also like to target funds to reach goals in health, education, financial stability and hunger/homelessness (see related content at left).

“It’s not easy to get a degree on what’s the most important thing,” Supplee said.

Although the UWKC received some good news from this past year’s audit, it was over budget for community programs and services by $23,150.

“The money is staying local and we’re making differences locally,” Supplee said.

While it raised $650,000 during last year’s annual UWKC Campaign, being over budget is not something Supplee said it wants to occur often. Supplee also said that the 2012 audit had a “good overhead,” referring to the funds needed to pay rent, utilities and wages.

The UWKC also funded most programs such as Eat Smart Move More and a mentoring program using grant money from the state.

The UWKC is the largest social service organization in the county.

“We’re hope to be a part of things getting better,” Supplee said.

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