Friendly House "Shocked" by United Way Funding

May 11, 2017

The future of a social service agency in the Quad Cities is uncertain after it was abruptly denied funding by the United Way this year.

Friendly House in Davenport says it's relied on about $160,000 every year since the United Way started in the Quad Cities, but this year the agency was awarded just $2,000.

Executive Director Lorelei Pfautz says that money helps offset staffing costs for free or heavily discounted programs like the food pantry or afterschool daycare, but now she'll look elsewhere for funding.

"We have to move on. We will no longer have a relationship with United Way and we're sad about that. I have to go out now and tell our story because I think we still have a great story to tell, and find dollars from the community in a different way."

Pfautz says Friendly House will not cut any programs or staff just yet. The agency will dip into its savings if necessary, and is developing plans for a fundraising campaign to help keep services affordable or free.

Pfautz says several other agencies are standing in solidarity with Friendly House. 

"American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, CADS," Pfautz said. "Just to name a few that were also de-funded after many years of support." 

The United Way changed its grant application process this year and received nearly double the applications than usual. 

A spokeswoman for the agency didn't want to comment on Friendly House specifically, but said funding decisions are extremely difficult. She says this years choices were carefully considered over a three year period.