United Against Poverty Opens New UP CenterUnited Against Poverty Opens New Center in Vero Beach
United Against Poverty (UP) is building up the community with its new 46,000 square foot UP Center located at 1400 27th Street, Vero Beach. The organization unveiled the new location with a series of events leading up to the official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration on January 25, 2020. Attendees gathered at the newly transformed center, which was previously a vacant citrus packing house, to welcome the public to the new multi-function campus.
The New UP Center pays homage to the building’s roots by leaning into the industrial design with sleek concrete floors and spacious, exposed ceilings. The center is filled with art and encouraging words of affirmation, but what is even more impressive than the fresh facade is all of the extensive resources that the center provides. The expansive location accommodates a co-op member share grocery program, classrooms for workplace readiness development, a health clinic run by Treasure Coast Community Health, and a marketplace.
Annabel Robertson, UP’s Executive Director, commented, “The opening of the New UP Center is the result of many years of hard work and signifies the realization of a collaborative vision to create a center in our community to have partner organizations come together to better serve our neighbors-in-need. I am thankful for all of the community support UP has received that made this dream a reality.”
The upgrade and expansion from the old location located across the street on US1 will allow UP to provide programs and services to over 1,000 families a day who live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The new facility will provide increased classroom space, allowing the organization to expand its innovative workforce development program, Success Training Employment Program (STEP). The larger location will also allow UP to double access to their co-op Member Share Grocery Program.
Campaign General Chair and Board Member Don Drinkard noted, “Raising the significant funds needed to build this facility resulted from a group of volunteers making a substantial commitment of time, treasure and talent. They believe as I do that this facility will be something our community will be proud of for many years to come.”
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Since 2003, United Against Poverty’s mission is to provide those living in poverty a pathway to economic self-sufficiency. The reason UP exists is to inspire and empower people living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency. Fundamentally, UP believes that providing people in need a “Hand Up” is the proper path to empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty. This is a philosophical alternative to “one-way” giving, a model that has done little to impact poverty during the last 50 years. UP does this through crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, and personal empowerment training.