The Hospitality Center will formally receive a $15,000 grant next Friday, but the announcement was official last week.

Rev. Kevin Stewart, director of the Hospitality Center, confirmed that United Healthcare officials May 29 will present the Center with a check for $15,000 to help pay for food and other supplies needed for services for the homeless participants at the Center.

“We are overwhelmed by UnitedHealthcare’s extraordinary generosity, goodness and commitment to the Hospitality Center and to the Racine community,” he told Racine County Eye. “Thank you UnitedHealthcare for joining us in feeding all who come to the Hospitality Center who are hungry for food and friendship; help and hope.

The formal presentation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 29.

The grant is a result of United Healthcare initiating contact with Stewart earlier this year. He said they visited and learned more about the mission and operation and to investigate how the insurance carrier could get more involved.

“This is about relationships, as it almost always is,” Stewart added. “This is another example of the way life happens at the Hospitality Center; unpredictable and unimaginable and beyond remarkable.”

The funds from UH are unrestricted, and Stewart said the money will go directly to providing necessities for participants, including feeding the hungry.

Stewart announced in January that overnight emergency shelter services would end because of a lack of resources and volunteers to man the the center while participants were sleeping. An influx of cash and citizens donating their time enabled the HC to continue overnight services through March 31 when it reverted back to a day program.

The HC is housed at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 7th and Main Streets and is a program of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. Its day-to-day operations are managed by Jackie Smith Adams; she was hired last month to create order out of a loose structure Stewart had been running with a small group of about 15 volunteers.

The United Healthcare grant is part of an initiative aimed at helping Wisconsin organizations that promote healthy living.

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