The Gorter Family Foundation believes there is a significant need to support charitable organizations in Lake County and therefore is committed to persuading potential wealthy Lake County donors to direct at least a portion of their charitable giving into their home county by promoting the slogan “Look North”.
The needs in Lake County are many. Homelessness, healthcare, hunger, unemployment, and education are major concerns which are directly tied to poverty. The acknowledged attributes of urban poverty – gangs, substance abuse, violence, and crime have inched their way from the city into the suburbs creating a new suburban poverty discussion.
Demographics in Lake County have changed dramatically in the past 15 years, and the availability of services has struggled to keep up. Challenges with capacity building due in part to state and federal funding cuts, have taxed an already overburdened system. A study on poverty developed for the Lake County Leadership Taskforce (now the Alliance for Human Services of Lake County) in May of 2012, examined the demographic changes and the effect they can and will continue to have on this county. See the entire study here.
What does poverty mean to a child? Inadequate nutrition, fewer learning experiences, instability of residence or homelessness, lower quality of schools, exposure to environmental toxins, family violence, dangerous streets, and less access to services and jobs. Some of the outcomes of these indicators are increased school drop-out rates, a rise in teen birth numbers, an elevation in abuse and neglect cases and many more poor individuals who are economically inactive in their 20’s.
With their focus on education, the Gorter Family recognizes the challenges that are created when poverty and education collide. To support educational opportunities for all children throughout the county, more resources are needed. Look North encourages the support of our county’s non-profits to assist our at risk populations, creating prospects, education and successes for our youth.
On September 29th, 2015, the Gorter Family Foundation launched the first in a series of informational luncheons for Lake County donors. Guest speaker Aaron Lawlor, Lake County Board Chairman, presented “Lake County, Today and Tomorrow”, highlighting the changes that have occurred in recent years as well as the plans that are underway to support the residents of the county with positive growth and opportunity. The series will continue in 2016 with a focus on the details that will support that growth through educational initiatives and programs.
2013 Lake County Population: 703,019*
Caucasian – 449,932 – 64.0%
Hispanic – 145,525 – 20.7%
African American – 52,023 – 7.4%
Asian – 49,211 – 7.0%
Other – 6,328 – .9%
9.5% of the population, or 66,787 Lake County residents, live below the poverty level.
*Census numbers taken from the most recent Lake County Quick Facts – 2013 and Poor by Comparison Lake County