Look North

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 20 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 20s.

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. Look North is also an opportunity for funders to meet, network and share inspirational projects and ideas. Topics discussed at GFF’s funders events include:

Early Childhood Development and Education – 

Economic Vitality – 

Supporting Immigrant Families in Lake County – 

Workforce Ecosystem – 

Behavioral Health in Lake County – 

Education in Lake County – 

Lake County Overview – 

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2019 Lake County Population: 696,535*

Caucasian – 62.2%
Hispanic – 21.4%
Asian – 7.5%
African American– 6.6%
Other – 2.3%

8% of the population, or more than 55,722 Lake County residents, live below the poverty level.

*Census numbers from United State Census Bureau: Lake County Quick Facts (July 1, 2019 estimates) and United States Census Bureau: American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (2013-2018 estimates).