The Wayne Township Trustee’s Office Payee Program is sanctioned by the Indiana statutes and recognized as valuable proactive program that helps its participants to utilize personal funds and not those provided by your tax dollars. Referrals have been made from numerous agencies; the Social Security Office, Adult Protective Services, Veterans Administration, ARC, Allen County Division of Family and Children, Fort Wayne Rescue Mission, Park Center, family members, and other Representative Payees. After all monthly obligations are met, participants are allocated a check for personal needs and a check to purchase food at a store of their choice every Friday until their next check is deposited in the Payee Account.

One payee was constantly being evicted prior to joining our program, another had her money taken by a relative who had a substance abuse problem. Many of our payee clients have horror stories about how their lives were placed in turmoil and even in danger at the beginning of every month.

Dave (not client’s real name) had a financial advisor at one time, after being evicted from three different apartments and having his credit ruined he did not know where to turn. Dave tried to talk with his advisor, but was rarely able to contact him. For three months Dave heard nothing about his money and basically lived on the streets. Dave needed certain medicines each month and he would go to clinics and churches trying to obtain funds. He ate his meals at the Rescue Mission and some days he did not eat at all. Dave appeared at the trustee’s office one day seeking help, we knew from prior applications that Dave received SSI but he thought his benefits had been cut because he had been evicted. He told us his advisor was working on the problem. Wayne Township investigators contacted the Social Security office and found out Dave’s checks were still being mailed to his advisor. We told Dave about our Payee Program, and even helped to sign him up. Dave is now in his own place, he is back on his medication and is surviving comfortably. Dave’s former advisor is nowhere to be found, but he no longer has access to any of Dave’s money. Dave is also a Veteran and our Veteran’s Service Officer connected him with the many benefits available for vets in our area.

There are currently 61 payee program participants and each one is involved in the planning of their budgets. They also receive transaction registers and many have started savings accounts and can now have a sense of normalcy to their financial lives.

The Payee Program is just another way to improve the quality of life in our community and falls squarely within our mission statement, “Guardian of the taxpayer and advocate of the poor”.

The Waynedale News Staff

Matthew Schomburg

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