Advocates for those in need showing their “agricultural side”


Five years ago, the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office sensed the need for local agencies to come together and share all information and qualifications for programs designed to help citizens in need during the difficult winter months. The planting of this seed, fertilized by the interest of churches, utility providers, and others, has now blossomed into a strong group of community partners. Meeting monthly to address current needs and issues, the fruits of this labor of love are effective strategies and solutions with the flowers being confident citizens with the support they need to proudly add to this great community.

This model of collaboration continues to prove to be a valuable resource. At our most recent monthly Community Partnership Summit meeting held on Wednesday, March 9, the discussion centered on our most immediate challenges – the increase in the cost of utilities and the dramatic impact they will have with the ending of the Energy Assistance Program moratorium. The anticipated outcome for this summit of developing network strategies, sharing program guidelines and the knowledge of available resources in the community was met. We are all so very thankful to be stakeholders in the elimination of the duplication of services. By increasing our efficiency as agencies, the savings benefit the two most worthy recipients; those in need and those willing to support them.

This meeting’s objectives were obtained because of the high level of participation and willingness of all agencies involved to work together. The Wayne Township Trustee Office would like to thank Community Action of Northeast Indiana, the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Fort Wayne Housing Authority and the Benito Juarez Cultural Center in particular for their willingness to be community leaders. Several representatives from the faith-based community and other organizations were also present to learn more about the services in our community and to take a more active role in the future.

One specific outcome of this information sharing was that if agencies have to deny an applicant, they will be better equipped in referring them to the other resources provided by other agencies. Wayne Township is proud to be one of the main portals of entry for anyone needing assistance. If an applicant is denied, he or she will carry our Action Letter stating the reason(s). Agencies that require a copy of our Action Letter as part of their eligibility process can be assured that the information has been thoroughly investigated and verified. Through this collaboration, all agencies involved can work more efficiently and extend the charitable dollars to those who cannot receive township assistance.

I would like to thank all of The Waynedale News readers for taking their time to listen and understand the needs of the community as experienced by the Wayne Township Trustee Office. Please keep in mind that our goal is to continue to help grow this gorgeous garden of a community that we have. With your support, concern, and ideas, we will persist in adding one beautiful flower at a time.

The Waynedale News Staff

Matthew Schomburg

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