With the beginning of the new year I have been looking back at all my office has accomplished in the past year, as well as looking forward to new opportunities for helping our clients in 2008.
Jobs, jobs, jobs were the focus of my first year in office and will continue to be our focus this year. Helping our clients achieve self-sufficiency by obtaining employment helps them to feel better about themselves and helps our community.
During the past year, our office co-sponsored a Construction Opportunity Fair and a follow-up meeting with community leaders to assist clients to find jobs in the construction industry. The Opportunity Fair also provided assistance for emerging business enterprises hoping to get construction contracts.
Our own employment department and our staff have been working very hard to update our employment practices. Beginning in the fall, we began to see the results of our hard work by more clients finding jobs.
We also have worked hard this year to improve our representative payee program. This program assists Social Security Disability recipients with budgeting their money so they will not need to apply for assistance. We have around 120 people in this program now.
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I have had this year is meeting so many of you. My staff and I participated in several public events over the year in an effort to meet and get acquainted with the residents of Wayne Township.
One of the highlights of our public events was the Waynedale Memorial Day parade. What a great parade we had that day. I was so impressed by the crowds and delighted to be asked to participate. We hope to participate in the parade again this year.
I also enjoyed the Waynedale Community picnic and the Elmhurst Neighborhood Association annual picnic.
One hot, in fact very hot, day in August, Fire Chief Don Patnoude was kind enough to take me on a tour of Southwest Fire District facilities, including the fire station in Waynedale. That fire station formerly housed the Wayne Township Fire Department and still is owned by the township.
My office sponsored numerous community activities during the year to help the less fortunate of our Township. Our biggest event was the Healthy Cities Health Fair and Veterans’ Stand Down in October.
At that one event, we, along with several partners and numerous volunteers, provided free health screenings, health education and other services to approximately eight hundred underinsured and uninsured individuals. That event took considerable planning and hard work on the part of my staff and our partners. All the hard work was well worth being able to help so many persons with their health care needs.
One part of the health fair was giving donated coats to those in need. We recently received more donated coats from the City of Fort Wayne Street Department for our clients. I wanted to thank the Street Department for its generosity in providing coats to help keep our clients warm this winter.
I hope everyone in Waynedale had a very happy New Year.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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