Being Wayne Township Trustee must be one of the best jobs in the world. Not only do I have the opportunity to help those in need, sometimes I get to meet really important people like, for example, a Presidential candidate.
I was honored to have the opportunity to meet and be introduced by Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, when he spoke at Wayne High School. Having an event of this magnitude at Wayne High School showcased Waynedale and the south side of our wonderful community at its best.
I would like to highlight in this column one of the most important ways my office helps those in need. That is by providing assistance with housing. With the housing market in turmoil, many of our clients either need help to meet their housing needs or are homeless.
The Wayne Township Trustee’s Office is working with the Fort Wayne Housing Authority to try to get our clients into more affordable housing. Now, clients seeking our help with housing are required to apply to Fort Wayne Housing Authority.
Wayne Township also has a Self-Sufficiency Program for homeless families, which always is at capacity. This program provides housing and case management to help participants obtain jobs, deal with their problems and ultimately obtain their own housing again.
Another way Wayne Township is trying to help with housing needs is to join with numerous agencies in our community as part of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness. The new coordinator for this group is Wayne Township Board member, Pat Turner.
Ms. Turner will be coordinating efforts to implement the group’s ten-year plan to end homelessness. Among the goals of the group are helping the homeless population get jobs and providing long-term supportive services for those transitioning out of shelters into permanent housing. The Interagency Council will sponsor a “Homeward Bound Walk” beginning at noon on April 27 in Headwaters Park.
As Summer approaches, many events are occurring in which Wayne Township is participating. We took part a few weeks ago in the Community Celebration for “Oprah’s Big Give Fort Wayne Trails” at Headwaters Park. Having a biking and walking trail system is beneficial for our clients, who often do not have cars or gas for their cars and must depend on bicycles and walking to get to their jobs or appointments.
Our employment program continues to receive rave reviews from our clients, who say the program inspires them in addition to offering practical tips for getting a job. Recently our speakers were Craig Williams, Director of Administration and Finance, and Ray Young, Human Resources Manager, for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority.
The speakers from the Airport Authority gave an excellent presentation on jobs available at the airport and tips for our clients about how to get a job there. Our clients were surprised to learn that the airport has approximately 500 full-time and 900 part-time jobs. I want to thank these gentlemen for their informative presentation.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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