As we approach the end of 2008, I have been reflecting with pride on all my office has accomplished this year. Like many of you, we have had a challenging year. But my staff has met the challenge and has continued to provide the quality service for which Wayne Township is known.
When I took office at the beginning of 2007, one of my highest priorities was to upgrade the Wayne Township Employment Department. I established our “Assistance to Independence” program, which has a goal of finding jobs for clients so they can become self-sufficient.
I am so proud that by the end of the year, we will have found jobs for more than 200 clients. This is quite a remarkable accomplishment in our depressed economy. Our employment program has been successful because of the personal attention my staff gives to our clients. Our clients are much more than just names on a computer screen. To us, each client is important and each deserves the individual attention Township government can provide to them.
Another accomplishment of our office was a major revision of our client Eligibility Standards. As gas prices skyrocketed in the Spring, we saw a huge increase in persons seeking help from our office.
At the same time, tax money coming in to support our office was decreasing. By changing our Eligibility Standards, we were able to serve more clients with less money.
Another of my priorities was to increase and improve our representative payee program. We now have about 130 persons enrolled in this program, which assists clients to manage their finances.
In October, we hosted another very successful Healthy Cities Health Fair and Veterans’ Stand Down. Over 600 uninsured and underinsured persons received free health care services, all donated by our many partners in this great event.
Our coat drive in October started slowly. But, after some helpful publicity by our local media, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. We were able to provide coats to all Health Fair participants who needed them.
In March, I was humbled and honored to receive the Citizen of the Year Award for this region from the National Association of Social Workers. I also had the unbelievable experience this year of meeting and being introduced at a rally by our next President, Barack Obama.
My office participated again this year in the Waynedale Memorial Day parade, one of my personal favorites among our many events. I am so grateful to our Veterans and always anxious to show my support for them.
We also sponsored or participated in numerous other events throughout the year. I would like to name all of them, but The Waynedale News might not want me to take up this whole page.
Thank all of you in the Waynedale area for your support throughout this year. My staff and I wish you a happy holiday season and a New Year filled with hope for the future.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee