We are looking forward to August 25th, when the Wayne Township Trustee Office will staff a booth at the Waynedale Community Picnic. For the second year in a row my Deputy Trustee, Austin Knox, will be there to meet and greet those attending this fun-filled event while others of my staff plan to help out where needed.
Earlier this month, on August 4th, we provided a booth for the 2nd Annual Summer Community Celebration at McMillen Park where we sold snow cones and bottled water. We made over $500 that day, kicking off the fundraising for our December Holiday Celebration and our Scholarship Program. Porsche Williams, our director of Intake and Investigations, was the point person for this event and several other staff members pitched in to help. It was hot but we had a lot of fun.
Over the last five years or so I have been selecting one staff member each month to be named Employee of the Month. The EOM gets a special parking spot, a token gift card, a framed certificate, and his or her name on a plaque displayed in our lobby for the month. On August 1st Porsche Williams received the honor.
As I have written before, each of the 1,008 townships in Indiana has its own unique personality and mission within its community. At Wayne Township we work with citizens in lots of ways to find jobs, get a leg up with school supplies, or fill a food shortage from our pantry, but the ‘Intake and Investigations’ department is our core program. This is where we process requests for assistance with basic needs like keeping the utilities on, avoiding eviction for lack of a month’s rent, or finding burial assistance for a bereaved family in need.
The Intake and Investigations department consists of a director, two lead investigators, eight investigators and a front desk attendant. Actually, because of cross-training, all of the members of this department can work in any of these capacities.
This department is always busy, but I asked Porsche if she has seen many changes as the economy goes through its cycles. She said that people are working more these days which relieves some of the financial stress, but clients still need help getting by. They may have a job that pays them just enough to disqualify them for assistance while they still face rising costs in utilities, child care, and other basic needs.
As director, Porsche’s responsible for reviewing and signing off on each case brought to her by an investigator. “A lot of what I’m doing these days,” she says, “is helping people budget their tight resources so they can make it from one month to the next.” “There’s still a lot of stress out there that we try to help people with.”
It can be hard to see clients struggle to take care of their families or of even just themselves. It makes me appreciate my staff members, who are so experienced in offering a helping hand to those in need. That’s why I like it when we can go to a park, take in the sun and spend some time with friends and neighbors. I look forward to seeing you on August 25th at the Waynedale Community Picnic.
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