Fort Wayne SOUP hosted its first of four events in 2020 on Thursday, February 20 at 6PM at The Summit (1025 W. Rudisill Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46807). Additional dates for 2020 are May 14, July 16, and September 10.
Over 80 community members attended the event and heard four pitches from individuals with ideas to impact our community. Each presenter had four minutes to pitch their idea in an attempt to receive the most votes and funding for their project, which comes from money collected at the door and matching sponsorship dollars. The winner of the February 20 event received $800 to help get their idea off of the ground. To date, Fort Wayne SOUP has donated over $16,000 to a variety of projects that have impacted our community.
The winner of the first SOUP event of 2020 is Lisa Fabian of St. Joseph Missions. Her pitch brought to light the devastating statistics of homeless single women in our community who are often victims of human trafficking or sex trades. Overnight facilities are open for men when the “real feel” temperature is 40 degrees or less and for families when the “real feel” temperature is 32 degrees or less. Currently, the Winter Contingency Program is only open to single women with a “real feel” of 20 degrees or less. Lisa explained how her organization will work: residents will be referred by local social service organizations with established protocols for serving low income clients as well as hospitals and the police department.
The majority of these women are unemployed; therefore, they are below the poverty line. It will benefit the city as a whole if we can get these women off the streets into secure housing and help them become productive members of our community.
Funds from Fort Wayne SOUP will be used for operating expenses as the organization is working to acquire a building.
“We are truly grateful for the wonderful support we received at SOUP, and the fabulous opportunity provided,” says Fabian.
For more information about St. Joseph Missions, visit www.stjosephmissions.org.
The submission period for the May 14 event is now open. Proposals may be submitted online at fortwaynesoup.org.