Waynedale Political Commentaries


Our office has been seeing an increase in need in recent weeks and, especially as we move into the fall and winter months, we’d like to remind Wayne Township citizens that we are here to help.

As do all of the trustees in Indiana the Wayne Township Trustee Office provides eligible residents temporary financial assistance and guidance in economical living. We focus on helping with life’s basic necessities such as food, shelter, essential utility services, clothing, medical care, and burial. If you find yourself in need of help with these necessities you should reach out for assistance and not wait for a financial emergency such as a utility shut-off or an eviction notice.

Not only are we here with financial assistance but we can connect you with other resources to help get you through a rough patch. For example, you may have seen in the news earlier this month that the Indiana Supreme Court’s new Eviction Task Force is working to help get renters the assistance they need to avoid losing their homes. This assistance comes from money allocated through the federal COVID-19 Economic Relief or the CARES act passed in Washington DC earlier this year. Indiana’s court is looking to help not only renters, but they also want to give guidance to landlords about emergency rental assistance, according to Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Bob Altice, who chairs the task force. This is all toward the goal of keeping people in their homes and keeping landlords from losing out when their tenants cannot pay the rent.

When you come to our office, we look to see what we can help you with and we look to see what other resources may be out there for you. We can help with utility payments, and so can the Brightpoint Energy Assistance Program (EAP). You can access them MyBrightpoint.org for information on their numerous assistance programs. Their Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay a portion of an individual or family’s winter heating bills. They have other programs which you might find useful.

Here are a few tips to help you be as efficient as possible with the money that you do have:

Around your home, turn off lights and other appliances when not in use. Turn fans off when no one is in the room. Reduce your water usage by fixing leaky toilets and faucets. Insulating your hot water tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency. A tank that is warm to the touch needs additional insulation. Cook and eat at home. Buy food with a longer shelf life in bulk if you can get a better price. Buy less junk food. Drink water instead of soda, fruit punch or beer. Use coupons and watch for sales. Consider ‘layaway’ over credit card purchases. Shop at thrift stores. Cut back or quit smoking. In winter use a lower heat setting, and wear layers of clothing such as sweaters and long underwear. Get under a warm blanket while watching television.

Change furnace filters regularly. Close off seldom-used rooms and close the heating vents inside. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow solar radiation to warm the living space. Close curtains at night to slow down the escape of heat. Pay for shelter and utilities as soon as income is available. Don’t put these off with the intent of catching up later. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees.

Much of the money that a typical family spends on their home energy bills is wasted through leaky windows or ducts, old appliances, or inefficient heating and cooling systems. Air leaks are among the greatest sources of energy loss in a home. One of the quickest energy- and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. Brightpoint’s Weatherization Assistance Program offers a home energy audit and energy efficiency upgrades to residential dwellings. A home energy audit will show a picture of the home’s energy use that can help you determine where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable.

Again, reach out for help if you need it. We really are all in this together, and we here at Wayne Township want to help whenever we can.

Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox
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Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox

Trustee Austin Knox is a Fort Wayne native who, on January 10, 2020, was unanimously elected trustee at a caucus of Democratic precinct committee leaders of Wayne Township. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer