FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services received $1.2 million from a Community Development Block Grant to provide COVID-19 relief.
Of that, $398,000 will be distributed to seven different organizations that serve low-income residents to get the services they need to live healthy, productive lives.
Sharon Tubbs with Health Visions Midwest of Fort Wayne says her group typically offers education groups for people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Their target group is mainly people living on Fort Wayne's Southeast Side.
Tubbs says COVID-19 has shown them they needed support to change how they operate.
Tubbs explained that during the pandemic, they realized that, "Community partnerships are crucial. We cannot do the work alone. The second thing is that virtual programming is the way of the future, and we want to combine those needs, but we need funding to do it."
The $25,000 grant they received will help them create virtual programming for people to access to learn how to become healthier and will help them join forces with more organizations to create a healthier county.
"We have been partnering with organizations throughout Allen County community for years," Tubbs said. "This is going to enable us to kind of build stronger partnerships."
Community Transportation Network was another of the grant recipients.
Community Transportation Network Executive Director Justin Clupper says COVID-19 has had big impacts on their operations, reducing the number of riders at a time, and requiring more routes and drivers to meet the need of seniors and those who are disabled to get where they need to go, which costs a lot of dollars.
"CTN only takes a very small fee from our riders or from Medicaid. It doesn’t actually cover the full cost of the trip. There’s actually about a $40 gap that exists between the average rider fee and the actual cost of the trip," Clupper said.
Clupper explained their $25,000 grant will help to cover those extra costs of paying drivers, covering insurance, and maintenance needed on their fleet.
"Our fee model has been impacted dramatically, so to have this added support means that we can state on the road," Clupper said. It means that we can bring on an extra driver if we need to to support the added trip needs. It means we can get out there and help more people."
Here's what the following local organizations that received funding from the city will use their money on:
- Wellspring will receive $48,569 for the expansion of Food Bank and Wellspring on Wheels.
- The program will serve an estimated 29,500 people through distributions due to the increased need of food assistance as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Amani Family Services will receive $106,811 to aid in immigrant/refugee COVID-19 Relief.
- The program will help an estimated 300 people by hiring a new case manager to provide services to our immigrant population.
- YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne will receive $131,544 to aid in childcare relief.
- The program is expected to serve more than 700 children in an effort to provide daycare when schools are closed or remote learning is implemented.
- Healthier Moms & Babies will receive $41,085 for the Prenatal Home Visitation Program.
- Roughly 150 families will be served through an extension of the program which will help families that have been impacted by COVID-19.
- The League for the Blind & Disabled will receive $20,000 for the Community Living Program.
- This is expected to help 60 individuals transition from nursing homes back into the community, or diverts them from being placed in one at all.
- Health Visions Midwest will receive $25,000 for the Community Outreach & Virtual Programs.
- The coordinator of this pilot program will connect underserved populations with health services.
- Community Transportation Network will receive $25,000 to expand the specialized transportation program in an effort to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.