FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A new one-stop community resource center is now open in the lower level of Fort Wayne’s Rudisill Plaza.
Services at CONNECT Allen County range from mental health assistance, housing help, family services and more.
Journey Birth and Wellness, an organization that provides doula services around Fort Wayne, is one of over a dozen resources now available at CONNECT Allen County.
“A doula has always been seen as kind of a luxury for birth, and now we can be available to show them that we are accessible,” Director and Founder Shanna Bradley said.
One goal of this one-stop center is to reach underserved communities in Fort Wayne.
Allen County System of Care Coordinator Kylie Riecken said there’s no better way to do that than in one easily-accessible location.
“Specifically we wanted to be on a bus line,” she said. “We wanted to make sure that we were accessible to anyone in Allen County so that everybody has access to the services that they or their families need.”
It’s also an opportunity for the organizations to connect with each other, which Bradley will take advantage of.
“I really wanted to learn more about the other organizations in the community and really use them as a resource for the women and families that we serve,” she said.
CONNECT Allen County will offer free navigation services to determine which resources will be most helpful for each guest.
Coordinator Kristy Lindeman said it’s important for the organizations to collaborate.
“We don’t want any competition, we want to make sure that we’re all working together because ultimately what we’re here to do is to help people,” she said.
Kenneth Hilliard, Director of Operations at Building a Stronger Family said that collaboration will ultimately help each organization carry out their goals in the community.
“It’s pertinent that we all, not just again come together but we work together to help build not just one family but the entire community,” he said.
Hilliard said he wants people to know that resources are available, ready and willing to help.
“I think that’s the most important thing that the community needs to take away, that we are here for them,” he said.
CONNECT Allen County is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Here are the organizations in CONNECT Allen County:
- Bienestar Sin Fronteras
- Building a Stronger Family
- Catholic Charities
- Choices Coordinated Care Solutions, Inc.
- Crossroad Child & Family Services, Inc.
- Lutheran Social Services of Indiana
- Journey Birth & Wellness
- Made Strong Ministries
- Meridian Health Services
- The Otis R. Bowen Center
- Parkview Behavioral Health Institute
- The Rescue Mission
- SCAN, Inc.