FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced on Tuesday that as part of the recent CARES Act, the City will receive about $1.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
In phase one of investment, the City will help address the need for shelter for those who are homing-insecure or for those who need to quarantine but cannot safely do so in their own home.
“Now more than ever, our community must pull together and help our neighbors in need,” said Mayor Henry. “These much-needed federal dollars will be put to work quickly to help ensure residents have a safe place to sleep at night, as well as provide our shelters with critical supplies.”
This is a plan local nonprofits have been working on since early March, immediately recognizing that the pandemic will have an impact on the homeless.
Fort Wayne's Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services (OHNS) has been work with local nonprofits, funders and the Allen County Department of Health to ensure that the greatest needs are met while not duplicating services.
The City will give approximately $60,000 to assist Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network in offering immediate shelter, meals and case management for single women experiencing homelessness.
$60,000 will also go to Brightpoint to provide hotel vouchers, case management and meals for individuals and families experiencing homelessness that have no other option for shelter.
President Steve Hoffman says a majority of the calls they’ve received so far are to help those who live in hotels, who aren’t covered by the statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium.
"Quite frankly a lot of programs, state funding and so forth, kind of neglects and the statewide moratorium neglects as well. The people who are living in hotels right now are not covered by the moratorium," Hoffman said.
Approximately $50,000 is being given to Blue Jacket, to provide deep cleaning and sanitizing services for helters and nonprofits.
The largest chunk of phase one money, $200,000, will help continuing services at Northeast Indiana’s regional quarantine shelter set up by a coalition of local nonprofits as a place for people who do not have safe, stable or secure housing to quarantine or isolate.
The lead agency for this effort is United Way of Allen County.
Matthew Purkey, President and CEO of the United Way of Allen County described how the shelter works, saying, "At the quarantine center here locally, an individual gets their own room, they get internet access, television. They also get all hygiene items, three meals a day, security."
PPE and supplies.
The City has already purchased and delivered 24 cases (288 bottles) of hand sanitizer to area shelters and will also be providing additional hand sanitizer and masks to local nonprofits.
If you or someone you know needs help, you're asked to call 211 to get connected to the appropriate services.