FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Language Services Network Director Raquel Kline knows what it’s like to need help from social services.
She’s lived in Fort Wayne for 15 years, but was raised in the country Nicaragua.
"When I moved here, it was a little bit difficult to navigate all the different things, trying to find a job, signing up for school and things like that," Kline said. "So a lot of people share the same experiences."
So she’s grateful to be part of a group of community programs receiving extra funding from the city.
Kline and several other nonprofit leaders already know how they’re going to use it.
"We can have a satellite location at different places," Kline said.
"We use the funds to order a food truck that will be out serving the unsheltered," said Joshua Gale with Just Neighbors.
"Offer 7,700 individuals not only food but also hygiene items," Wellspring Director Melissa Rinehart said.
"These are just a couple of examples of some of the social service agencies in town that help make Fort Wayne what it is," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.
Henry says the city is giving out over half a million dollars this year due to extra funding from COVID-19 relief.
He made the announcement at Wellspring, one of the 19 nonprofits getting that extra funding for their community service.
"There are a lot of things that unless you’re working on the ground with food-insecure peoples, you don't realize the other needs that they have," Rinehart said.
Rinehart says the extra money will go a long way towards helping the growing number of people she’s seen who are still recovering financially from COVID-19.
Gale says the city’s recognition shows that groups like his truly are making the impact they hope for.
"To have the city support what we’re doing is great confirmation of the model that we think is kind of unique in our service sector," Gale said. "So having that opportunity to hear from the mayor, to hear that support and the support of everyone else in Fort Wayne and our volunteers, is a pretty big thing to us."
Rinehart says the food bank at Wellspring has been getting busier, so they are still relying on community support as well.