FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Vincent Village is more than a collection of 30+ homes off Pontiac Street.
Just ask Fort Wayne City Councilwoman and newly-appointed Executive Director Sharon Tucker (D).
“We’re breaking the generational cycle of homelessness,” she tells WANE 15. “We’re helping children have an opportunity to get educated and to get the services they need. And really just to give them hope.”
Multiple non-profit agencies help the homeless in Fort Wayne. While some aid individuals, Vincent Village serves homeless families with low-cost, long-term rentals as they work towards home ownership. Some families might stay up to five years.
Tucker’s enthusiasm abounds. Vincent Village is part of the sixth district she represents but Tucker does not want to blur her work for the city and the Village.
“I’m cognizant that there is a fine line and I don’t want to cross that line. But when it comes to working for the community and fighting for my residents, they blend together. I get the privilege of coming to work every day and having my love cup filled.”
Tucker feels the burden to raise money for both the families who live at Vincent Village and the families of her employees.
“I think about that when I go to sleep: how can I raise the money that I need to be able to take care of all of my families?”
It’s a change for the former insurance agent who had served for nearly two years on the Vincent Village board before starting the job in October, which board chair John Christensen welcomed.
“She was ready for a little bit of a change in her own personal life,” says Christensen. “And for me it was one of the easiest decisions ever. She’s an incredible listener. She’s a bridge builder. She’s accomplished a tremendous amount in southeast Fort Wayne and we knew that she would be able to make a big impact for Vincent Village.”
Her next step?
“Let’s restore hope,” Tucker says. “And then let’s figure out how we can get mom and dad to a place where they can become self-sufficient.”