Fort Wayne receives CARES Act dollars to help homeless

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced Wednesday that the City of Fort Wayne is putting federal funding to work providing shelter for some of the community’s most vulnerable residents.

They are working with non-profits in the area to help those experiencing homelessness or those who need to quarantine but can’t safely do so in their home, find immediate shelter. The City of Fort Wayne will receive approximately $1.7 million in emergency funding as a part of the recent CARES Act. Funds are being provided to area non-profits to not only provide shelter but also meals, and sanitizing services. It has also resulted in a temporary shelter for homeless women that the city hopes becomes a permanent fixture.

“We now have, first time ever a temporary women’s shelter, for those women that are single, that are not addicted, and are not recipients of domestic abuse. So for our community, this is huge,” says Cindy Joyner the Director of Community Development for the City of Fort Wayne.

Just Neighbors already provides shelter for families, but now with the funding they are able to run the temporary shelter for homeless women without addictions.

“It more than just starts a program, it’s addressing an injustice. We have a major gap in service for single women who are homeless in this community,” explains Joshua Gale, Executive Director of Just Neighbors, “We don’t have a true emergency shelter. So these funds help provide that in a time that the community could potentially be focused on other things, but they want to make sure to fill this gap and make sure this community isn’t impacted more than it already is.”

The complete break down from the City’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services (OHNS) which has been coordinating relief efforts can be found below.

  • Temporary shelter for homeless women. The Fort Wayne area has long had a need for a shelter for single women without addictions and this need is now more prevalent. The City will provide approximately $60,000 to assist Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network in offering immediate shelter, meals and case management for single women experiencing homelessness. The Lutheran Foundation is the fiscal agent for these services.
  • Emergency housing. The City is granting $60,000 to Brightpoint to provide hotel vouchers, case management and meals for individuals and families experiencing homelessness that have no other option for shelter.
  • Quarantine Shelter. Approximately $200,000 will help fund northeast Indiana’s regional quarantine shelter set up by a coalition of local non-profits 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 and The Lutheran Foundation is the fiscal agent.
  • Cleaning Program. Approximately $50,000 is helping Blue Jacket provide deep cleaning and sanitizing services for area homeless shelters and non-profits.
  • 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 non-profits.

Future phases of the Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services relief efforts will focus on meeting un-met needs in the community related to the current health and economic crisis.

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