FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The issue of homelessness in Fort Wayne took center stage at a news conference Thursday morning.
“Everyone Home: Fort Wayne’s Community Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness”, was announced at 11 a.m. by Mayor Tom Henry together with the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services.
A release from the City said “Everyone Home” serves as a guide by providing goals, strategies, and action steps to address the community’s homelessness challenges and prevention needs.
The plan addresses how to meet four strategic goals:
- Increase Safe & Affordable Housing for Fort Wayne Residents
- Expand Access to Homeless Emergency Response Services
- Partner Across Fort Wayne to Build Collective Solutions
- Prevent Homelessness Before It Begins
The plan’s mission statement is to prevent homelessness by connecting residents to supportive services and swiftly and equitably housing everyone experiencing homelessness.
To implement this plan, the City said it is working with area organizations including United Way of Allen County, the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness, and Homebase, a consulting firm.
Research was conducted to assess the current needs, and resources available, in Fort Wayne. The Findings combined local data, gap analyses, input from focus groups, and survey responses from individuals who have experienced homelessness, the release said.
“Fort Wayne is a caring and giving community. Now is our time to move forward with a proactive and meaningful initiative designed to make a lasting difference,” said Mayor Henry. “Every person who calls Fort Wayne home matters. It’s our hope and desire that the ‘Everyone Home’ plan is going to positively impact the lives of individuals and families in need.”
Mayor Henry was joined by Deputy Director of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services Kelly Lundberg, Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness Chairperson Erin Ness, and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Allen County Robert Haworth.
“Homelessness is a complex issue. It will require a community-wide effort to prevent and end homelessness in Fort Wayne,” Lundberg said.
Visit the website for details on the plan.
A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the Allen County Public Library Theater downtown to bring awareness and start implementing the plan.