How are American Rescue Plan Act Funds being spent in Fort Wayne? The City fills us in

How are American Rescue Plan Act Funds being spent in Fort Wayne? The City fills us in

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and disrupted most facets of life in Fort Wayne and across the nation. To address a wide array of needs felt across the country, Congress and President Joe Biden enacted a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package in March 2021 known as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Its objective is to aid the United States in its recovery—both economic and otherwise—from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Fort Wayne received $50.8 million in ARPA funding, and on April 12, Fort Wayne City Council presented its official Recovery Plan for ARPA money. A total of $18.2 million is set aside for strengthening neighborhoods in the city; $13.3 million is available for making city operations more resilient; $13 million is allocated...

read more

Chambers wants better affordable housing across Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — By 2032, Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers (D, at-large) would like to see affordable housing throughout Fort Wayne. That journey started with an ordinance she introduced last month to incentivize affordable housing development in any part of the city, not just in economic development targeted areas (EDTA). “This really helps us attract quality, affordable housing developers to the city of Fort Wayne,” she told WANE 15. She cited a report that Indiana has only 38 affordable units available per 100 extremely low income families. Chambers’ proposal moved forward Tuesday night by a 7-1 vote. It will likely receive final approval at the next meeting. Fort Wayne councilwoman to push bill to promote affordable housing Chambers said her idea is easy to...

read more
Eviction Intervention Program Helps Allen County Tenants Stay in Their Homes

Eviction Intervention Program Helps Allen County Tenants Stay in Their Homes

On any day that there are eviction cases on the docket at the Allen County Court’s Small Claims Division, there are people in the courtroom gallery actively looking for people they can help. They’re with the Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network’s Eviction Intervention Program, which opened in January and aims to help tenants avoid an eviction by providing financial assistance, or by offering referrals to legal representation and other social service agencies. Since most eviction cases filed in Allen County have to do with nonpayment of rent, much of the team’s time is spent processing rental assistance applications. If a tenant is approved under the Eviction Intervention Program, Just Neighbors will pay their past-due rent, as well as rent going forward for a set period of time, in...

read more
Building a Future for Young Adults Aged out of Foster Care

Building a Future for Young Adults Aged out of Foster Care

“When we were in foster care, we weren’t allowed to get a license, we weren’t allowed to have a bank account or a phone. We weren’t allowed to have anything.” A young woman in Fort Wayne’s young adult housing described the steep learning curve she encountered at age eighteen. The path to adulthood is fraught for any young person, but it presents additional challenges to those who age out of foster care without a support system in place. These kids are given $600 and a backpack on their eighteenth birthdays, but if they don’t have a birth certificate or a Social Security card, the next steps seem insurmountable. At The Courtyard on Home Avenue in Fort Wayne, most residents used to be foster children. The Courtyard is an apartment complex that houses young adults, usually between ages 18...

read more

Legislative Candidates Propose Solutions to Indiana’s Affordable Housing Crisis

This story was produced by journalism students at Purdue University Fort Wayne currently enrolled in COM317 - Digital Storytelling, under the supervision of professor Heloisa Sturm Wilkerson. They reached out to 36 Indiana candidates to learn more about their stances on housing issues affecting the state. Only a handful of candidates had proposals to address the housing crisis that has affected the nation. By Eli Jones and Gavin Greer With the 2022 Midterm Elections coming up in November, voters are looking into candidates to learn about their proposals to improve the quality of life in their communities. This story looks at the affordable housing policies of the candidates running for State Representative in Allen County. Democrat Kyle R. Miller, who is competing with Republican Davyd...

read more

Indiana’s U.S. Senate and Congressional Candidates Propose Plans to Tackle Affordable Housing Crisis

This story was produced by journalism students at Purdue University Fort Wayne currently enrolled in COM317 - Digital Storytelling, under the supervision of professor Heloisa Sturm Wilkerson. They reached out to 36 Indiana candidates to learn more about their stances on housing issues affecting the state. Only a handful of candidates had proposals to address the housing crisis that has affected the nation. By Emily Coverstone, Sydney Hamblin and Megan Isenbarger The family poverty rate in the state of Indiana is at a ten-year low, but similar to the rest of the United States, Indiana is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing for Hoosiers. The state is facing a shortage of 135,033 affordable and available rental homes, according to a report produced by Prosperity Indiana and the...

read more

Task force recommends state cash, bad landlord crackdown, to ease housing crisis

An interim study committee examining solutions to Indiana’s housing crisis on Thursday approved a lengthy list of recommendations for future legislation — including state funding for housing-related infrastructure and a vague pledge to hold accountable negligent landlords peddling “substandard” housing.There are 16 early-stage ideas on the draft list. But despite their broad strokes and wide range, all have the same goal: boost housing in Indiana, said Housing Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Doug Miller, R-Elkhart.“This in no way, shape or form has to be the absolute definitive. We had to take a 10,000-foot view and decide, of all the issues that were presented [at] the task force, what can move the needle?” Miller asked. State could step in Chief among those solutions — and the most likely...

read more
Irish Immigrants Left Their Mark Building the Wabash-Erie Canal

Irish Immigrants Left Their Mark Building the Wabash-Erie Canal

While many think of Fort Wayne as a largely German town, it was another cultural group that built the infrastructure necessary for Fort Wayne to boom. Early local infrastructure projects like the Wabash-Erie Canal and railroad were built in large part by Irish immigrants to Allen County and Fort Wayne. These projects had a lasting impact on the industry, population and culture of the city, yet the Irish rarely receive recognition for their hand in building the Summit City. According to local Irish history expert Rob Stone, a wave of Irish immigrants came to Fort Wayne seeking employment, but many businesses denied them, posting that “Irish Need Not Apply.” Despite this roadblock, organizers for the canal hired the Irish in the mid-19th century to build the legendary waterway which...

read more
German Immigrants’ Outsized Role in Development of Fort Wayne Still Wields Influence

German Immigrants’ Outsized Role in Development of Fort Wayne Still Wields Influence

Fort Wayne has been considered a predominantly German town since the 19th century, and the influence of its German ancestors continues to the present day. Many mayors, businesses and citizens can trace their origins to Germany. In fact, at its peak in the late 1800s, the German makeup of the Summit City was reportedly as high as 8 in 10 people. Today, those with German ancestry still make up 26.5% of the total population of Fort Wayne. Why did a significant number of German immigrants choose Fort Wayne as their home, and how is their impact still seen today? Local German history expert Jim Sack says that the first German immigrant, Johann Kaiser, came to Fort Wayne in the early 19th Century. Soon after Kaiser, he says, Henry Rudisill arrived in town on Christmas Eve in 1830. According to...

read more

City of Fort Wayne to Invest $600,000 in Habitat for Humanity’s Affordable Housing Project

Cecelia Thomas noticed a small crowd of people outside a house under construction at 3009 Warsaw St. Tuesday afternoon as she returned from the grocery, and got excited. “I dropped my food at home, and ran back up here to find out what was going on,” she said. “I still get excited when somebody moves into a house.” While nobody was moving into the unfinished house, Thomas got there in time to watch Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announce that the city’s Community Development Division has awarded $600,000 in federal funds through the HOME Investment Partnerships program to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne to build six houses in the La Rez, Oxford, and Poplar neighborhoods. “Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, which is why we are pleased to partner with...

read more

The mission of the Fort Wayne Media Collaborative is to bring together Fort Wayne’s media resources to address complex community challenges by creating and disseminating solid, evidence-based journalism. We envision transforming the nature of local journalism in Fort Wayne and giving our community greater access to solutions-oriented news that encourages civic engagement.