About Us

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.

In New York, ‘Housing First’ Approach Helps Unhoused People Find Stability

In New York, ‘Housing First’ Approach Helps Unhoused People Find Stability

Ronnie Hodge and her young son were living in her uncle’s apartment in the Bronx when the uncle suddenly moved upstate, leaving mom and baby with no place to go. She moved into a city family shelter along with her son and boyfriend of 15 years and spent three years there, struggling to cope with little personal space and no kitchen to cook in.  For Hodge, the stress was sadly familiar. As a child, she had lived in more than 30 foster homes, and as an adult, her alcohol addiction often left her unemployed. Shelter life contributed to a break-up with the boyfriend and left Hodge with depression and anxiety. Her son was also stressed and lost weight because he wouldn’t eat the food the shelter provided.  Then, in September 2020, a nonprofit called HousingPlus transformed her life....

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Fort Wayne Homeownership by the Numbers

Fort Wayne Homeownership by the Numbers

Many Hoosiers aim to invest in a home of their own. However, affordability is a concern, especially in the current environment of high prices and rising interest rates. Consider this: The median income for Indiana households at $61,944 (2021); according to an online mortgage calculator, the median household could be financed for up to $189,000 at 7 percent, costing $1,257 per month. The median sale price of an Indiana home is $222,300, according to Redfin estimated based on January 2023 data. Investment experts recommend paying 20% of the purchase price when buying a home. A 20% down payment for the median sale price of $222,300 totals $44,460 and reduces the mortgage amount to $177,840. Saving $200 per week toward the down payment of $44,460 would take 222 payments, or over four years....

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City of Fort Wayne Announces New Plan to Combat Homelessness

City of Fort Wayne Announces New Plan to Combat Homelessness

Even before the pandemic closed businesses, schools, and scattered millions of Americans to work from home in early 2020, lower income homeowners and renters everywhere were staring down a housing crisis that threatened their ability to put a roof over the heads of their loved ones. But as the country has started to return to normal, the crisis has remained, as many face rising rental costs and the increasing risk of homelessness. In an effort to address Fort Wayne’s homelessness problem, city officials in February released its Everyone Home comprehensive plan. The plan calls for an increase in affordable housing stock throughout the Summit city, and improvements and additions to services provided for homeless or near-homeless residents. It also emphasizes coordination between various...

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Regional Shelter Offers Opportunity for Reclaimed Lives

Regional Shelter Offers Opportunity for Reclaimed Lives

Auburn has become a city on the rise. In its west-side commercial district, heavy construction equipment and cranes have been a common sight, as older buildings give way to new ones springing up all over. One project, though, has taken shape more quietly. Tucked behind the ongoing new construction of a chain deli, a relic of the 1960s has been given new life — and gives new hope — to families and individuals facing homelessness. Fortify Life, a fledgling nonprofit, has renovated 13 rooms in a modest former Days Inn motel, creating emergency and transitional housing in a community that has shown great need for it. Jeremiah Otis, Fortify Life’s energetic director of development, said the renaissance of the motel is part of a new approach to addressing poverty in northeast Indiana. The...

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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...

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