Today, Fort Wayne UNITED, in partnership with Mayor Tom Henry and the Victim Assistance Department of the Fort Wayne Police Department, announced the United Response Program.
Fort Wayne UNITED announces United Response:
Providing stipends to families of homicide victims to offset burial costs
Fort Wayne, Indiana (September 23, 2021) – Fort Wayne UNITED today, in partnership with Mayor Tom Henry and the Victim Assistance Department of the Fort Wayne Police Department, announced the United Response Program. United Response is a critical expansion of Fort Wayne UNITED’s Meals 4 Healing program, designed to serve families who have lost loved ones to homicide. United Response was created to provide additional aid in the form of stipends to help offset burial costs.
The Fort Wayne UNITED clergy subcommittee developed the Meals 4 Healing program in 2018, in partnership with Parkview Health and Victim Assistance, and it has currently assisted 142 families. As part of the program, when a homicide takes place, families of victims are engaged with a case worker from the Victim Assistance team to be given the opportunity to receive meals while grieving. If the family chooses to receive the service, hot meals are delivered to their homes by a Fort Wayne UNITED church for seven days. Churches also provide the family with church contact information, free services, support groups, and victim assistance information for follow-up help, if needed.
The following churches have provided support to the United Response program:
- Come As You Are
- Greater Progressive Baptist Church
- Headwaters Church
- Blackhawk Christian Church
- New Covenant Worship Center
Fort Wayne UNITED is a Mayoral initiative that places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother’s Keeper, under one umbrella. It is designed to answer the call to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help create a safer city for all, but more specifically for black men and boys. By bringing together a group of passionate and committed leaders, the initiative will educate, inform and engage the community in an effort to make positive change one neighborhood at a time.
Fort Wayne UNITED’s vision is for every black male in Fort Wayne to be respected and valued with an opportunity to reach their full potential. The mission is to advocate for and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure equity and opportunity for black fathers, brothers and sons at home, work, school, and the community through collaborative efforts.