Fort Wayne’s Nbc: Fort Wayne Non-profit That Helps People In Need Says People Calling For Help Significantly Increasing Due To Crisis

Sep 9, 2020

Fort Wayne’s NBC | Louie Tran

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Leaders with a Fort Wayne non-profit that helps people in need says people calling for help significantly increasing due to crisis.

United Way of Allen County is a non-profit that partners with other local non-profits to help people in need. The center is located at 334 East Berry Street in Fort Wayne.

CEO Matthew Purkey of United Way said his team has been tracking phone calls they have been receiving throughout the past few months.

He said they track the calls within five categories based on what the person is asking for help: Food, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare.

Purkey said from April to August, his team said calls increased by the following:

  • Food: 261%
  • Housing: 899%
  • Utility: 1,375%
  • Transportation: 3,019%
  • Healthcare: 613%

“These are not people in a movie,” Purkey said. “This is not a T.V. show. These are our neighbors that we need to rally behind.”.

Fort Wayne’s NBC News talked with the Executive President Carmen Cumberland of the Community Harvest Food Bank to get her thoughts.

She said she can agree with the numbers.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, Cumberland said they served around 80,000 people a year. However, since the crisis, she said they now serve more than 110,000 people.

“It can happen to anyone at any time,” Cumberland said. “Life happens and it happens fast.”

Fort Wayne’s NBC News also talked with customers about what it means to them that resources like the food bank are available to help people in need.

“If you keep your faith and stay positive, we can all get past this moment, especially when you have agencies out there to help,” Al Johnson, a customer said. “You’re not alone.”

CEO Matthew Purkey of United Way said local leaders within the community will need to step up and work with each other in order to create long-term change.

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