Addressing poverty in Fort Wayne, the Urban League is one of the leading non-profit organizations in the Allen County region. While staff will advocate on behalf of the less fortunate, the agency will also offer mediation, counseling, and importantly, information on job placement.
Two other focuses are on assisting clients with gaining new job skills or experiences, and also helping to prevent homelessness in the community. So to this end, there is counseling for both tenants as well as homeowners in the county. The Fort Wayne Urban League is a HUD certified agency, so they can direct homeowners to mortgage programs or help tenants apply for loans for rental expenses, among other services.
Many educational programs are for children in the community, including Project Ready and After School programs. They help residents access supplementary resources around nutrition, health, and of course learning, and all of this will assist people in developing their potential. They even help children as they age, and will even eventually help clients with college readiness.
The After School Academy from FWUL is for youth under the age of 19. The Urban League will offer classes on computer usage, homework assistance, computerized academic instruction in the tech center (computer lab), pre-employment training, and guidance in preparing for college. The after-school program and activities will help children get back on the path to self-sufficiency.
Tutors really help keep this service running. They work with the program’s regular staff in order to give more attention to students and also mentor them. There are also classes for the disabled in Allen County too.
Project Ready is more focused on helping with college readiness. They attend workshops, such as on Academic Development, and also learn about both state of Indiana and national scholarships. Urban League staff in the Fort Wayne office also help students in applying for low cost loans, scholarships, and grants. This is all done in combination with classes, which help students improve their writing and reading skills.
Housing assistance ranges from foreclosure prevention to advice on how people can save money to buy their own home. There is also support for families that rent a home, namely in how to stay housed and avoid an eviction. This will include exploring government grant programs for certain rental costs. Any support for housing needs is combined with financial literacy and budgeting programs, as these are important to sustain the housing over time.
Home ownership services are available. The Fort Wayne Urban League knows of safe and affordable housing in Allen County, and they work with clients in an effort to increase home ownership among the low income.
Mortgage counseling is available, as well as applications to financial aid such as the Hardest Hit Fund. This is both a HUD as well as US Treasury funded program that focuses on providing free foreclosure counseling to the unemployed.
Employment Services are available. While anyone that qualified based on income can enroll, a focus is on minorities and African Americans and Hispanics in Allen County. The goal is to not only help someone find and keep a job, but also ensure they have the skills needed to obtain a living wage or benefits. Staff work with candidates on conducting a job search, becoming job ready, and also securing and then retaining employment.
Fort Wayne Urban League will hold a skills assessment. This will then touch upon pre-job skills training, placement assistance and follow-up. This will help people develop the skills they will need to successfully secure, seek and retain employment, as this will help people obtain long-term potential as well as self-sufficiency.
The non-profit FWUL also partners with other agencies on this. If needed, referrals are made for clients who are not job-ready, and this can be to temporary employment agencies in Fort Wayne or one stop job centers. All these groups work together to help eliminate barriers to employment.
For more details on these or other programs, the Fort Wayne Urban League is located at 2135 South Hanna St., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46803. Call (260) 745.3100.
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