Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.What a great time we had at the Waynedale Picnic! The crowd was huge, and the weather was perfect. Someone asked me a few days before the picnic whether it would take place rain or shine. I said it has not rained in the six years I have been involved in the picnic, so I did not expect rain this year. Fortunately, I was correct.

We appreciated the opportunity to have an informational booth at the picnic again this year. We do this to spread the word about what we do at the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office and how we can help persons during tough times. The picnic also gives us a chance to speak with residents of our community and answer any questions they may have about our office. We have similar booths at several events over the summer and fall.

One of my staff members was speaking at the picnic with a lady, who was asking about the services we offer. This lady said she had lost her job and really needed help. While riding the city bus, she had heard that we provide food for those in need on Mondays, and she had taken advantage of that program.

Every Monday beginning around 8:30 a.m., the Community Harvest Farm Wagon arrives at our office and drops off food for us to provide to anyone who needs it. We are so thankful that Community Harvest partners with us to provide this service. The lines can get long and sometimes the selection of food is limited, but this food is a big help to those who need it.

Beyond the farm wagon, the lady at the picnic had no idea what other services we offer. We explained to her that our purpose is to provide temporary assistance to persons such as her, who for whatever reason, find themselves in a position to be unable to provide for themselves. This might include someone like her who has lost his or her job and has been unable to find another one. It might include someone who is ill and unable to work or someone who is working only part-time and not earning enough to support his or her family.

We explained that we offer shelter, utility, food, medication, transportation and burial assistance for qualified persons. To qualify for Township Assistance, an individual or family must meet our income guidelines. The guidelines require a person or family’s income to be not more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. This means for a family of four, the gross family income must not be more than $2,401 for the month.

A person who needs help and thinks they might qualify for Township Assistance first should come to our office. To avoid long lines, we have set up what we call “Letter Days.” If your last name begins with A-F, you should come in before 9 a.m. on Mondays. Those whose last names are G-L should come in before 9 a.m. Tuesdays, M-R before 9 a.m. Wednesdays and S-Z before 9 a.m. Thursdays. “Letter Days” do not apply if you are requesting medical, food or burial assistance, but you still should be here before 9 a.m.

When you come in on your “Letter Day,” an intake will conducted. You then will be given an appointment date in the very near future. At that appointment, you will be required to bring in information such as verification of your income and paid bill receipts. You will be told at your intake exactly what information needs to be provided.

We also offer another very important program, our Payee Program. This program works with clients who are unable to manage their money without help. Most payee clients are Social Security Disability recipients for whom we act as Representative Payees.

Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee