We have had a harsh winter so far with the snow, cold, flooding and ice. I know some of you in Waynedale had to deal with flooding, and I hope you are doing better now.
Last issue, I told you about the Wayne Township employment program I have started to help our clients move from "Assistance to Independence." I am happy to report that we had some very impressive results in January.
My staff was successful in finding jobs for 21 assistance clients last month. This is phenomenal, especially since January is a month when most employers, particularly in the retail sector, are not hiring and may be laying off workers not needed after the Christmas season.
The jobs we found for clients in January saved over $20,000 in assistance payments, as well as empowering our clients to provide a better life for themselves and their families.
I am always mindful of our dual roles here at the Township to help and advocate for the poor and to be a guardian of the taxpayer's money. The best way to meet both goals is to help clients find jobs so they will no longer need township assistance.
One of my favorite sayings is that we at the Wayne Township Trustee's Office want to give clients, "A hand up, rather than a hand out." We are doing that with our employment program.
I am so proud of our Deputy Trustee LeRoy Page and the others on my staff, who have been working so hard to make our employment program a success. Deputy Page recently made a presentation to the Southeast Area Neighborhood Partnership about the employment program, and we hope to make similar presentations to groups in the Waynedale area soon.
I also would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge two organizations which have been assisting in our employment program. The Educational Opportunity Center has been providing career assessments, GED classes, resume help and many other services for our clients. Waymon Brown III, of Waymon Brown and Associates, has presented training for those in the employment program entitled, "Thinking Errors, Substance Abuse and Violence."
As part of an ongoing training for our Wayne Township staff, we invite outside speakers to our office twice a month. These speakers inform our staff about various opportunities available in the community that could help our clients.
One of our speakers this month was Cathy Edwards from the Brenda Hanchar Foundation. The Hanchar Foundation provides medical equipment, medical supplies and prescription medication to persons who cannot afford to pay for these things themselves.
The Hanchar Foundation has very close ties to Waynedale. Brenda Hanchar was a nurse from Waynedale who died of cancer in 2003. Her husband, Tom Hanchar, honored his wife by starting a foundation in her name to help others.
We were thankful for the informative presentation made to our staff by Ms. Edwards.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee