Wayne Township Trustee Office Building

Mon-Thurs 8-4, Fri 8-12

My Vision

Trustee at his desk

By Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.,

Wayne Township Trustee

As a staff member several years ago of the Allen County Economic Opportunity Council (now known as Brightpoint), I learned firsthand how devastating and overwhelming poverty can be. Poverty damages families, children, marriages and our community.

In Wayne Township, seventeen percent of our citizens fall below the national poverty level. My vision as Wayne Township Trustee is to do everything I can to eradicate poverty in our Township.

Being poor means much more than just not having enough money to pay bills. Poverty encompasses everything from health care to child care to employment to self esteem. It involves not just having a job, but having a job that pays enough to support a family.  

In the past, Township Assistance meant little more than maintenance. Townships helped those in need with by making payments toward their basic needs—housing, utilities, food and medicine.

But our goals must be more profound and go beyond just meeting clients’ basic needs. During the time I have been in office, Wayne Township has changed its focus from making maintenance payments to finding ways to encourage our clients to seek improvement and growth.

We have established an Employment Training Center, which works with each client. We identify clients’ skills and assist them to eliminate barriers to finding employment. This might include helping clients’ get their GEDs, training clients in resume writing, providing clients’ with job skills and training and instilling in our clients the confidence they need to improve their situation.

We have met many challenges here at Wayne Township since I took office. Our depressed economy and high unemployment have significantly increased the need in our Township. We were and are faced with meeting this increased need with fewer tax dollars.

Yet my staff and I have been up to and even looked forward to the challenge. I have stressed to my staff that every person who enters our door should be treated with the utmost respect. We must do everything in our power to help our clients regain their self-sufficiency.  

Most importantly, we must find ways to generate hope in our clients. It is through a belief in ourselves, our maker, and our community at large that real progress can be made in helping everyone become a contributing member of our Township.