When Arline moved into her neighborhood, she looked around and realized there was room for much improvement. Instead of hoping someone else would initiate change, she decided to take matters into her own hands and seek solutions instead. After becoming the Association President of her historic Fort Wayne neighborhood, Arline implemented one small change after another. It didn’t take long for reality to sink in: her solutions were actually making a difference.
Inspired by success, she moved on to bigger, more complicated issues. After assuming many of them were rooted in a few years’ worth of neglect, Arline soon learned a more distressing truth: many of the issues plaguing her neighborhood were deeply-rooted systemic issues stretching as far back as a hundred years or more. Each was overly complex and deserved sustainable solutions. But where does one begin on such a complicated journey of change?
Every community across Fort Wayne has a similar story to be told. That’s why we work alongside many neighborhoods to find lasting solutions to complex problems. This year, we have partnered with Hoagland Masterson and Foster Park neighborhoods to initiate sidewalk repairs, porch repairs, exterior painting projects, concrete step replacements, and other significant home improvements as part of a HIP Grant program.
Because of the commitment from donors like you, we will have many more opportunities to positively impact other neighborhoods across Fort Wayne. Without the partnership of our community and volunteers like you, the solutions to many of these complex problems will continue unresolved.
Naomi heard a faint dripping sound inside her house and traced its origin to the roof. It was frustrating but she didn’t have time to dwell on it— she was a single mom with lots of difficult situations to juggle and the minor dripping only made her busy life more complex.
Seasons passed. Before she knew it, the wet spots around the house had multiplied in mysterious ways. She dreaded the rain and the snow, prayed for sunny days and bright, clear skies. The situation got so bad that some rooms became unusable. All she could do was pour love into her children and empty the rainwater buckets as each became full. Ten years passed in such a way with no hope for a better tomorrow.
When we heard Naomi’s story though the advocacy of her neighbors, we knew we wanted to help. With a housing situation as complex as hers, we knew we couldn’t do it on our own. In a stunning act of kindness, and thanks in part to a Community Development Block Grant from the City of Fort Wayne, nearly 70 of Naomi’s neighbors responded in her complicated time of need to provide a brand new roof for the self-sacrificing mother of five. Not only did they raise $7500 for her complex project, but they raised it in less than nine hours, without warning, on a random Friday in July. This project was over $12,000 in total cost.
Without their partnership, a transformational act of kindness like this would be impossible to navigate on our own. With the continued support of donors like you, NeighborLink will be able to step into many more complex situations just like this and make significant, long-lasting change for neighbors that we care about.
Art has always loved the outdoors. As a child, his favorite pastime was traveling across the country with his father, taking in the sights at each new destination. Among his favorites were the dense forests and pristine lakes of the untamed wilderness up north. For hours he would sit and revel in their beauty, immersed in the colors and the views all around him.
He has not forgotten those sights, for most still occupy his dreams. After a failed operation claimed his eyesight a few years ago, Art quickly found himself trapped within a darkness that relegated all color to memory. After a lifetime of fearless optimism, he found it difficult to sever his connection with color and the beauty of the world around him.
Suddenly, tasks that had always been simple for Art were overly complex, if not impossible. It did not take long to understand that help was needed; especially since there was household work to get done and no one to do it. That was when he called NeighborLink. What started as a single household project soon became two, then three, and quite a few more. Before he knew it, a connection had formed between Art and the devoted volunteers who regularly made time to assist him in his complex time of need. Soon enough, the connection the men shared was more than just a passing acquaintance. It had become a brotherhood of sorts; a colorful friendship that was unexpected and irreplaceable.
Without the support of donors like you, the connections that many neighbors find through NeighborLink would be too complex to ever happen. Because of your generous support, we can help initiate even more connections than ever before in the months and years ahead.