Rescue Mission launching campaign to address panhandling, homelessness

| June 27, 2014
The Rev. Donovan Coley

The Rev. Donovan Coley

FORT WAYNE—On June 28, The Rescue Mission will launch an initiative aimed at addressing panhandling and homelessness during the 5th Annual South Side Fest.

Panhandling and homelessness are serious issues in many urban areas, and Fort Wayne is no exception.

“Seeing someone holding a cardboard sign on the street makes us feel uncomfortable. Do we avoid eye contact? Give a dollar not knowing where it will go? Buy a cup of coffee to keep away the guilt? People want to help but they don’t know how. Real Change is about rallying our city behind a better solution, both for the needy and for those who want to help,” said Donovan Coley, CEO of The Rescue Mission.

“Real Change, Not Spare Change” is an initiative designed to help the community find positive ways to help the homeless and others in need without enabling. The goal is to create awareness in the community about how to effectively encourage true change in the lives of our neighbors in need.

“Fort Wayne has so many resources. We’re taking a collaborative approach with other agencies to deal with a very complicated problem. We believe that no matter the need, we can meet it when we work together. By connecting people with the tools needed to rebuild their lives, we hope to prevent panhandling in our community,” says Richard Cummins, the Mission’s chief development officer.

The South Side Fest is scheduled to take place from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.,  June 28, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Ivy Tech South Campus/Public Safety Academy (7602 Patriot Crossing). The fest attracts a diverse crowd of people from the surrounding area and serves as a family-friendly day of celebration and recognition of the positive things happening on the city’s south side.

For more information, visit or contact Richard Cummins at (260) 426-7357 ext 138.

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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