Courtesy of YWCA of Northest Indiana
FORT WAYNE—Next Sunday, April 27, at Headwaters Park, our community will come together for Walking Home (formerly known as Homeward Bound), an event to support agencies that provide support for those in our area who happen to be homeless.
The day will begin at 12:00 pm with registration, food, and fun. At 12:30 pm, local artists will take the stage to provide entertainment until 1:30 pm, when Mayor Henry will read a proclamation regarding homelessness in and around Fort Wayne. Then, at 2:00 pm, the 3.5K walk will begin, taking participants on a beautiful path through downtown Fort Wayne.
Those interested in participating in this event should visit www.walking-home.com to register. Participants can choose to join an existing walk team, start their own walk team, or walk independently. Those starting their own walk team can find recruitment materials on the site. Additionally, if an individual does not wish to walk, but would like to support the cause, they may also make a donation at the aforementioned website.
Walking Home was formerly known as “Homeward Bound.” This particular fundraiser has been in town since 2001 and has raised on average $50,000 a year to aid in helping the homeless. Each year, 300 or more people come out to not only support the agencies involved, but also learn about the reality for the homeless living among us.
In 2013, all the agencies involved decided to keep everything about this event local to this part of our state. Because of this decision, this annual fundraiser has taken on a new name and look. Despite these changes, however, the purpose of the event has remained the same; namely, to bring more awareness about homelessness in our area and raise funds for local agencies involved in addressing the needs of that population. Examples of what these funds may support include, but are not limited to, shelter, food, clothing, emergency assistance (basic needs), case management, advocacy, and transportation.
The common thought may be that homeless individuals and families are those we may see living under bridges or tucked away in some corner of a park. Even though this is true, the reality is that homelessness comes in various forms. Everything from families living in hotels to individuals living with families or friends to people staying in homeless shelters, transitional living facilities or even staying in their vehicles—all of these circumstances qualify as being homeless.
In Fort Wayne and the surrounding area, we can find all of these types of situations. The good news is, each of the agencies who participate in Walking Home (and others who are not involved) work hard to help end this reality.