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City Announces New Initiative to Offset Funeral Costs for Homicide Victims

Mayor Tom Henry announces the new United Response initiative as part of Fort Wayne UNITED at a press conference in Citizen Square on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Fort Wayne United announced a new initiative today that will provide stipends to families of homicide victims to help them pay for burials.


United Response is an expansion of Fort Wayne UNITED’s Meals 4 Healing program, which was created to help serve families who’ve lost loved ones to homicide.

The new program looks at the financial cost of losing a loved one to a sudden act of violence and looks to offset those costs in order to help begin the grieving process.

Lewis King the TenPoint Coalition Coordinator as a part of Fort Wayne UNITED. He says, working with someone who lost their whole family to homicide earlier this year, he was able to help get her the resources she needed.

“What she had said to me was, it was a financial burden. She didn’t know which way to go, how to respond. Her world started to close in.”

It prompted UNITED to reach out to the community to help her pay for the costs of burial and began the planning to create United Response.

United Response is being supported by several churches in the Fort Wayne area, but it also asks the community to donate to support the costs for families dealing with these tragedies.


To donate to the United Response fund, visit https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/fort-wayne-united-our-programs.html


Fort Wayne UNITED is a mayoral initiative to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and create a safer city, especially for young black men and boys.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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