Whitley County, located in the north east corner of the state near Ft. Wayne, is home to approximately 33,000 residents. Columbia City is the largest city in the county. Of the 10,400 children under the age of 24,95% is white, 4% biracial, and 3% is latino. As of 2019, a quarter of the children in the county qualify for free or reduced lunch and 58% currently plan on enrolling in college.
Whitley County // By the Numbers
Our Grantee Partners
‘The Center’ conducts its own youth programs, and catalyzes partnerships with other youth-serving organizations and ministries to give young people opportunities to thrive regardless of background, personal struggles, obstacles, and support.
The Center for Whitley County Youth’s mission is to provide developmentally intentional connection and supports that help young people thrive. Connection happens in family-like environments with peers and adults where young people feel a sense of belonging, care, challenge, and support in times of struggle. Supports fill gaps where young people lack basic and developmental needs, as well as opportunities for them grow in skills, character, knowledge and experiences that help shape their ability to contribute to their own future and their community.
Arthur Dean Family Foundation Funding
- 2021: Core Operating/Unrestricted Funding, matching funds
- 2020: Core Operating/Unrestricted Funding, transportation support
To inspire philanthropy, enrich community, and serve donors by creating an enduring source of charitable assets.
CFWC is a public charity which exists to connect donors to projects that enhance Whitley County. As a Community Foundation, CFWC has the ability to pivot and address needs as they arise. A great example is their response to the COVID Pandemic. In mid-March of 2020, CFWC was able to offer $100,000 in rapid response grant making to the nonprofit organizations in Whitley County experiencing emergency needs such as food supplies or access to PPE. CFWC’s traditional grantmaking funds projects and programs in Education, Health & Human Services, Recreation, Community Development and the Arts. CFWC runs several fund-related programs but one of their most prized efforts is their youth philanthropy program, ‘HANDS’, which has been in place for 22 years and offers students the opportunity to learn leadership and grantmaking skills. Most recently, CFWC’s work has been leadership-centered and worked to collaborate with government agencies, elected officials, and non-profits to address several issues challenging the Whitley County community. The Next Level Whitley County project seeks to address trauma in youth, mental health barriers impacting families, and workforce and vocational opportunities for justice-involved citizens – providing meaningful solutions for one of the state’s highest recidivism rates. Over the past three years this work has led to the establishment of the Whitko Career Academy, jumpstarted community centers in the most troubled areas of Whitley County and secured funding to purchase three multi-unit buildings for transitional housing as individuals seek to re-enter society after homelessness or incarceration. In 2020, CFWC awarded about $300,000 in unrestricted grants and when scholarships and restricted gifts were added, our grants totaled almost $1.6 million dollars.
Previous Arthur Dean Family Foundation Funding
- 2021: Core Operations/Unrestricted Funding
- 2020: Capital Support, ‘HANDS’ Youth Philanthropy Program
To provide shelter to the homeless, to assist them in obtaining and keeping a job, to provide classes on budgeting, self-sufficiency, nutrition, parenting, and self-esteem to enable clients to become fully functioning members of the community.
Mission 25 provides the following programs and services to meet their mission of providing a pathway for recovery, prevention and transition, as well as meeting their vision to foster long-term success for those served:
- Shelter Services – A Transitional Shelter certified as a Level III Recovery Residence being a 32-bed facility serving single men, women and single moms and their children. Within shelter services, Mission 25 provides case management, financial case management, child case management, employment case management, and therapeutic services through individual counseling and groups. Everything within shelter services is developed per the individual, allowing Mission 25 to develop individualized pathway goals which are evaluated weekly and new pathway goals are developed every 3 months. Priority Areas Are: Recovery, Prevention and Transition
- Outreach Case Management – Mission 25 provides outreach case management with those who complete Mission 25 shelter services. Case managers work with the individual on pathway goals, their budgeting, recovery, financial stability and their continued self-sufficiency. Priority Areas Are: Recovery and Prevention
- Miami Village Community Center (MVCC) – Mission 25’s outreach location within the Miami Village Mobile Home Park – feet on the ground in one of the communities within the county with the highest rate of criminal activity, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. Currently, MVCC provides out-of-school programming for school age children who live within the mobile home park. The Mission 25 team works to develop trusting and impactful relationships with those who live in the mobile home park. Priority Areas Are: Recovery and Prevention
- Supportive Housing – Mission 25 owns 3 properties within Whitley County to allow for supportive housing when completing Mission 25 programming (a sixplex, triplex and a quad – 13 individual units total). This is a new program for Mission 25. Having supportive housing will allow for Mission 25 to journey with individuals in their pathway of stability and economic self-sufficiency with staff providing ongoing case management to ensure employment and financial stability remains a priority, along with their mental wellness and recovery journey. Priority Areas Are: Recovery, Prevention and Transition.
Arthur Dean Family Foundation Funding
- 2021: Support for a second year of youth development and out-of-school time educational services and two-generation programming at Miami Village Community Center
- 2020: Support for the launch of the Miami Village Community Center
To provide the youth with the tools and education necessary to succeed. TROY would like to see all of the youth in the community receive an education.
TROY School is an accredited independent alternative school helping students gain an education and earn a diploma at their own pace. They believe that regardless of past behavior or current circumstances, everyone deserves the opportunity for an education. Students come to TROY for a variety of reasons but all students find themselves there because they have not been successful in a traditional school environment. What TROY offers students are small class sizes (typically a student to teacher ratio of 7:1), more 1:1 attention, a strong focus on building relationships between staff and students, on-site mental health counseling, a focus on trauma-informed care throughout all classrooms, and working individually with students to help them not only meet their academic needs but also challenges they may be facing in life outside of our building.
Arthur Dean Family Foundation Funding
- 2021: Mental Health Counseling & Case Management Services Support
- 2020: Mental Health Counseling Support