Noblesville Township Trustee Office Provides Hope and Help for Those in Need

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Theresa Caldwell, the elected trustee for the Noblesville Township Trustee Office, says the township needs more assistance to help those in need. Noblesville Township Trustee Office

“Many people do not know what we do or that we even exist,” Caldwell says. “When COVID hit, many community opportunities just stopped. Now organizations are having events again, so we are trying to participate in those events and talk with community groups. For instance, Prevail, Inc., an organization that strives to empower victims of crime and abuse on their path to healing, held a Trunk or Treat event around Halloween, so we participated in that. I also have met individually with people at Ivy Tech and WorkOne to see how we can help each other. We also participated in the farmers market this summer and passed out information on the services our office offers.”

Caldwell says from January through March, the Noblesville Township Trustee Office saw a lot of people with increases in their rent.

“Most of these people saw a 400-500% increase,” she says. “In some cases rent doubled for people. That is a pretty big increase for area residents to manage. In June and July we served a lot of people that were facing eviction. With the increase of rent, gas, groceries and utility bills, many people started struggling.”

Caldwell says they do get help from other organizations.

“The Boys & Girls Club has helped us fill our food pantry with their fundraiser for many years,” Caldwell says. “Our food pantry is filled with donations, so we rely on them to help us. Our food pantry day is on Tuesdays but if someone needs food on another day, we always give them food.”

Keeping the pantry filled is a major concern according to Caldwell.

Noblesville Township Trustee Office“Our food pantry got extremely low this year so we have had to reach out to the community to do food drives,” Caldwell says. “The Boys & Girls Club will buy things like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, and basically things you cannot buy with food stamps.”

Caldwell adds that the help they receive from outside organizations is very valuable.

“We also provide food to people who come in for rental or utility assistance,” she says. “We always ask if they need a bag of food, and then give them a list of area food pantries. We also serve a lot of people who walk in. They do not have transportation. Since we are located downtown, we are close to people that walk. We appreciate the kids that put in the hard work at the Boys & Girls Club to fill our pantry. The items that they give us supply us for at least two to three months.”

The number of people in need has been continually growing.

“Because we have had an increase in township assistance, we have had an increase in people needing food,” Caldwell says. “The Boys & Girls Club is the biggest fundraiser for us and our food pantry. We also receive food from Harvest Food Bank, but we need the Stuff the Bus program to help us add to that. Stuff the Bus is the only way that we typically get diapers, toilet paper, etcetera. Over the past few years we really haven’t had to do many food drives. Stuff the Bus has always helped us but this year the need has been greater, and not only do we need Stuff the Bus, but we have done some food drives as well.”

Caldwell says Stuff the Bus has become an annual tradition.

“Stuff the Bus has always happened at Thanksgiving,” Caldwell says. “The Boys & Girls Club drove the bus in the Christmas parade that took place on Thanksgiving weekend. Not only could you buy a seat to fill on the bus, but chain stores like Walmart could donate money and have their name displayed on the outside of the bus. The parade was a way for sponsors to get recognition, and it was fun for the kids to be in the parade. Then they would bring the food to our office to unload and fill our pantry.”

Caldwell notes that social service agencies are a big help.

“We try to partner with other social service agencies in the area to make sure our clients are getting all the services they need,”Noblesville Township Trustee Office Caldwell says. “Agencies like Shepherd’s Center, St. Vincent DePaul, Good Samaritan, Family Promise, Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels are all agencies that help us make sure a client receives everything they need.  For example, Shepherd’s Center serves people aged 55 and over, so we have referred people to them in need of home repairs or help navigating Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. Since we are a government agency, we have rules to follow, so sometimes we may not be able to help someone due to those rules. We then rely on other agencies to possibly help us out. We have a great community of social service agencies and we appreciate everything they do for our office.”

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