Helping families of homicide victims by providing meals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne UNITED and local churches are doing what they can to help families of homicide victims. Something as simple as providing a meal can do a lot of good.

Two years ago, Leroy Allison’s 17-year-old daughter Alonna was shot and killed at a party. “Rival gangs got together and just started shooting and she just happened to be there and got shot.”

With the stress and heartache that came in the weeks to follow, planning what’s for dinner was not on the agenda. “That was the farthest thing from my mind but I had a good support system. People brought food over and, like I said, that’s something that you very seldom think about.”

That’s exactly why Fort Wayne UNITED and Mayor Tom Henry have launched Meals 4 Healing. It’s an initiative through UNITED’s clergy subcommittee to provide hot meals to families of homicide victims for seven days and deliver them to to their homes. “When they asked me about it, I thought about it I said that is something, that’s a wonderful idea. Hopefully we don’t have to use it a lot but if we do families know that’s one less think they have to really think about,” Allison said.

Eight churches have joined the initiative and will help with victim assistance along with the police department. Parkview Health is also a partner.

“To see all these different agencies and organizations come together to provide a service that’s unfortunately needed, the fact that they were able to do that, speaks volumes,” Mayor Tom Henry said.

Eight families have already received meals in practice runs and NewsChannel 15 was told told it went well and there are just a few kinks to work out. There’s no end set up for the program but the hope is it doesn’t become the regular.

“It’s never going to be enough. It’s never going to be anything that we can do to bring that family member back or to help with grieving but we just wanted to do what we can do,” Iric Headley said.

Fort Wayne UNITED is working on gathering data and facts for their next plans.