A local homeless agency needs help paying utility bills.
Sylvia Winston opened Premier Palace in 2007 after seeing a woman on the street living in a box. “That was what opened my heart up to start a women and children’s shelter,” she said.
Since then she has opened two other houses to shelter the homeless. Her shelters on Williams and Masterson streets are for women and children; a shelter on Bowser is for men. The women’s shelters house 25 women and children; the men’s shelter can house about 10.
Winston has relied on donations to help pay expenses, and goes to Community Harvest Food Bank for food.
She also pays expenses out of her own pocket. “That’s why I’m running into problems,” she said. The donations aren’t coming in as they once were, and utility bills are high.
Premier Palace often takes in people who are just getting out of prison or jail. Sometimes other shelters call her when they are full.
The Fort Wayne Police Department also contacts Winston when officers find homeless people on the street. Officer Scott Tegtmeyer said when police call, Winston is always willing to help.