Column: How townships can help


Commentary by Danielle Carey Tolan

Many people aren’t aware that they live within a township. Township is a local government entity overseen by an elected trustee, and one responsibility of ours is to provide emergency financial support to residents facing challenging situations. During this current COVID-19 crisis, we are tasked with ensuring that residents who are facing related loss of income are provided with assistance, guidance and resources.

We know it’s not always easy to ask for help. What we want to impress upon you is that reaching out to the township, a food pantry or even to a friend in a time of need is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Strength to say you don’t have all the answers. Strength to say that you will do whatever is necessary to provide for yourself and your family. Strength to trust the community is doing the right thing to protect you. It takes courage and integrity in putting your welfare above all else.

Trustees are the first line for assistance. We have strong relationships with all the county service providers and work together to ensure our community members are taken care of. Whether you need help with your rent, putting dinner on your table, transportation to an appointment or needing crisis services, the township trustees have the resources to assist you.

When you reach out to your local township trustee, you will be asked to complete a short application and to provide some documentation. The staff may be able to help with your basic necessities or will refer you to the appropriate organization to get the support you need.

If you need assistance and don’t know where to turn, reach out to your township trustee. Find out which township you live in at

Danielle Carey Tolan is the Westfield Washington Township trustee and president of the Hamilton County Trustees Association.


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