A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Erlanger’s E-Angel program delivers hope, services to needy, created by social services coordinator

By Pat Crowley
City of Erlanger

The delivery of a hot meal. Giving an elderly woman the ability to hear. Providing a bus ticket home and a warm place to stay. Stuffed animals, coloring books and balloons for children who are injured, suffering loss or in a difficult or traumatic situation.

Those are all instances of how the E-Angel program delivered a little bit of heaven to the City of Erlanger last year.

Launched in 2020, Erlanger Police Social Services Coordinator Becky Strouse created the E-Angel Program to rely solely on private donations to provide essential services to individuals and families to help them achieve sustainability. The program, which raised more than $5,500 last year, intentionally focuses on supporting individuals that otherwise would not be able to obtain other sources of support.

Becky Strouse

Strouse said she created the program to ensure that when all other resources were exhausted that an individual or family was not turned away.

“Northern Kentucky has a lot of resources to help with families and individuals in crisis,” Strouse said. “I am able to utilize those resources for most families, however it is that family that doesn’t meet the income guidelines, the family that is in need at 3 a.m. that I wanted to make sure didn’t fall through the cracks.”
The program received donations from private organizations, businesses, local churches, and private citizens. From those donations in 2021, the program was able to assist 59 families and or individuals. Sixty-two percent of the donations were to assist with housing; 17 percent for miscellaneous needs; 15 percent was utilized for grocery assistance; five percent was used for Christmas assistance; and one percent went to transportation assistance.

“There are always going to be vulnerable citizens in our community in need of a helping hand in areas that most of us take for granted – nutrition, education, mental and medical health, daily living, housing, and employment,” said Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette. “The E-Angel provides the support that helps meet the everyday needs of adults, children, and families in Erlanger while enhancing pride, functionality and integrity in our city.”

Following are some specific examples of services and kindness that the E-Angel Program was able to provide last year:
• A child who was involved in a serious accident was in the hospital for a long period and three other siblings were at home. E-Angel provided a Grub Hub gift card to help with delivery of meals to the family during that difficult time.
• An elderly woman could not make medical appointments for herself due to hearing loss. She had insurance but did not have the money for a co-pay for the hearing aids. E-Angel paid the co-pay for her hearing aids so she could live self-sufficiently.

• E-Angel purchased stuffed police bears for Erlanger police officers to provide at scenes where a child may be present and in need of extra care.

• E-Angel purchased books for children experiencing the death of a loved one by suicide and by overdose. The trauma books help young children better understand the difficult situation.

• E-Angel purchased stuffed animals and balloons for two children in the hospital after a severe car accident that left both of their parents deceased.

• E-Angel purchased a Greyhound bus ticket for a victim of a kidnapping that was brought to Kentucky from Indiana. Police were able to apprehend a suspect in the kidnapping, but the victim had no way to return home until E-Angel provided help.

• During the pandemic, when children were at home using computers and listening to live classrooms, many reported having trouble concentrating on what was a new way of learning. E-Angel purchased multiple headphones for several families experiencing the issue.

• An elderly veteran and disabled adult daughter’s home was condemned. E-Angel was able to provide a hotel immediately and until services were put in place and the was relocated.

“The program has been uniquely successful and the only way to continue that is through more donations from businesses and individuals, no city funds are used for this project, 100 percent donations,” Strouse said. 
To donate to the E-Angel Program, contact Police Social Service Coordinator, Becky Strouse at rebecca.strouse@erlangerpd.com or 859-727-7968. 

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