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Specialized Solutions in Fort Wayne Raises Money for Homeless Veterans

In 2023, a small group of 10 CRST team members from the Specialized Solutions business unit formed the Fort Wayne CRST Cares Ambassadors, a team on a mission to support their local community. There was only one problem. They didn’t have an organization or cause identified.

Shortly after that, Mandy Locastro, CRST Recruiting Administrator, happened to catch the headline news. It was reported that the local homeless veterans’ shelter, Shepherd’s House of Fort Wayne, had recently lost its federal funding.

And just like that, they had the perfect plan.

“I contacted the Shepherd’s House immediately and talked with them about the kind of support they needed,” said Locastro. “That’s when we got to work.”

Planning kicked into high gear with several fundraising activities planned over the Memorial Day holiday – the perfect time to support our veterans. For the entire month of May, the CRST Cares Ambassadors collected snacks, t-shirts, pillows, socks, towels, and other essential items needed by the organization. In addition, CRST held several raffles to raise $2,249 for the Shepherd’s House – which qualifies for a match grant to the organization.

“We have all heard the phrase “it takes a village” when it comes to supporting others. This is an incredible organization that does so much to support our veterans, who did so much for our country. We were proud to throw our support behind them,” said Steve Wise, Principal Operational Excellence, and Continuous Improvement Manager in Specialized Solutions.

To top off the holiday, the CRST Cares Ambassadors organized a cookout that brought together CRST employees and several homeless veterans, allowing CRST to personally thank them for their dedicated service.

Tracey Barr, Director of Veteran Outreach at Shephard’s House, said CRST’s support could not have come at a better time. “Through our program, veterans have access to on-site case management, counseling, therapy, and classes to put their lives back together in preparation for returning to their community independent, sober, and self-sufficient,” said Barr.

“The in-kind donations CRST collected for our Veterans are all staples that are needed for the operations of Shepherd’s House and for the Veterans personally. Shepherd’s House cannot say enough good things about CRST and their help sustain the mission of the Shepherd’s House now and into our future.”

To learn more about the CRST Cares program, visit our website at

To learn more about the CRST Veteran Career program, visit our website at