Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
August 2016 issue

 

COMMUNITY IMPACT

CAPWI Staff & Students Build Habitat for Humanity Home for Family of Three

Area IV Organizational Payee Program Helps Client Regain Independence After Life-Changing Accident

NEWS

CAPWI Employee & JAG Indiana Earn Top Honors at 36th National Training Seminar

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CAPWI Staff & Students Build Habitat for Humanity Home for Family of Three

Women Build is Habitat for Humanity’s program for women who want to learn construction skills while building homes and communities. Habitat for Humanity organizes the program each year as a way to recruit, educate and inspire women to build – and advocate for – simple, decent and affordable housing. The program brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide.

Deb Provo, staff member of Community Action Program, Inc., of Western Indiana (CAPWI), recruited a team of 12 women to participate in a local Women Build and fundraising project. Five of those women were high school students from CAPWI’s Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program. This project provided a great opportunity for the students to give back while building skills for their future. The Women Build house will be completely funded and constructed by teams of women from the local community.

The home that Deb and her team built is for a family of three — Summer Oaks and her two children, Kayelynn and Kade (pictured on right). Summer currently works at Meijer as a full-time cake decorator. Her daughter, Kayelynn, is 7 years old and likes gymnastics, math class, dancing and riding her bike. Her son, Kade, is a blue-eyed, red-haired toddler with a big smile. He likes to push around things like strollers and toy trucks. 

Summer’s long-term goals include providing a stable home for herself and her children, becoming financially stable and then going back to school to study early childhood education. 

The CAPWI staff is very proud of the effort Deb, her team and the JAG students have put forth in getting the job done. Keep up the great work, ladies!

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Area IV Organizational Payee Program Helps Client Regain Independence After Life-Changing Accident

When you speak with William J. Bucy (pictured on right), the first thing he’ll often say is, “Call me Joe.” He’s that typical, 50-year-old man you might pass at the grocery store or walking down the street. He’s clean-cut, quiet and well-mannered. From looking at him, you’d never be able to tell the struggles he’s been working to overcome.

Joe used to be a carpenter and painter by trade and made a decent living. While he can’t recall everything from his life at that time, he does remember the simple joy of the work he did and the incident that changed it all.

One Tuesday, Joe was painting the outside of a building. He was on a ladder, finishing the soffit, when his world changed forever. A car backed into his ladder, and he was thrown backward. He recalls being shocked by the jolt of the ladder and reaching for a nearby power line, out of instinct, to brace himself. His reach fell short, and finding no support there, he plummeted to the pavement below.

The crash was loud and the impact louder.

While his bones mended and his bruises healed, a fog settled into Joe’s head that he couldn’t seem to shake. He struggled remembering facts, names and faces. He couldn’t recall pieces of what he had done last year or even moments before. He felt out of control and angry, and those who were close to him felt that too. Joe got divorced and shifted living from one place to the next. For a short time, he lived with his brother, who had become his legal guardian. However, as Joe recounts living in his brother’s basement, he remembers feeling insignificant and how the situation only exacerbated his stress, while driving a wedge in his relationship with his brother.

Joe eventually found his way to Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs, and he was connected to the Organizational Payee Program. The Organizational Payee Program helps clients like Joe, who receive a Social Security benefit, manage that money when they are unable to do so themselves.

Through a partnership with the Social Security Administration, Area IV arranged a dedicated account for Joe where his award benefit is deposited. Joe received a detailed budget plan with a specific tracking and savings method that includes recurring reminders to help alleviate stress and worry.

With his rent, utilities and expenses arranged directly through the Organizational Payee Program, Joe pays his expenses on time, every time. He receives checks on a weekly basis for groceries and other expenses, which allow him to manage his money more easily and have it available when he needs it. If he forgets, Joe can always call to find out when a check has been sent or cashed, if a bill has been paid, if he has enough saved for extra expenses or whatever else comes to mind.

The Organizational Payee Program provides monitoring of his account, and the staff inform him when his expenses shift. If needed, they guide him through the process of getting assistance through housing subsidies, SNAP assistance and energy assistance. The program also includes assistance with medical debt forgiveness and keeping connected with Medicaid. In short, the Organizational Payee Program helps clients remain as independent as possible, while diffusing stress between clients and their other family members.

Just ask Joe, and he’ll tell you. He is now living happily in an apartment on the south side of Lafayette, where he knows most of his neighbors and seems to be making good friends. He reports that his family relationships are on the mend. While there are still those moments when he loses track of his thoughts and struggles to remember things, he knows for certain is that he is thankful for the help of the Area IV Organizational Payee Program.

 

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CAPWI Employee & JAG Indiana Earn Top Honors at 36th National Training Seminar

Indiana was a standout state at the recent Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) 36th National Training Seminar, held July 13-15 in Orlando, Fla. Indiana JAG specialists and support staff from the state's 12 economic growth regions were among those recognized at the event, including CAPWI employee Christine Shaffer (pictured on right), who was awarded “Outstanding JAG Specialist of the Year.”

Indiana JAG’s specialists and support staff were recognized for their efforts in increasing graduation rates, post-secondary education and employment placements.

Indiana’s statewide recognitions at the event included:
5 of 5 Award – Indiana received this highest national honor for the second consecutive year. The award is given to exemplary state JAG programs that surpass national program goals for graduation rates, employment, positive outcomes and full-time placement. Additionally, 55 individual JAG schools and 11 of Indiana’s 12 economic growth regions received local and regional “5 of 5” Awards. 
Peak Performance Award – JAG Indiana won this award for having outstanding participation and group performance rates while serving at-risk students in the dropout recovery and alternative education models.
Most Scholarships Secured – Indiana was recognized for the fourth year in a row with the most scholarships secured. JAG students earned more than $21 million to assist with their post-secondary educational pursuits. 

About JAG
JAG is a state-based, national not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing young, at-risk students from dropping out of school, with 110 programs active in Indiana. Students receive adult mentoring from a JAG specialist while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation. Indiana’s program graduates more than 94 percent of participants, and many students choose to continue their education after high school. More than 15,000 students have participated in Indiana’s JAG program since 2006.

Congratulations to our Employment and Training Division associates and to Christine for their outstanding performance!

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