Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
November/December 2016 issue



Lincoln Hills Development Corporation Offers Fulton Hill Property for Auction

CAPWI to Offer Smoke-free Housing Training Workshop on Nov. 15

TRI-CAP Program Director Spearheads Safe Medication-Disposal Events


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Representative Visits IN-CAA

IN-CAA Thanks Todd Lare for 11 Years of Service

New Census Data & Resources Available to Inform Community Action Agencies


CAPWI Community Collaboration Brings Food Co-op to Benton County

Area IV’s Community Partnerships Expand Resources Available to Clients

Brightpoint’s Energy Assistance Program Inspires Hugs and Thankfulness

Submission information


Pictured Above & Below: The Fulton Hill Community Center rests next to the Ohio River in Troy, Ind. Interested buyers can attend an open house on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Lincoln Hills Development Corporation Offers
Fulton Hill Property for Auction

Open house to be held Sunday, Nov. 20

Lincoln Hills Development Corporation (LHDC) has contacted Dixon & Dixon Auction Services to sell the Fulton Hill Community Center property in Troy, Ind. The property, described as having “a million-dollar view of the Ohio River,” will be auctioned in five tracts using the multi-parcel method.

An open house will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, from 1 to 3 p.m. (CST), and the auction is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at 10 a.m. (CST).

Property descriptions (view photos here):
Tract 1 – Features a mostly wooded lot, covering approximately 3.5 acres with a small pond and a large view of the river.
Tract 2 – Includes the main Fulton Hill Community Center building with more than 8,000 square feet, with approximately 1,800 square feet of deck. Has the best view of the river and includes two large parking areas, a large shelter and a lighted, paved driveway.
Tract 3 – Includes five city lots with a brick home, making it a private place to live. 
Tract 4 – Includes five city lots with plenty of room for a home, pole barn or storage.  
Tract 5 – Covers seven multi-level lots with some flat ground.

Want to learn more?
Contact Dixon & Dixon Auction Services at (812) 547-3721 for more information. Property details are available at

    { return to top }

CAPWI to Offer a Smoke-Free Housing Training Workshop on Nov. 15

Smoke-free housing is growing in popularity across the country. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has strongly encouraged Public Housing Agencies to adopt smoke-free buildings to protect the health of residents, and it now urges federally assisted multi-family property owners to go smoke-free as well. HUD is expected to finalize a ruling regarding smoke-free housing by the end of 2016.

Register now for the Nov. 15 training workshop!
As a result of the expected ruling, Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana (CAPWI) will offer a training workshop on smoke-free housing on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Community Action Program office in Covington, Ind.

The workshop will be targeted toward landlords and managers of multi-unit housing complexes in Benton, Montgomery, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion and Warren counties. It will provide information about the pending HUD ruling, the many benefits of smoke-free housing, as well as the steps in developing, implementing and maintaining smoke-free housing. The workshop will be facilitated by Smoke-free Housing Indiana, which is made up of the American Lung Association in Indiana and the Indiana State Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission.

For more information about the workshop and/or to register to attend, please contact Kathy Walker at (765) 793-4881 or email All services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry or status as a veteran.

What are the benefits of smoke-free housing?

It reduces fires caused by smoking. In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 17,600 smoking-material home structure fires that resulted in 490 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries and $516 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Statistics show that 25 percent of people killed in smoking-related fires are not the actual smokers, with many being children of the smokers or elderly neighbors or friends.
It saves on property maintenance costs for cleaning and painting stained walls and ceilings, as well as repairing burn marks.
It protects your non-smoking residents from breathing secondhand smoke, which does not stay contained within individual apartments. Learn about the dangers of secondhand smoke (including higher risks for heart attacks, lung cancer, asthma and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS) from this U.S. Surgeon General report.

    { return to top }

TRI-CAP Program Director Spearheads
Safe Medication-Disposal Events

In the last 14 years, TRI-CAP has held bi-annual safe medication-disposal events that have resulted in nearly 5 tons of pharmaceuticals being collected and safely disposed of in Dubois County.

The events, spearheaded by TRI-CAP Retired Senior Volunteer Program Director Becky Beckman, are a county-wide effort to collect expired and unused medications, resulting in safer homes and cleaner water systems. 

The most recent disposal event was held on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Jasper, Indiana, State Police Post and the Ferdinand and Huntingburg fire stations, where 350 individuals deposited 344 pounds of pharmaceuticals.


    { return to top }

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Representative Visits IN-CAA

On Thursday, Oct. 20, representatives of the Indiana Community Action Agency network met with Jeannie Chaffin, director of the Office of Community Services within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The visit provided an opportunity for sharing thoughts on the current state of Community Action and brainstorming what the network can become.

Chaffin’s Office of Community Services works in partnership with states, tribes, territories and community-based organizations to provide services to people, families and communities in need, with the ultimate goal of helping them to achieve self-sufficiency.

Chaffin brings local, state and national-level experience in anti-poverty efforts to her appointment at ACF, including working for more than 20 years in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) network at both a state CSBG office and a local Community Action Agency. Learn more about Jeannie Chaffin’s work experience.   

Pictured above: Jeannie Chaffin (center, in cream-colored shirt) poses with members of the IN-CAA board of directors on Thursday, Oct. 20. In the photo, from left to right, are Ed Tipton, Myra Rennick, Ellen Zimmerman, Tamara Cunningham, Joyce Fleck, Jeannie Chaffin, Carole Barr, Elva James and Kevin Polivick.

    { return to top }

IN-CAA Thanks Todd Lare for 11 Years of Service

During IN-CAA's October executive director meeting, Tammy Cunningham, the vice president of the Indiana Community Action Association (IN-CAA), presented a token of appreciation to Todd Lare for his years of service before he stepped down from his position on Friday, Nov. 4, to start a new position. 

Todd served for 11 years as the executive director of the South Central Community Action Agency in Bloomington, Ind. During this period, Todd served as the board president for two years, as chair of the Public Policy Committee for four years and was actively engaged in the work of IN-CAA.

Todd has accepted a position at an Ohio-based company called Care Source, one of the nation's largest Medicaid managed care plans.

    { return to top }

New Census Data & Resources Available to Inform Community Action Agencies

Community Action Agencies can turn to the Indiana Institute for Working Families to help analyze what new Census data means for their clients and communities. State-level data from the recently-released 2015 U.S. Census American Community Survey shows improvements in Indiana's poverty rate and health insured rates that closely track national gains in 2015. But too many missed policy opportunities have left Indiana falling further behind other states, including dropping two spots relative to other states in both child poverty and median household incomes since 2014.


Indiana Poverty
• Indiana’s poverty rate dropped from 15.2% in 2014 to 14.5% in 2015, with 933,181 Hoosiers living in poverty.
• Poverty rates dropped most dramatically for black and Hispanic individuals:

o Black individuals = from 32% in 2014 to 28.4% in 2015
o Hispanic individuals = from 28.7% in 2014 to 27% in 2015
o White individuals = from 12.6% in 2014 to 12.2% in 2015

• Indiana's poverty rate is still above its 2007 (pre-recession) rate of 12.3%, suggesting that for the poorest Hoosiers, the state hasn't fully recovered from the recession.

Childhood and Elder Poverty
• More than 1 in 5 Hoosier children (20.9%) continue to live in poverty, as Indiana did not see a statistically significant decrease in its child poverty rate of 21.5% in 2014.
• The U.S. rate of childhood poverty dropped significantly from 21.7% in 2014 to 20.7% in 2015 and is now just below Indiana's rate.
• Indiana's ranking for the highest rate of elder poverty (age 65 and over) moved from 47 to 41 as the rate increased from 7% in 2014 to 7.2% in 2015.

Low-Income Households
• More than 1 in 3 Hoosiers continued to be low-income in 2015 (including those below the poverty line).
• 2,142,960 Hoosiers lived below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line (a basic measure of economic self-sufficiency) in 2015, down from 2,219,443 in 2014.

Rate of Insured
• A bright spot for Indiana was the continuing improvement in health insurance rates due to the state adopting Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act and the state's Healthy Indiana 2.0 program.
• In 2015, 90.4% of Hoosiers had health insurance, a significant increase from 88.1% in 2014 and nearly matching the national rate of 90.6%. Indiana's uninsured rates have also declined significantly to 9.6% in 2015 from 11.9% in 2014.
• Indiana's rate of uninsured children decreased from 7.2% in 2014 to 6.7% in 2015, unfortunately still well above the national rate of 4.8%.

The welcome news of lower poverty and increased income, combined with the reality that Indiana's gains trail the national average, points to the missed opportunities of Indiana's policymakers to raise incomes, improve job quality and support effective education and skills training.

Additional state Census data is available on the Institute’s blog. Community Action Agencies are encouraged to reach out to the Institute for help finding and analyzing data at the county, township or even ZIP code level that will help agencies better serve clients and communities.

    { return to top }

CAPWI Community Collaboration Brings Food Co-op to Benton County

Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana (CAPWI) in Benton County has partnered with three local churches to open a Community Food and Service Co-op in Oxford, Ind., just north of the Oxford Town Square.

The Community Food and Service Co-op will serve any eligible family that provides proof of receiving Medicaid, SNAP, WIC or Energy Assistance, along with proof of residing in the Benton Community School Corporation or Benton County. The Co-op gives individuals the ability to choose which products fit their needs and provide food and other resources for themselves and their families.

What’s the cost of membership?
Membership in the Co-op requires a $10 monthly fee or 2 hours of service work within the Co-op or another local non-profit entity, such as a Community Action Program.

Members have the opportunity to become part of the leadership team and are involved in the decision making about Co-op operations. This will help develop a network of communication between service providers and Co-op participants.

The partners
This Co-op was made possible through the collaboration of these partners:
St. Patrick Catholic Church in Oxford
St. Charles Catholic Church in Otterbein
Oxford United Methodist Church

Other churches and organizations in the community are invited to join in these efforts to better serve those in need.

For more information, contact Chris at

    { return to top }

Area IV’s Community Partnerships Expand Resources Available to Clients

Dan Overman (pictured on right), weatherization program coordinator at Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs since 2009, takes great satisfaction in helping families and individuals who don’t have the resources to help themselves. He has seen firsthand how community partnerships and the funds that they provide allow the program to help additional people in need.

One partnership that expands Area IV Agency’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is Vectren’s “Share the Warmth” collaboration. Vectren provides funds that can be used for weatherization single family homeowners whose household incomes are below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

In 2016, Area IV used these funds in 16 homes where either the furnace or domestic water heater (or both) needed to be replaced. The $37,479 provided by Vectren enabled Area IV to stretch its regular funds to do work in additional homes. Lori Snyder (pictured above) was just one client who benefited from this venture.

“We were surprised that we got so much help, including getting a new water heater,” Snyder said. “Financially, we would not have been able to do this [on our own]. We feel so lucky and proud. There were so many things done to make our home warm, and we already see a big difference.”

CLEAResults funds from an additional Vectren program have enabled Area IV to assist 17 households with issues that would have otherwise been deferred. These funds were used to:
• Repair kitchen sinks
• Fix leaks in bathroom vanities and bathtubs
• Replace septic lines
• Remove animal feces and bats from crawl spaces and attics
• Perform infestation treatments

Because of these funds, these families will live in safer, healthier and more energy-efficient homes.

Another client who benefited from these services said, “I feel so lucky to get this help because I couldn’t have gotten this work done. Thank you so much for your kindness. I thank God for people like you.”

    { return to top }

Brightpoint’s Energy Assistance Program
Inspires Hugs and Thankfulness

November means the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) season is ramping up for Brightpoint.

“This is our highest volume program, serving 8,000 to 10,000 households in the course of about six months,” says Steve Hoffman, Brightpoint President/CEO. “It’s a hectic, sometimes difficult period for us as we try to serve so many people in such a short time.”

Unlike most of Brightpoint’s other programs that work with families over a longer period of time, the Energy Assistance Program provides one-time financial assistance to families to help them keep their homes heated in the winter. While the program is different than others, it is vital nonetheless. If families are worried about their housing or staying warm, they won’t be able to focus on things that lead to self-sufficiency, like getting an education and employment.

Another important aspect of EAP is the thousands of senior citizens who get help each and every year. These are people like Joan Hartwig who live on limited, fixed incomes and rely heavily on the Energy Assistance Program to make their finances work.

Joan (pronounced “Jo Ann”) is a spry, 80-year-old woman who lives by herself in a cozy home on the north side of Fort Wayne. After being married for 57 years, she lost her husband, Jack, to illness four years ago. “If it wouldn’t have been for Brightpoint and the energy assistance – especially when Jack was at home – I’d have been dirt,” Joan said.

Every year after Joan receives notice of how much she will receive from EAP, she sends a thank-you letter to Kira McKinley, the family support assistant manager at Brightpoint. Kira says she occasionally gets thank-you letters from EAP recipients, but Joan’s are always memorable. This year’s letter (pictured on right) had tiny flowers glued to it with delicately drawn stems and leaves. It was signed, “Love and prayers, Joan A. Hartwig,” and it included a postscript: “P.S. I love to give hugs, if I ever would meet you.”

Joan says her mom, who passed away years ago, used to do tatting – a kind of knotted lace made by hand with a small shuttle. She has saved some of the small flowers her mom made, and a few made their way into the letter she sent to Kira.

Joan says she writes the letters because she is very, very thankful. “It sure helps because when Jack passed away, I lost a third of my income.”

On Oct. 24, Joan got to meet Kira in person, thank her for Brightpoint’s assistance and give Kira one or two of the hugs that she loves to give.

    { return to top }



Have a story to share in this newsletter?


{ return to top }

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for to receive this
e-newsletter in your inbox.


Home About Us Media Center Client Resources Member Login Enewsletter Sign-Up - It's Free INCAA Logo