Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
November/December 2017 issue



IN-CAA brings 22 agencies together for family-themed, statewide conference with French flare


CFPB issues payday lending rule in Indiana

Area IV Agency on Aging Reaccredited by the
Council on Accreditation

Edgar N. Tipton, Jr. retires after 20 years of service


NWICA spreads awareness for Weatherization Assistance Program with Halloween-themed event

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“It’s a Family Affair!”
IN-CAA brings 22 agencies together for family-themed,
statewide conference with French flare

This year’s Indiana Community Action Agency (IN-CAA) conference at the gorgeous French Lick Resort on Nov. 8 and 9 brought together members of all 22 Community Action Agencies. The theme was "It’s a Family Affair" to inspire the sense of family that is a hallmark of Community Action.

Folks from across the state laughed together while learning how to build resilience, putting stickers in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act to mark key passages, planning dances with a retiring agency director, talking about the nuts and bolts of their jobs, and creating legislation in a mock state government. It was a time to remind ourselves who we are as a community.

There were five tracks for the conference:

  • Management and Policy — addressed board development, funding streams, working with the state and being an advocate in the legislative process

  • Partner Showcase — highlighted the different partnerships active in the state and how agencies can join with ongoing projects

  • CAA Showcase — gave Community Action Agencies a chance to share their programs’ success stories

  • Weatherization — dug into client education, hiring, safety and resource optimization

  • Client Service — talked about innovative, hands-on ways to connect with and better serve clients

In the end, attendees left with a sense that while we may be doing different things in our communities, we are all in this together.

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CFPB issues payday lending rule in Indiana
Tell your legislators to support it!

On Thursday, Oct. 5, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule that will reduce the harms of payday lending in Indiana and the United States as a whole. If the rule takes effect, it will be a promising step forward in the effort to stop predatory lending practices. However, because the CFPB does not have the authority to change the cost of payday loans, there is still work to be done.

The CFPB’s rule requires lenders to evaluate a borrower's ability to repay a payday loan and still meet their basic needs before issuing such loans. It also allows lenders to issue only a limited number of loans to a borrower if they choose not to conduct ability-to-repay tests. This will reduce the cycle of debt that is common with payday loans; the average borrower takes 9 or 10 loans per year, paying more than $400 in interest to repeatedly borrow $300. 

While the new rule will partially limit the potential consumer harm associated with unaffordable loan payments, the fundamental problem persists, because lenders continue to charge egregious interest rates and fail to evaluate a borrower’s ability to repay. These loans drain Indiana's economy of $70 million per year solely in abusive fees.

The rule is currently set to take effect in 20 months, but there is likely to be a long fight ahead. The House and Senate may try to roll back the rule, putting the financial well-being of working families at risk. A court challenge may also be used to stall or block implementation of the rule. Time and again, the industry has leveraged its profits so that it enjoys special privileges. Indiana’s congressional delegation and state lawmakers must prioritize the needs of their constituents, not those of the payday loan industry. 


Make sure they hear from you! Call, email or even tweet your Senators and House Representatives to support the CFPB payday rule. Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is another great way to get both your lawmakers’ attention and educate the public about this issue.

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Area IV Agency on Aging Reaccredited by the
Council on Accreditation

Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs, Inc. recently achieved reaccreditation by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, human-service accrediting organization with a mission to improve service-delivery outcomes. This achievement is the culmination of a year-long process that confirms Area IV Agency effectively manages its resources and provides the best possible service to its clients.

During the process, Area IV Agency’s staff, board members and management worked diligently to provide the COA with the required written evidence of compliance with COA standards. This information was then verified by COA peer reviewers through on-site interviews with clients, staff, management and board members. At the completion of this process, Area IV Agency was notified that, due to not receiving any out-of-compliance ratings, the agency would be expedited through the COA’s Pre-Commission Review Report process.

The COA accreditation is confirmation of Area IV Agency’s continuing dedication to maintaining the highest national best-practice standards and providing a better quality of life to the individuals, families and communities it serves.

Congratulations to these Area IV Agency associates who contributed to this achievement:

  • Elva James, executive director

  • Shannon Davis, human resources director

  • Stan Minnick, facilities, transportation and Business Expansion and Entrepreneurship Development (BEED) program coordinator

  • Kat Foglesong, director, INconnect/information and referral department

  • Mary Paulsen, performance and quality improvement coordinator

  • Donna Collier, deputy director of CAP

  • Joe Hemersbach, deputy director of aging

  • Julie Hackerd, deputy director of resources and operations

  • Pattie Hall, senior games coordinator/wellness and prevention services

The Council on Accreditation has been setting best-practice standards for social service agencies for more than 40 years and currently has 2,268 accredited agencies and programs in the U.S. and other countries.

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Edgar N. Tipton, Jr. retires after 20 years of service

After nearly 20 years of service at Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI), Edgar N. Tipton, Jr. (pictured at right) retired on Nov. 15. 

“My journey has been amazing as a contractor, to interim executive director and for the past nine years as president,” Tipton said. “It's been a humbling and rewarding experience serving my community alongside colleagues like you. I have appreciated my time with Community Action and am grateful to all our partners who supported and shared our mission to those we serve. There's no higher calling than to serve.” 

After taking some time off, Tipton hopes to serve the Indianapolis community through civic activities. The Indiana Community Action Association and CAGI thank Mr. Tipton for his many years of dedicated service to the Indianapolis community.
The board of directors appointed two internal interim co-executive directors to replace Tipton — Terrence White ( and Cynthia Taylor (

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NWICA spreads awareness for Weatherization Assistance Program with Halloween-themed event

Northwest Indiana Community Action (NWICA) associates braved the frigid temperatures on Friday, Oct. 27, for their inaugural Trunk-or-Treat and Save on Heat event. The event was held on Weatherization Day, a day to focus local, state and national attention on the work of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). It was also a chance to bring new individuals and families who may not have heard about NWICA to the agency in a fun and safe way.

Trunks were decorated by associates of the NWICA's Weatherization Assistance Program, Energy Assistance Program, Family Development, Housing Choice Voucher Program, Nutrition, Finance, Outreach, IT and 2-1-1 Information and Assistance divisions. Everyone distributed program information along with candy for the nearly 100 children who came through. NWICA’s Weatherization team also provided educational energy materials during live demonstrations of the blower door, a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings.

For the excited children who attended and the new faces who learned about this important program, the event was a wonderful success for all involved.

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