Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
May 2018 issue



May 18 Golf Scramble will raise money for Pace services


New IIWF analysis: “Indiana’s working families have lower incomes than Midwestern neighbors”

Integrate a financial-capability program into your organization this summer

Pace management team receives employment-law training

IHCDA hosts board meeting at Hoosier Uplands’ College Hill Apartments, site of former school


Documentary film screening, payday-lending discussion prompts legislative leader commitment to change

CAPWI’s addiction event prompts local discussion and action committee

Brightpoint Head Start teacher named “Teacher Hero”

NWICA case worker and client bond over mutual cancer journey

Submission instructions


May 18 Golf Scramble will raise money for Pace services

On Friday, May 18, Pace will hold its 6th Annual Golf Scramble in Vincennes, Ind. Proceeds from the event will support Pace’s annual fund, which provides for services such as the Boys & Beyond Programscholarships and internships.

Pace provides services that improve the community and encourage self-reliance in Knox, Daviess, Greene & Sullivan Counties. Since the golf scramble began, 25 $500 scholarships have been awarded.

Click to register to participate or sponsor the event today!

Friday, May 18 (Rain or shine!)

Country Club of Old Vincennes
2715 Washington Ave., Vincennes, IN 47591


  • 10:30 a.m. - Sign-in starts
  • 11:00 a.m. - Lunch (provided by First Vincennes Savings Bank)
  • Noon - Shotgun start

Contact Tai Blythe at or 812-882-7927, ext. 1250.

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New IIWF analysis: “Indiana’s working families more likely to be poor, have lower incomes than Midwestern neighbors”

The Indiana Institute for Working Families reports on new data that finds Indiana now has the 19th-highest rate of working families who are low-income (11th-highest among racial/ethnic minority families) and also has the 16th-lowest incomes of all U.S. states.
Work should not only be honorable and bring dignity but should also pay for a family’s basic needs. It should provide opportunities to help families continue on a pathway to long-term economic security. But new data show that a higher proportion of Indiana’s working families, particularly Hoosiers of color, remain low-income compared with our Midwestern neighbors. Indiana’s per capita income also trails most neighbors, with income growth that lags behind the national average.

Unless our legislators take a new policy direction, working Hoosier families aren’t likely to catch up anytime soon.
Read more on the Institute’s blog.


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Integrate a financial-capability program into your organization this summer

The Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC) is a statewide partnership joining Prosperity Indiana with local nonprofit organizations like Community Action Agencies, United Ways, Community Development Corporations and others, including local governments.

The IFCC utilizes members from AmeriCorps, a national service program, to bridge the gap between low-wealth residents and available financial-capability resources through education and empowerment. AmeriCorps members work as IFCC member summer associates to design programs across an organization’s service lines and interact with community residents to teach these important practices and improve their financial outcomes.
IFCC member summer associates will begin their term of service on May 21, 2018, working 40 hours per week through Aug. 10.

The cost to host a summer associate is $1,875 for Prosperity Indiana members. For more information, please contact Carey W. Craig at 317-454-8538 or at


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Pace management team receives employment-law training

Continuing its investment in staff development, Pace hosted a management-staff training day on April 13.

The management team began their day by attending employment-law training led by Joe Pettygrove, a partner with Kroger Gardis & Regas, LLP. He leads the firm’s employment law practice and has a passion for counseling employers through challenging situations.

Following the training, the team had the opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to learn how the organization handles management, planning and teamwork.

“By investing in staff development and understanding common employment issues, we’re better at managing those sensitive issues when they arise,” explained Tai Blythe, associate director of Pace.


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IHCDA hosts board meeting at Hoosier Uplands’ College Hill Apartments, site of former school

On April 26, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) hosted its April board meeting in the auditorium of Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation’s recently renovated College Hill Apartments. Indiana’s lieutenant governor and IHCDA board president, Suzanne Crouch, presided over the meeting. After the meeting, board members and guests were invited to tour the building.

College Hill Apartments used to be the home of Paoli High School. Today, it has been renovated to provide housing for low-income individuals and families in Orange County, Ind. The building is now a spacious complex, offering 22 apartment units in one, two and three-bedroom floorplans. Because the historical integrity of the building was kept intact, the building is full of memorabilia from the high school, including numerous class pictures of past students.

Hoosier Uplands’ leaders are proud of the new life this building has been given and knows it will be a great community asset for years to come.


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Documentary film screening, payday-lending discussion prompts legislative leader commitment to change

As the payday-lending industry hosted its annual conference in Miami, local advocates, politicians and citizens gathered at IN-CAA headquarters in Indianapolis to discuss payday lending in Indiana and view “The Ordinance,” a documentary film about efforts to curb predatory lending in Texas. The event was hosted by the Indiana Institute for Working Families and Prosperity Indiana.

“The Ordinance” features the real-life story of an older Texan woman who turned to an auto title lender when her husband was diagnosed with cancer and their family struggled to make ends meet. In order to keep her vehicle, she made monthly payments of more than $400 to repeatedly extend the $4,000 loan. These payments had no effect on the principal balance, and, weary of the financial strain, she turned to a local church. Church officials decided that instead of continually catching distressed consumers deep in debt, it would be better to attack the policies that allowed these practices in the first place. They pursued state and local policy changes to stop the cycle of debt and succeeded in passing local ordinances to curb some of the harmful lending practices.

Following the film, Kathleen Lara of Prosperity Indiana moderated a conversation about the legislative battle over predatory lending in Indiana. Panel participants included:

  • Bill Chapman, policy consultant for the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation — Bill shared why he engages in the ongoing fight over payday lending at the Indiana statehouse, noting that this is fundamentally about how we treat one another.
  • Glenn Tebbe of the Indiana Catholic Conference — Glenn spoke about the powerful effect of letters to the editor from religious leaders across faith traditions.
  • Marie Morse from Homestead CS — Marie shared that her housing-counseling agency pursued an alternative consumer credit product because of the effects of payday lending.
  • Erin Macey from the Institute for Working Families — Erin spoke about the Institute’s research on payday lending, noting that the typical borrower experiences a cycle of debt eight to 10 loans long, often paying more in fees than the original amount borrowed.

In the audience, Sen. Greg Walker, R–District 41, reaffirmed his commitment to offer legislation, proposing a 36-percent APR rate cap again next year. He was joined on this year’s bill by Sens. Eddie Melton, Frank Mrvan, John Ruckelshaus, Mark Messmer, Vaneta Becker, Mark Stoops and Dennis Kruse. Event hosts were also able to extend thanks (through a Senator Joe Donnelly office staff member who attended) for the senator’s signature on a letter urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to implement protections for payday borrowers.

Give thanks!

IIWF and Prosperity Indiana leaders urge people to call or email these legislators and thank them for their efforts to address predatory loan products.

Host an event!

Interested in hosting a similar event in your neck of the woods? Contact Erin Macey at


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CAPWI’s addiction event prompts local discussion and action committee

Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana's (CAPWI's) Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program hosted the Addiction From Beginning to End: Tobacco to Heroin town hall event on Wednesday, April 18, at the Warren County Learning Center. More than 30 community members attended this event, which was a collaborative effort with Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana (ASPIN).

The event included a presentation on the journey of addiction, followed by a panel discussion with local experts, including:

Attendees learned about:

  • The economic impact of tobacco use
  • Addiction and its multiple components
  • The correlation between tobacco use and substance abuse
  • The need for incorporating tobacco cessation in substance-abuse treatment
  • Opioids and the various types
  • Data reflecting local and statewide prescription usage of opioids and heroin, substance abuse, mental health and more

Following the event, a local committee was formed to continue the conversation and develop a plan of action. 


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Brightpoint Head Start teacher named “Teacher Hero”

Donations to projects will be matched
through May 31!

Last year, Tyra Barrera (pictured above), a teacher at the Brightpoint Head Start site at Hanna Creighton received funding for her project, “Mad Scientists on the Rise.” This project included a science table with interesting materials such as rocks and magnets for children to discover and explore.

“What shape is that?” Tyra asks a student.
“A mountain,” answers 3-year-old Jurnee, as she studies a rock while taking advantage of the new equipment.

The table and its contents were made possible thanks to an alliance that provides resources to Head Start and public pre-K classrooms. The partnership between the PNC Foundation and, now in its second year, provides much-needed educational supplies and experiences to help prepare young children for success in school and life – a goal mirrored by the mission of Head Start.

A visit to the classroom

On April 10, employees from PNC Bank visited Tyra’s classroom to see the science table they funded. What Tyra didn’t know was that the visit would also involve a surprise announcement.

The PNC Foundation’s 2018 funding cycle has several new components, including recognition of one outstanding early education teacher in each of PNC's markets as a “Teacher Hero.” Tyra was surprised to discover that she was chosen to receive this award for the Fort Wayne market. She received a $2,000 gift card to fund a project in her classroom and a second $2,000 gift card to help seed other pre-K projects listed on

According to Catherine Hill, vice president of client and community relations for PNC in Fort Wayne, “Tyra was chosen to receive the Teacher Hero award because she is an excellent example of how teachers can use the platform and make the most of the tools that are available.”

Tyra says it’s been great having a resource to get needed supplies that might not otherwise have been available. “It makes us think bigger,” she says. And the children enjoy being part of the decision-making process. “We let them participate in choosing what we will ask for.”

In addition to the Teacher Hero award, every teacher who submitted a pre-K project request in the PNC footprint on since April 4, 2017 received a $100 electronic gift card through the site. More than 3,700 pre-K and Head Start teachers received the funds to encourage the creation of new projects. According to a press release on their website, “the PNC Foundation funded these gift cards as part of a $5 million initiative with to help teachers obtain the resources and experiences they need to inspire their students’ love of learning.”

Donate to teacher projects by May 31, and PNC will match your donations!

Through May 31, 2018, PNC will match donations to public pre-K and Head Start teachers' project requests in the PNC service area listed on (subject to restrictions and a maximum dollar amount). With the matching funds, now is a great time to donate and help early education teachers and students.

Visit for more information.


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NWICA case worker and client bond over mutual cancer journey

Northwest Indiana Community Action's (NWICA's) mission is to help people to be independent and advocate for those who can’t. Often, this means much more than delivering basic services. It requires a relationship built on trust and a willingness to go the extra mile, both for those seeking services and those providing services.
When Molly, a NWICA home and community-based services case manager, began feeling extreme pain in her back, she contacted her physician’s office. Thinking that it was the result of a recent accident, the recommendation was for the pain to be monitored. Unfortunately, Molly’s pain was due to a Stage 4, invasive cancer that had spread to nearby lymph nodes and organs. Molly would need treatment in order to survive.
Meanwhile, in an adjacent town, a mother of two was diagnosed with leukemia. Sabina’s treatment required, at minimum, a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy, and the doctor “feared a poor outcome.” The treatment saved Sabina’s life but took a toll on her body and rendered her unable to move her arms or legs.
After a hard-fought battle, Molly was able to return to work as a case manager and perform the job that she loves so much, helping people to be independent. She was then assigned to Sabina’s case.

“When I returned to work, I had the pleasure of meeting Sabina, and we had a lot in common,” Molly recalls. “Between side effects, family changes and the daily challenges that come along with being diagnosed with cancer, we were able to bond right away.”
Sabina’s story is so inspiring that in November 2017, a well-known journalist for the Post-Tribune wrote an article, ‘She was broken, but not beaten: Hebron woman determined to walk again.” At the time the article was being written, Sabina was making progress. The article reported that Sabina took her first steps again with help from a harnessed machine on a treadmill, and she was ecstatic but also determined to walk on her own.
By March 2018, both Molly and Sabina have overcome many of the obstacles placed in their way. Molly is back to work with a nearly full caseload and a new outlook on life.

“With everything that has gone on with me in the past two years, it has really opened my eyes to what our clients are challenged with on a daily basis,” Molly said. “I’m able to relate more and that definitely makes it easier to build relationships with all my clients.”

As for Sabina, Molly is very happy to report that she is able to walk 40 steps by herself with supervision but no harness!
NWICA leaders say they are so proud of these two incredible women and the reminder that what we do to help people to be independent really changes lives!


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