Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
September 2018 issue



IIWF releases 2018 “The Status of Working Families in Indiana” report

The TANF federal block program turns 22 years old


Community Action training now available!


Alliance for Human Services report says human-service organizations contribute $722 million to local economy

Area IV Agency’s Ramp-Up Indiana Program brings independence to clients

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IIWF releases 2018 “The Status of Working Families in Indiana” report

Infographic by CorComm Creative.At the turn of the 21st century, Indiana stood as a leader in the Midwest, ranking at least average or better than the region as a whole in family incomes, poverty, prime-age employment rates, union coverage and more. At the time, Indiana was nearing the crest of an upswing that started in the 1990s and made the state competitive with other regional areas when it came to economic outcomes for working families.

Trouble hits

But after 2004, wages began to decline alongside policy choices that cut job-quality standards and worker voices, weakened the safety net and limited economic opportunities for middle- and low-income families. By the time the recession hit in December 2007, Indiana was already falling behind the Midwest, with a diminished capacity to serve the hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers either forced out of a job or into under-employment. In 2009, median Hoosier household wages fell below the average of the South’s, where they’ve remained virtually tied at best.

In recent years, Indiana has gained the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of poverty-wage jobs and low-income working families in the Midwest. Even accounting for cost of living, the state’s per capita income is now the second-lowest in the region. The lasting damage has left scars on working families and the generation now coming into the workforce, with Indiana now in the bottom-third of the Midwest in labor force participation and employment. These trends are expected to continue, with state projections that 7 out of 10 of Indiana’s jobs will be in low-wage occupations by 2026.

With outcomes including wages, poverty and labor standards making Indiana appear as the northernmost digital indicator of the South, Indiana’s loss of a Midwestern quality-of-life represents a fundamental challenge to the state’s history, character and pride.

How can Indiana reclaim its leadership?

Indiana now faces a choice of whether to continue down a southward-leading path of low-road policies or to rebuild its economy for Hoosier families.

Indiana can reclaim its place as a leader in the Midwest and in the nation by adopting a policy agenda for working families that:

  • Improves Indiana’s jobs with higher wage and labor standards
  • Strengthens protections for Hoosier families by repairing the safety net and crafting consumer and job safeguards
  • Increases economic mobility through improved access to education, rebalancing the state’s regressive tax and budget structure, and focusing economic development on strengthening Hoosier families and communities.

Learn more:

[Infographic designed by CorComm Creative]


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The TANF federal block program turns 22 years old

The Indiana Institute for Working Families has been researching, thinking about and advocating for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for more than a decade. As the program celebrated 22 years on Aug. 22, IIWF director Jessica Fraser published a blog post reviewing some of the major issues still plaguing the program.

View Fraser’s original blog post to learn about:

  • The purpose of the program
  • How it’s failing in Indiana
  • What needs to be done to reform Indiana’s current program
  • How the next Congress could create a better program as it tackles TANF’s reauthorization



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Community Action training now available!

Registration is now open for 2018-2019 Community Action trainings.

Professional development training events include:

View the full list of trainings. Bookmark the page so you can check back to see what’s been added.

Questions? Contact Amy Carter at or (317) 638-4232.



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    Pictured above: Steve Hoffman, Brightpoint president and CEO and president of the Alliance for Human Services, discusses the report's findings at a May 3 press conference.

Alliance for Human Services report says human-service organizations contribute $722 million to local economy

Nonprofit, human-service organizations contribute more than $722 million to the local economy each year, according to a May study released by the Alliance for Human Services, an association of more than 50 nonprofit organizations.

The study also shows that Allen County’s human-service organizations are a major local employer and investor, paying a total of $382 million in wages each year and holding more than $552 million in assets.

The research was funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and the Foellinger Foundation and was conducted by True North NPO and the University of Saint Francis.

The study examined the direct, indirect and induced economic impact of the 373 human-service organizations serving Allen County. Other nonprofit organizations, such as hospitals and churches, were not included in the study.

“It’s clear that our organizations are both impacting lives and the local economy,” said Steve Hoffman, president and CEO of Brightpoint and president of the Alliance for Human Services. “This study shows that Allen County’s human-service nonprofit sector is a vibrant, thriving force in our community that contributes substantially to the economy of Allen County.”

Key findings of the study:

  • The 373 human-service organizations are a large and very important part of the nonprofit community and the economy of Allen County. They contribute more than $722 million to Allen County’s gross regional product (GRP).
  • These human-service organizations generate more than $405 million in annual revenue and hold $552 million in assets.
  • Despite being exempt from corporate income tax, these human-service nonprofits generated approximately $4.1 million in direct, indirect and induced taxes at the county level in 2016.
  • The 373 human-service organizations are a major economic force in Allen County, directly employing 11,174 workers, which is almost 1 out of 20 paid workers in the county. These workers earned more than $382 million in wages in 2016.
  • Combined, human-service organizations are the second largest employment sector in the county. Compared to other sectors in the county, the human-service nonprofit sector ranks sixth in terms of aggregate-employment wages.
  • Among the 100 largest human-service nonprofits in Allen County, program services and investment income account for more than 50 percent of total revenue. Contributions, gifts and grants from philanthropists, foundations and businesses account for 46 percent of Allen County’s human-service, nonprofit-sector revenue.

Learn more

“Human-service organizations help thousands of people improve their lives every year, and the economic impact of that work benefits everyone who lives in northeast Indiana,” Hoffman said.



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    Pictured above: William Taulbee, a Marine veteran, poses next to his newly installed wheelchair ramp, provided through Area IV Agency's Ramp-Up Indiana Program.

Area IV Agency’s Ramp-Up Indiana Program brings independence to clients

Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs and Rotary Club of Monticello volunteers built their first wheelchair ramp through the Ramp-Up Indiana Program on June 29, leaving Marine veteran William Taulbee feeling more independent than ever.

Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, Taulbee requires dialysis three times per week.

“Getting out of the house was so exhausting for myself and my wife that I could only get out on the days that I had dialysis,” Taulbee explained. “I have an electric wheelchair, but I had no way to get it outside. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. I am so pleased to be part of this program. I could not afford to have a ramp built on my fixed income, and I am grateful to be able to go outside.”

With an average ramp installation price ranging between $1,000 and $1,500, many Area IV clients are unable to afford the installation. As a result, Ramp Up Indiana provides grants to nonprofit organizations to install exterior ramps for homeowners needing improved accessibility.

Area IV Agency works in collaboration with Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, the Rotary Club of Monticello and Servants at Work (SAWs) to build ramps in the counties of Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.



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