Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter

July/August 2019






Count Me In: Make the Census Count for Community Action

Featured Conference Speakers Urged Action. Here's What You Can Do in 25 Minutes


NCCAA Makes Summer Camp Possible for Youth

Brightpoint Health Care Navigators Program Receives Grants

Evansville Head Start Students Celebrate International Mud Day


Lincoln Hills Searches for Head Start Program Director


Participate in the Indiana Housing Perspectives Survey

IHCDA Magazine Features Two CAAs



Count Me In: Make the Census Count for Community Action

Community Action Agencies can play a vital role in making sure all of our constituents are counted in the 2020 United States Census. The National Community Action Partnership discussed the importance of our role during its presentation at the Annual Conference of the Indiana Community Action Network.

What you need to know:

What is the Census?

The census is a count of the nation’s population conducted every 10 years.

Why is the Census important?

  • It’s mandated in the US Constitution.
  • It determines Congressional representation.
  • It is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts, school districts and voting precincts.
  • It is used to distribute federal dollars (including Community Service Block Grant monies).
  • You want your community fully counted!

How can Community Action be involved?

Need more information? Head to the Community Action Partnership’s Census 2020 page.


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September issue deadline:
Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Please add to your media releases and/or email newsletter distribution list, so we will be automatically notified of important news from your agency. Thank you!


Featured Conference Speakers Urged Action.
Here's What You Can Do in 25 Minutes.

“You work one-on-one with a client, and then you run up against policy,” Steve Hoffman, CEO of Brightpoint, told the audience at the annual Community Action Association conference in French Lick in July.

Heads nodded. The session, like much of the conference, encouraged agency professionals to look beyond the individual relationships with clients to the patterns and policy decisions that brought them through the doors of Community Action Agencies in the first place – and then do something about it.

One of those patterns is the sinkhole of debt many Hoosiers are mired in, making financial well-being seem like an unattainable goal.

The last financial crisis was obvious—you could see the foreclosure signs and knew neighbors and friends who lost their homes or jobs or savings. The current crisis is much less obvious.

But a look at the percentages of Hoosiers with debt in collections both across the state and in individual counties suggests that for many families, hope for a better a future is buried under a pile of bills and collection calls.

“In the midst of these depressing numbers, there is hope,” Diane Standaert, Executive Vice President of the Center for Responsible Lending, told our CAP family during the conference. “The hope is that the power to change these outcomes is right here in this room. Your work is critical to providing relief on a day-to-day basis. You are also positioned to lift those stories up to inform policy and legislative decisions in Indianapolis and D.C.”

Following Standaert, State Representative Ed Clere echoed her call to action.

“If you take nothing else from this conference, establish a relationship with your state lawmakers,” Clere said. He noted that while people more commonly reach out to their elected officials in D.C., real impact is more likely at the Indiana statehouse. Consider, for example, that to your U.S. Senators in Congress, Young and Braun, you are one of 6.6 million constituents; but to your state representative, you are one in 65,000.

Ready to take the plunge?

In just 25 minutes, you can be a strong advocate for policies that protect Hoosiers:


First, find your lawmakers. Consider inviting your state rep to coffee to discuss what you are seeing in your community, scheduling a call, or even just introducing yourself over email. (Pro tip from Representative Matt Pierce, who also presented to conference attendees in the breakout session on advocacy: Make sure you are registered to vote, as some lawmakers may check.)


Are you seeing too much debt and high-cost loans in your work with clients? This summer, state lawmakers are studying Indiana’s lending laws and considering possible changes. Let members of the committee know what you are seeing in your agency or community. Clicking the link above will allow you to send an email to the entire committee at once.


Another way to engage in advocacy is to comment on rules proposed by government agencies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed a new rule allowing debt collectors to text, email, and direct message people over social media, in addition to calling them seven times per week, per debt. There are also concerns that debt collectors will attempt to collect “zombie debt” – or debt that is not legally owed. You can comment on the proposal here.

Photos: Rep. Ed Clere (top) and Diane Standaert address the crowd at the Indiana Community Action Network Annual Conference in July.


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NCCAA Makes Summer Camp Possible for Youth

A group of young campers and chaperones headed off to Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 10 as part of the North Central Community Action Agencies' Summer Camp Program. It was just one day of six weeks of education and recreation that included field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, and activities and services provided by local partners, including the library, bowling lanes, fire and police departments, and parks department.

The program is funded by the Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation and supported with Community Service Block Grant funds. 

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Brightpoint Health Care Navigators Program Receives Grants

Brightpoint knows that finding and applying for health coverage can be difficult. Its Covering Kids and Families program provides licensed health care navigators who help consumers review their options and guide them through the enrollment process.

Brightpoint is now able to provide this service free of charge to more families in Northeast Indiana, thanks to grants from Physicians Health Plan (PHP) Foundation and Covering Kids and Families (CKF) of Indiana. CKF works to improve access to healthcare through community-based outreach and enrollment assistance in state and federally sponsored health coverage programs.

PHP Foundation awarded Brightpoint a $5,000 grant, which is being matched with $7,500 from CKF Indiana. The combined $12,500 will be used to support enrollment, outreach and health-literacy activities provided through the Covering Kids and Families program at Brightpoint.


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Screen shot courtesy NBC 14 News, Evansville.

Evansville Head Start Students Celebrate International Mud Day

The kids enrolled in Community Action Program of Evansville's Head Start program this summer got to celebrate a holiday in all its glorious filth. The kids had fun getting dirty by painting with mud, playing in a mud kitchen, playing with mud trucks and planting flowers. Clean-up was half the fun; the teachers hosed down the kids before heading back inside to finish their day.

Local NBC affiliate 14 News covered the unique event, which was made possible by donations of dirt and top soil from Jeff Angel and Rural King.

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Lincoln Hills Searches for Head Start Program Director

Lincoln Hills Development Corporation (LHDC) is accepting applications for the position of Head Start Program Director, based in Tell City, Ind.

The director will be responsible for the overall management and administration of LHDC’s Head Start program, which covers a four-county area. The birth-to-5 program serves 291 Head Start and 80 Early Head Start participants.

The director will also be responsible for the overall supervision of approximately 80 staff members, including nine direct reports.

The director must meet the following requirements:

  • be at least 21 years of age
  • hold a bachelor’s degree in an area related to supervision of staff, fiscal management, administration or related field

Preference will be given to those who:

  • have at least five years of relevant leadership/management and supervisory experience
  • have a knowledge of early childhood education

Applications/resumes should be submitted to

LHDC Chief Resources Officer
P.O. Box 336
Tell City, IN 47586


Applications/resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

LHDC provides services to clients regardless of race, sex, color, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetics, or disability. The agency is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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Participate in the Indiana Housing Perspectives Survey

Sagamore Institute is conducting a study on Indiana housing trends pre- and post-recession, in order to identify current critical issues housing professionals are experiencing in their regions related to housing supply and demand, housing affordability, demographic shifts in households, and workforce housing needs. Share your experiences and concerns by taking the survey by Aug. 25. For questions, email or call 317.472.2054.

IHCDA Magazine features CAAs

The summer issue of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority magazine features two articles about our network. One describes how Community Action of Greater Indianapolis was able to assist a couple who are both deaf and disabled, through weatherization services, insulation installation, roof patching, and supplying a new furnace (page 22). The other showcases the kids who attended the North Central Community Action Agency’s Summer Camp Program (page 23), which we have also featured in this newsletter.

Indiana Community Action Association
1845 W. 18th St., Indianapolis, IN 46202
317.638.4232 or 800.382.9895 phone
317.634.7947 fax
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