Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter

April 2020

 

 

 

 

NEWS

The need for legal aid is rising during the pandemic. Here’s what you can do to help your clients.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

TRI-CAP received $10,000 to support families in Dubois County affected by COVID-19

Brightpoint Development Fund offers COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses

Hoosier Uplands adapts to new challenges in real time

SPOTLIGHT ON PROFESSIONALS

Access professional development offerings virtually

Humor helps Pace team tackle the times

EVENTS

Pace hosts silent auction May 15

 


 

May issue deadline:
Wednesday, May 13


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The need for legal aid is rising during the pandemic. Here’s what you can do to help your clients.


The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a 4-1 decision that creditors may not seize Hoosiers' stimulus payments received through the federal CARES Act. If your clients are facing seizure of funds, you can direct them to Indiana Legal Services for support. Indiana Legal Services was instrumental in the effort to ensure creditors and debt collectors would not be allowed to garnish money intended to help Hoosiers during the health crisis. Read more about this issue.


Even before the COVID-19 crisis, Indiana’s legal aid services were lacking due to insufficient public funding. In fact, a 2019 study by Indiana University Public Policy Institute found that 96 percent of the nearly 800,000 civil legal problems low-income households faced were not served at all by the Indiana legal aid system. And four out of five low-income families experienced at least one civil legal problem.

The COVID crisis promises to only make things worse. The legal community expects an increase in cases related to employment, medical services, housing eviction, education, financial credit, consumerism, immigration, domestic violence, family law and more.

While the Coalition for Court Access, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and other organizations are working to close the justice gap, they cannot do it alone. Substantial funding increases are necessary to provide sufficient legal aid to many low-income Hoosiers.

You can act now. Here’s how:

The Indiana Institute for Working Families (IIWF) has composed a list of statewide pro-bono legal service providers available to your clients in need. Please share it with your teams and those you serve.

Learn more:

  • IIWF Blog: "COVID-19’s Impact on Access to Justice." Includes links to websites where Hoosiers can find free legal advice and lawyers in their areas.
  • IIWF Website: "Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis." Includes links to more information about:
    • Why Hoosiers need paid sick days now and in the future
    • The CARES Act’s opportunity to enact a work-sharing program for Hoosiers
    • A recommendation for legislators to send cash to hardest-hit families
    • Why legislators should do more to support the child care system
    • Why debt collectors shouldn’t be allowed to take cash benefits allocated by the COVID-relief package
    • What topics IIWF suggests legislators study during the interim period between General Assembly sessions

Additional Resources from the INCAA team

The following resources are provided by INCAA’s Indiana Training Institute and are organized by topics relevant to low-income Hoosiers, such as child care, food assistance, health care, housing, unemployment, business aid and more.

     

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TRI-CAP received $10,000 to support families in Dubois County affected by COVID-19

The Dubois County Community Foundation responded to both the existing and future needs of families impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic situation by offering a community assistance grant to organizations who could help those in need. The foundation has granted more than $100,000 to more than a dozen organizations to support emergency pandemic relief and nonprofit sustainability in Dubois County as of mid-April. TRI-CAP received $10,000.

TRI-CAP will use its grant funds to address the rent, utility assistance and other needs of the families in its community that are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic. Community members in need should call the office at 812-482-2233 and ask for Neil Elkins to request assistance.

 

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Brightpoint Development Fund offers COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses

As communities around the world are facing an unprecedented disruption in every aspect of their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the small business sector has been hit especially hard. Due to the high demand for financial relief, the Brightpoint Development Fund (BDF) has created a COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses in northeast Indiana impacted by the pandemic.
 
Businesses in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties are eligible for loan funds up to $20,000 with zero upfront costs. Immediate deferred payment options are available.
 
Businesses interested in applying should submit a BDF COVID-19 Express loan application available at mybdf.org, along with the required documents listed on the website. For additional help, call (260) 423-3546 ext. 215 or email bdf@mybrightpoint.org.

 

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Miss Amy from the Head Start Center in Mitchell sent each of her students virtual notes to help keep her relationship with them strong while remaining socially distant, physically. (For a feel-good moment, watch a video of her notes and her students' responses.)

Hoosier Uplands adapts to new challenges in real time

Community Action Agencies across the state are adapting to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. Here is one agency’s story.

Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation is adapting many of its services in order to reach its community in need in the way that makes the most sense at this unprecedented time in our society.

The agency’s Head Start program is providing at-home packets for children to complete while out of school. As they deliver the packets, they also deliver meals for the students, who often rely on school-day meals for proper nutrition.

Head Start teachers are recording themselves reading books and doing various science and projects, then uploading them to YouTube. They use Hoosier Uplands’ Head Start/Early Head Start Facebook page to share the videos, making them easily accessible online.

The agency’s Psychiatric and Counseling Clinic switched from live services to Telehealth services almost immediately after the stay-at-home order was issued. This allows the team to continue providing quality mental health services to clients in need while maintaining safety for both Hoosier Uplands staff and their clients.

Hoosier Uplands has assisted Lawrence County with a COVID-19 hotline to help manage the call volume that the county’s health department had been receiving. The hotline provides information about symptoms, testing and community resources for patients infected or potentially infected with the coronavirus. Volunteers from the community and the local fire department also deliver medications and food for those in need.

Hoosier Uplands also found suppliers and purchased bulk orders of personal protective equipment (PPE) for local health departments, first responders and health care professionals, helping to address a massive shortage of PPE that is prevalent across the country. As of April 20, the agency had purchased nearly $90,000 worth of PPE to distribute among its five county service areas.

The PPE includes:

  • 18,500 N95 masks
  • 7,000 gloves
  • 4,000 surgical masks
  • 3,000 gowns
  • 500 face shields
  • 375 Tyvek suits

The agency has also purchased 36 gallons of hand sanitizer to distribute.

The Indiana Community Action Agency thanks Hoosier Uplands for this amazing commitment to the community. To all CAAs who are adapting and working extremely hard to continue serving your clients, we thank you. Keep up the great work!

 

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Access professional development offerings virtually

Manage to change the world in just six days, or choose from a variety of other webinars during the upcoming webinar series from INCAA and the Indiana Training Institute.

Managing to Change the World is a six-day, two-hours-a-day course that will help managers learn how to check-in with their teams efficiently, hire great people, delegate with confidence and more. Sessions will include participant-centered activities, like writing exercises, discussions and role-playing to strengthen learning outcomes.

The virtual course will be hosted on Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon, on regular business days, Monday, June 1, through Monday, June 8. Register to attend.

To ensure a classroom-like experience, all participants should be present on video, attending from a quiet setting and attending all sessions.

Several webinars are available, as well. They include:

  • May 12 — 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Customer Service
  • June 10 — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Fiscal Roundtable 2020, #2
  • June 16 — 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Employee Retention
  • July 28 — 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Burnout
  • Sept. 9 — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Fiscal Roundtable 2020, #3
  • Dec. 9 — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Fiscal Roundtable 2020, #4

Register for any course or webinar here. Questions? Contact Amy Carter at acarter@incap.org, 317.638.4232 or 1.800.382.9895.

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Humor helps Pace team tackle the times

Like most, if not all, Community Action Agencies of late, Pace Community Action Agency has turned to using online video conferencing as a means for teams to keep connected while maintaining social distance. And one team has found a way to take it a step farther and add a dose of humor to the standard Zoom call.

Pace’s Head Start family specialists have surprised their supervisor, Chealsi Fiscus, (top row, center, in photo above) by showing up to Zoom calls in themed attire. One week, the team appeared in beach attire, while another week, shown above, they sported shaded sunglasses, a letterman jacket, and hair and clothing styles reminiscent of the 1980s.

It started with a simple suggestion among the family specialists in a group text, explained team member Shelly Mason-Loffer: Maybe wearing their Pace shirts would help them lift the mood around staying at home. They decided to all show up at the staff meeting in their shirts as a surprise show of support for their leader, Chealsi, as well as for each other. "We had so much fun doing it, we continued plotting what to do the next week to surprise our Boss Lady!" Shelly said.

Chealsi loves that her team can still find reason to smile. "Even in difficult times, it's important to have fun," she says. "The themes have done just that by lightening the mood and giving us all a good laugh."

 

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Pace hosts silent auction May 15

The annual Pace Golf Scramble scheduled for May 15 is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, but the silent auction goes on! At noon on the 15th, the day of Pace's originally scheduled golf outing, visit the Pace Facebook page to bid on items. It's an easy (and fun!) way to support your fellow CAA's fundraising efforts during this unprecedented time.

 

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Indiana Community Action Association
1845 W. 18th St., Indianapolis, IN 46202
317.638.4232 or 800.382.9895 phone
317.634.7947 fax
© 2019 All Rights Reserved
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