Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter


Above: Screen shots of the old INCAA (left) and IIWF website home pages.

Out with the old... with the new! You might have noticed that you are reading this issue of the newsletter on a newly refreshed Indiana Community Action Association website, which rolled out with a soft launch earlier this month.

After viewing this newsletter, we invite you to take a few minutes to explore the new website. Here are a few highlights:

  • You can now register for trainings online directly through the INCAA website. Simply navigate to the calendar from the right column of any page, then use the color-coded key and calendar links to register for courses of interest. (See the story below for a list of upcoming trainings.) 

Note! You will need to create an account the first time you try to register for a class. Once you do that, you'll be able to register for trainings, track your training history and watch virtual training sessions from the site.

  • Each Community Action Agency has a page on the site that includes basic information like address, phone and key staff members. Please take a minute to review your CAA's page, and send any updates to INCAA administrative assistant Melissa Dauby at [email protected]

  • Our new online press kit includes key colors and logos, so you can produce materials that are on target with INCAA branding.

The Indiana Institute for Working Families (IIWF) website also has a fresh look and better navigation compared with the old site, making it easier to access the library of work the organization has been completing for the last 11 years. Be sure to check out the Research and Analysis, Public Policy and Take Action! tabs for information on the most pressing issues for working Hoosiers. 

You can find links to each of the INCAA programs — Indiana Institute for Working FamiliesIndiana Training InstituteIntelligent Weatherization and Indiana Rural Community Assistance Program — under the Our Programs tab. 

INCAA and IIWF received funding for the website updates from the CARES Act, passed by Congress in 2020 with funds distributed through Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Before now, it had been many years since the websites had a fresh look. We thank our funding partners for making this a possibility.

We would love to hear your thoughts about the new site! Please email comments and feedback to Melissa Dauby at [email protected].

Above: A preview of the IIWF policy agenda.

IIWF policy priorities continue to gain traction in the General Assembly

For the 2021 legislative session, the Indiana Institute for Working Families has been tracking bills that cover issues from pregnancy accommodations to landlord-tenant relations. Many bills related to its policy priorities are moving.

Patch the Roof to prevent further damage

  • Improve and expand TANF – SB 233 increases eligibility and benefits in TANF. It passed the Senate, 43-5, and heads to the House. 
  • End Predatory Lending – Unfortunately, SB 184, a bill to cap payday loans at 36% APR, did not receive a hearing this year. Advocates in the consumer protection coalition, (which we co-lead) expressed concerns about some bills that would have increased interest on consumers; those bills were tabled for the year.

Build a Sturdier Foundation

  • Require reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers — HB 1309, a bill that provides protection from retaliation when a worker asks for accommodations, has passed the House after being amended for clarity. However, this bill does NOT require employers to give an accommodation. IIWF prefers the provisions included in HB 1358 – which would have given pregnant workers the right to a reasonable accommodation — but that bill was not given a hearing.

  • Safe, Stable, Affordable Housing — SEA 148, a bill passed in 2020 that would prohibit Indianapolis from regulating relationships between tenants and landlords and weaken protections for renters, was originally vetoed by Governor Holcomb and now has been overridden by the General Assembly. Two bills that are meant to fix issues with SEA 148 are moving right now: HB 1541 is another landlord-tenant relations bill that was passed 96-0. SB 150 also passed 45-0. These bills do not address all of advocates' concerns with SEA 148. HB 1219 would have addressed some concerns, but it was not heard. 

  • Improve the state’s Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) – HB 1009 was originally a bill that improved Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It was amended in House Ways and Means to remove the TANF expansion and replace it with an EITC provision. The bill retained a provision that allowed minors on TANF to have income from training programs and apprenticeships that would not be counted in the family income. It also now increases the state EITC from 9% to 10%

Create more opportunities to grow

  • Improving access to higher education — SB 54, a bill that requires high school students to fill out the FAFSA unless they specifically opt-out,  passed the Senate, 27-20, and is on the way to the House. 

IIWF will continue to monitor legislation throughout the rest of the legislative session. You can help IIWF support bills that help financially vulnerable Hoosiers and opposing those that don’t by going to the Take Action! tab on the IIWF website.



Save the date for INCAA-funded trainings

Mark your calendars now for training opportunities that will be available to you in 2021. All trainings are virtual and include:

  • Risk Inventory. All sessions are from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)
    • March 3 — Tone at the Top
    • June 3 — Segregation of Duties in Small Fiscal Offices
    • Sept. 9 — Tips for Managing Your Info Before Employees or a Breach Strike You (or a Sub-grantee)
    • Dec. 9 — Internal Controls: Applying the COSO Framework
  • Mental Health
    • April 1, 2 to 4 p.m. ET
    • Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to noon ET
  • 2021 Fiscal Roundtable. All sessions are from 10 a.m. to noon ET
    • March 18
    • May 13
    • Aug. 26
    • Dec. 2

As training registration pages are made, they will appear on the calendar on INCAA's new website

NOTE: The first time you try to register, you will be prompted to create an account. That will be your way to track your trainings and connect with the Network.

Questions? Call or email Amy Carter at 317-638-4232 or [email protected].

Register for Trainings


Pace 'Happy Hour' keeps staff well-being in mind

On Jan. 28, a variety of Pace Community Action Agency team members logged into Zoom for a chance to connect virtually with other staff, ask questions directly to Pace CEO Dr. Bertha Proctor and even share a joke or two. The invitation explained that the event was expected to be "a happy time to connect and smile (maybe laugh) at each other." 

"During this time, keeping staff connected and engaged is not just going to happen," says Dr. Proctor. "We have to take deliberate steps to provide avenues for safe interactions."

The virtual event will continue on the fourth Thursday of each month.


Brightpoint Development Fund offers relief for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Brightpoint Development Fund, in partnership with the City of New Haven, has offered relief in the form of loans to New Haven small-business owners impacted by COVID-19. Businesses are eligible to borrow up to $5,000 with a 3% interest rate. Now businesses in New Haven city limits may also be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000.

To qualify for a grant, businesses must have been established and operating prior to March 1, 2020, and be able to retain low-to-moderate income (LMI) full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs for at least six months. The primary purpose of these grants is to provide working capital, operational funding, and support for working remotely.

Funding for this new program comes from the State of Indiana's Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Community Development Block Grant funds were redirected as part of a COVID-19 response program to address the immediate impacts of the pandemic on Indiana’s rural communities.

Information on how to apply for a loan or a grant is available at


Health insurance Marketplace holds special enrollment period; insurance is more affordable than most people think

By special White House executive order, the Marketplace has been reopened as of Feb. 15 and will remain open through May 15, 2021. Many of our CAAs have health care navigators who can help review options and guide consumers through the enrollment process.

"We are here to help with free, unbiased assistance," says Amanda Chappell, program manager of Covering Kids and Families of Brightpoint. "And the majority of Hoosiers who apply will qualify for reduced premium costs, making a Marketplace plan an affordable option."

Health insurance is more affordable than many people think. According to a news release from TRI-CAP:

  • In Indiana, 43% of current Marketplace consumers had plans available for 2021 that cost less than $50 per month, after financial help.
  • 7 out of 10 Marketplace enrollees in Indiana received financial help that lowered their monthly health insurance premiums last year.
  • 42% of enrollees also qualified for lower out-of-pocket costs for health care services. 

Consumers enrolling in a plan are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, with no pre-existing-condition exclusions or mark-ups. All plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, consumers receive free preventive care services, such as immunizations and health screenings. Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered essential health benefits and are covered by all plans.



Go Inside the Statehouse every Friday 

Join the Indiana Institute for Working Families in an informal Zoom session every Friday at 1 p.m. through April 30. Topics range from pregnancy accommodations to TANF to landlord-tenant rights. Bring your questions!

Join the call*

* If prompted, enter meeting ID 824 9092 1012 and pass 830377.

Not on the email list for #TeamInstitute? Sign up here



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