Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter

August 2020






Join an E-learning Series Specifically for Community Leaders and Advocates


USDA Awards NWICA’s, CAPWI’s WIC Programs ‘Gold’ Status

TRI-CAP and Partners Open Wagon Works Apartments

Brightpoint Development Fund Offers Relief for Small Businesses

Reminder: Encourage Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month and Beyond


Exemplifying the work of all CAAs, Pace is featured in IHCDA magazine



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Friday, Sept. 11

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Join an E-learning Series Specifically for Community Leaders and Advocates

Presented by Indiana Institute for Working Families

Even before COVID-19, our financial system helped some Hoosiers get ahead while crushing others. The unbanked, who are disproportionately Black and Brown and work in low-wage jobs, pay up to 10 percent of their income just to use their own money. They are disproportionately lured into predatory loans. These staggering costs can create lasting damage that is nearly impossible to recover from. 

How do we build a better system - or at least interrupt the damaging one we have?    

You're invited to an e-learning series about financial services, debt, and their consequences for Hoosier families. 

The series will also feature innovative local solutions that aim to disrupt the troubling trends we are seeing. 

Toward Firmer Financial Ground: How Policy & Community Action Can Improve Consumer Protections and Financial Well-Being

SEPT. 10  
How Did We Get Here? Consumer Lending in the U.S. and Indiana

BOOK DISCUSSION: How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran

"…although inexpensive credit allows half the American public to improve their economic prospects, very costly credit is crushing the other half. A hard look into the history of banking and the role of banks in our society can help us find solutions to reach this other half."

SEPT. 17  
Auto Lending: Troubling Market Trends and Innovative Solutions

WEBINAR: Professor Pamela Foohey, IU Maurer School of Law & Grace Care Center

SEPT. 24  
Student Loan Roundtable

ROUNDTABLE: Hosted by the Center for Responsible Lending & Student Borrower Protection Center, we will engage in a dialogue focused on your concerns about student loan debt. This conversation will inform the Institute's fall/winter research agenda.

OCT. 1  
Payday Lending: Understanding the Drain and Community Solutions

WEBINAR: Teressa Abas, former payday loan store employee; Erin Macey, Senior Policy Analyst at Indiana Institute for Working Families; Shawn Wolbert, CIA from Financial Health Federal Credit Union; and Marie Morse, Homestead CS

OCT. 8  
Debt Collection, Garnishment & Bankruptcy: Surprising Pre-COVID Stats, COVID Trends and the Future

PANEL: Indiana Institute for Working Families (moderating), John Brengle from Indiana Legal Services, Professor Pamela Foohey from IU Maurer School of Law, and Guests

OCT. 15  
Indiana Institute for Working Families' 2021 Policy Agenda: Tying Together Job Quality, the Social Safety Net and Consumer Protections

WEBINAR AND Q&A: Jessica Fraser, Director of Indiana Institute for Working Families & Coalition Partners


The Details


Your living room! All events will be on Zoom.

Dates & Times

Thursdays, Sept. 10 - Oct. 15, 2020
4 to 5 p.m.


This event is free. However, we encourage you to make a donation in any amount you find meaningful to support our efforts to bring dynamic speakers and innovative solutions to you!



This series is made possible with generous support from:


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USDA Awards NWICA’s, CAPWI’s WIC Programs ‘Gold’ Status

Two Indiana Community Action Agencies — Northwest Indiana Community Action and Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana — have been awarded The Loving Support Award, Gold Level, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). The award is intended to recognize Women, Infants and Children (WIC) agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

In recognizing these agencies, Trish Solis, USDA/FNS Midwest Acting Regional Administrator, said the USDA celebrates the programs for meeting “rigorous core components of the Loving Support Model for a successful Peer Counseling Program.”

The WIC program is a federally funded Special Supplemental Food and Nutrition Education program for women, infants and children through the USDA, with oversight through the Indiana State Department of Health.

Each year, the Indiana WIC program serves an average of 145,000 individuals a month, providing access to nutrition and health screenings, supplemental health foods and breastfeeding support.

Congratulations to NWICA and CAPWI on achieving this gold standard!


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Wagon Works’ first resident, Gloria “Jeanie” Huff, cut the ribbon for the new complex at a ceremony Aug. 14. (Photo courtesy Dubois County Free Press)

TRI-CAP and Partners Open Wagon Works Apartments

Six years to the day after the city of Huntingburg, Ind., was named a Stellar Community, its final project came to fruition. Wagon Works Apartments opened its doors to low-income residents at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 14.

The Stellar Community designation was awarded by then-Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann in 2014. The designation gave the city the opportunity to make use of pooled funding from federal programs that support community planning and development initiatives.

During Huntington’s strategic planning process, local employers identified a strong need for affordable housing for their employees. “The Stellar Communities designation program benefits all communities who participate in the selection process,” said Ellspermann at the time of designation. “The committees from Huntingburg and Wabash prepared outstanding plans that impressed our selection team. The transformational projects proposed by both communities are examples of the positive economic impact that can be achieved through thoughtful planning and broad-based public and private sector commitment.”

The City of Huntingburg, TRI-CAP, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and Indianapolis-based developer Paragus partnered to develop the 56-unit, affordable housing complex on the site of the old Wagon Works factory, located at 419 N. Washington St. in Huntingburg. A community building is also located on the property. The project was an $8 million investment in the city. Much of that cost was covered by tax credits, which makes inexpensive rent possible.

Apartments range in size from small, one-bedroom studios (renting for $350 a month) to two-bedroom units ($599 a month). The apartment community was intended to house people entering the workforce for the first time. Income restrictions range from $10,500 to $45,060 per household per year for 2020.

For more


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Brightpoint Development Fund Offers Relief for Small 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, in April, Brightpoint Development Fund (BDF) created a COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses.

Businesses in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties in Indiana are eligible for loan funds up to $20,000, with zero upfront costs and immediate deferred payment options.

“We feel it’s critical to support the small businesses in our community,” said Steve Hoffman, President/CEO of Brightpoint. “They are providing products and services we all rely on, and are an important source of employment as well.”

Recently, BDF began offering more help thanks to two new partnerships.

In July, a collaboration was announced with the City of New Haven in Allen County to offer relief loans, creating working capital for New Haven small business owners impacted by the pandemic. “I am excited to be able to partner with Brightpoint to offer this loan product to New Haven businesses,” stated New Haven Mayor Steven McMichael.

In August, the City of Fort Wayne announced it was creating a Small Business Emergency Relief Program to be administered by the Brightpoint Development Fund. Small businesses make up the vast majority of all businesses in the area. Figures from the 2018 Census show that, of Allen County’s 9,269 businesses, 7,465 of them employ fewer than 20 people.

“Small businesses are a crucial piece of keeping our local economy healthy, and yet many of them are struggling to survive the economic hardships created by the pandemic,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “Our priority is to support our local businesses so they, and our economy, come out on the other side of this crisis stronger than ever.”

Businesses interested in applying for any of these loans should submit an application available at, along with the required documents listed on the website.


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Reminder: Encourage Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month and Beyond

Health Connection of Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. joins the CDC in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

Highlighting the importance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Billy Hillyard, health educator at Pace, says it is a time to “get the facts, encourage vaccinations, and to ensure a high quality of health for children and adults.”

Facts about HPV

  • What is it
    • The HPV vaccine is an aid for preventing cancer. It is a series of two to three doses over a six-month time period, depending on the person’s age at the time of initial vaccination.
  • When to vaccinate
    • The Centers for Disease Control recommends males and females get vaccinated against HPV at ages 11 to 12, but the vaccine can be given as early at age 9.
    • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends vaccination for everyone, up to and including age 26 years.
    • Vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults ages 27 through 45 years may decide to get the HPV vaccine — based on discussion with their clinicians — if they did not get adequately vaccinated when they were younger. HPV vaccination of people in this age range provides less benefit, for several reasons, including that more people in this age range have already been exposed to HPV.
  • Are people taking advantage of the vaccine?
    • The analysis of 2018-2019 data from a national population-based survey suggests that most people are not getting the recommended vaccine, even after discussing the vaccine with their healthcare provider.

Community members should contact their local Health Connection or other clinical provider to schedule a visit and get the HPV vaccine today.


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Exemplifying the work of all CAAs, Pace is featured in IHCDA magazine

Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) The Magazine, summer 2020 issue, features an article about Community Action Agencies in our state. Using Pace as the example, the article talks about how CAAs are using COVID-related funding to improve their communities. Read the article here.





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