As part of an expanded focus on sustainability initiatives, Prosperity Indiana is a sponsor of the 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Summit, hosted by Earth Charter Indiana on September 13 at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. The full-day event brings together mayors, town managers, and local leadership from across the state to focus on cooperative and independent work towards making Hoosier cities leaders on climate action.
Allyson Mitchell, Director of Sustainability for Prosperity Indiana, will be moderating a panel discussion, titled “Local Energy Solutions for Climate Resilience,” which will highlight energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for local governments and their residents. We encourage Prosperity Indiana members to invite their local government officials to attend and bring a delegation of leaders to engage in a day of learning and collaboration about climate solutions.
Prosperity Indiana is also partnering with Earth Charter Indiana in their Resilient Indiana Communities campaign to inspire local action towards climate resiliency. The campaign is a collaborative project with and between Indiana communities ready to take on the challenge of climate change and see it as an opportunity for green-sector jobs, infrastructure innovation, local food and energy production, community building, and climate readiness. Allyson is a member of the Resilient Indiana Communities Resource Panel, a collection of Indiana professionals working together to help local communities develop their own unique response to the challenges and opportunities of climate change. If you have questions about the Resource Panel or want to get your community involved in the campaign, email Allyson at email@example.com.
“If their income stops, 44 percent of all households -- and 25 percent of middle-class households -- have less than three months of savings to draw upon without falling into poverty.”
This statistic and other eye-opening facts about the current state of family assets can be found in Strategic Philanthropy - Integrating Investments in Asset Building: A Framework for Impact.
With figures like these, even those who are gainfully employed could find themselves needing nonprofit services or resources in the aftermath of a serious life event, such as a job loss or health crisis. And this number doesn’t even include those already living below the poverty line.
At Prosperity Indiana, through our work managing the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network, we have found that lack of access to financial planning resources is a major obstacle to achieving financial stability. As such, addressing clients’ financial capabilities – knowledge + skills + resources – and helping them build assets are critical aspects of preventing long-term or future dependence on the services nonprofits provide.
That means: Even organizations that don’t normally discuss asset-building as part of their interactions with clients are seeking out ways to do so – to better address the root causes of their clients’ needs.
Based on this need and with funding received from the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Prosperity Indiana launched a one-year pilot program in Indianapolis. It is a learning cluster of organizations focused on integrating financial capability into their client services. Participants include Coburn Place, Indiana Connected by 25, Dress for Success Indianapolis and Families First.
As part of this pilot program, we are using the model outlined in Prosperity Now’s (formerly CFED) Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrating Services. This guide was created to help organizations assess their current programs and available community resources to build clients’ financial capability.
Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC)
The success of the Financial Capability Learning Cluster initiative has sparked the creation of a new and expanded Network program to place AmeriCorps members with organizations interested in integrating financial capability services into their work.
To expand the program in Indianapolis and statewide, Prosperity Indiana is now launching the Indiana Financial Capability Corps (IFCC). Through an AmeriCorps program funded by Serve Indiana, Prosperity Indiana will place 15 full-time IFCC AmeriCorps members with nonprofit organizations for a 10-month term.
Applications for organizations interested in hosting an IFCC member are currently available. The term of service begins Oct. 2 and runs through August of 2018. Interested organizations should download the host-site application here; and to learn more about the expectations for IFCC members, click here.
Whether they already provided some financial education or none prior to joining the cluster, participants have reported that having assistance from Prosperity Indiana to walk through The Guide’s process has changed how they do their work. It has also created new optimism for the financial futures of those they serve. Lora Henderson, Education Coordinator for Families First, said the program has been valuable to broaden her knowledge of financial products and resources available to her clients and enabling her to network with other organizations who provide financial capability services.
“Financial literacy education will help our dads learn that their attitudes and behaviors around money and finances are learned behaviors wrapped in emotional spending,” Henderson said. “Having this opportunity with Prosperity Indiana will allow our dads to learn how to effectively manage their financial obligations, which will strengthen. This supports our mission to create healthier communities by strengthening families and individuals through life challenges and changes.”
Candice Brisson, Program Manager for Dress for Success Indianapolis’ Professional Women’s Group, said the integration process is increasing her organization’s internal capacity to help clients address financial stability, which ultimately impacts their career success.
“As a result of analyzing financial capability services and providers with the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network learning cluster, Dress for Success Indianapolis is able to expand the in-house resources it will be able to offer clients and to expand its network of partner agencies,” Brisson said.
“A need for increased financial capability and education are consistently identified as the top two factors holding back our clients from achieving upward economic mobility. Financial stability is also a huge factor in employment stability. Being able to provide better resources to women taking our financial literacy class and those seeking individual financial coaching, counseling, and products will increase their chances of achieving the self-sufficiency they seek.”
Jessica Love is the associate executive director for Prosperity Indiana and works with the executive director to provide team leadership for staff. She is responsible for developing and managing organizational systems for Prosperity Indiana to ensure effective management and control. She also provides one-on-one technical assistance to Prosperity Indiana members, informed by her media and grants management background. With 15 years experience in the nonprofit sector, Love’s consulting work focuses primarily on resource development and creating processes and tools for effective management and program compliance.
This summer saw key budget bills moving through the appropriations process in the House and the Senate. The House Appropriations Committee has moved forward bills pertaining to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Treasury and the Small Business Administration, and Labor and Health and Human Services. Similarly, the Senate has started moving bills, including their proposal for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
We have previously covered the Administration’s budget proposals, initial House and Senate hearings, and what they mean for critical community development programs on our blog. Those posts can be found by clicking the links below:
· President's Budget Proposal Would Eliminate Funding for Critical Community Programs
· Here We Go Again ... President's Budget Begins Fiscal Year 2018 Federal Funding Process
· Sec. Carson Defends Administration’s Deep Cuts to Housing Programs in Testimony
Now we are focused on the steps ahead. Prosperity Indiana’s policy team has examined agency budget justifications and these congressional proposals to highlight programs that are critical to our members to help inform our advocacy response. The comprehensive budget chart will be updated as figures are released.
Following the August recess, Congress will reconvene and have to move forward with a continuing resolution, or a stop-gap funding measure, to prevent a federal budget shutdown before the Sept. 30 deadline. That will merely extend current funding levels, so they will also continue to work on passing their broad FY18 proposals or budget resolution. Given that there is currently no agreement on spending caps, getting both chambers to come to an agreement on these proposals appears to be a tall order.
If/when they can pass that resolution, Congress can move forward with budget reconciliation. That simply means they can negotiate bills and pass them without a filibuster in the Senate. This is key as many Republicans have expressed that they could use this process to enact key tax reform measures without confronting filibuster rules. Funding bills circulated so far include dramatic cuts or the elimination of essential federal programs such as SNAP, TANF, child care, LIHEAP, CDBG/HOME, and AFI to name just a few. While the Senate and the House restored some of the funding targeted in President Trump’s proposal, there are still cuts that would be devastating to Hoosiers struggling to make ends meet and organizations throughout the state working hard to build strong communities.
Please stay tuned to our blog/alerts for key updates and action alerts as we will be activating our members ahead of Congressional budget action. We need your voice!
Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce that Rachel Mattingly will become its first Director of Training Services. In this role, Rachel will develop and coordinate training and professional development content for Prosperity Indiana members across a variety of platforms. Take our survey to share your training priorities!
Prosperity Indiana has long been known by members for providing exceptional training opportunities. Whether bringing in a national leader for a statewide training or developing customized content for a member’s needs, Prosperity Indiana seeks to provide affordable access to high quality content. Through the creation of the Department of Training Services, we hope to expand on this success to further professional development in the field.
Prosperity Indiana currently provides professional development opportunities and other content in several important ways. Perhaps the resource best known to members is classroom training. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has supported a series of courses for several years to tackle topics in affordable housing, housing counseling, green building certification, aging in place, and more. There are five courses still to come in the 2017 training calendar, bringing in national leaders as well as local experts. Did you know that in addition to coordinating this statewide training program, Prosperity Indiana develops and delivers content for local members every year? Whether facilitating a board retreat, providing an evening training for residents, or leading leadership development for staff, we help our members fill their training gaps and needs.
Outside the classroom, webinars are a quick and effective way to connect members with expertise. A library of past webinars is available to members anytime, and new webinars can be found on our event calendar. Webinars allow Prosperity Indiana to address timely questions, such as legislative updates or the effects of new policies, as well as to share content on programs, partnership opportunities, or other resources. The Resource Library provides links, tools, and other resources to make it easy to find the information you need. The Library is updated regularly, and suggestions are always welcome.
For many professionals, networking and peer-to-peer learning opportunities are also an important part of their professional development. That’s why Prosperity Indiana facilitates Connection Point calls, where peers can meet to discuss important topics; hosts online forums to keep conversations going; and assists members with identifying and connecting with mentors from across our network.
Also, coming this fall, Prosperity Indiana will launch the Envision Collaborative -- a new training model aimed at developing leadership across the community. Practitioners from all fields, as well as residents, are invited to participate in this two-day course that will focus on developing personal leadership skills to create stronger, healthier neighborhoods. Watch for more details to be released soon! If you're interested in sponsoring a resident leader or practitioner to attend the Envision Collaborative, contact Rachel directly.
What are your goals for professional development and training? Share your priorities, as well as your training preferences, by taking our survey. Your participation will help us set strategy around our training plan to better meet the needs of our members and advance the field of community economic development. You can also contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-454-8542 to discuss training opportunities.
My name is Kaytlin Eastes, and I recently began my term as Prosperity Indiana’s Member Capacity Building AmeriCorps VISTA. I am a recent graduate of the University of Evansville, where I studied Public Health and Psychology. I was drawn to AmeriCorps VISTA because I want to work in community development; and this position with Prosperity Indiana gives me more opportunities, responsibility, and exposure to different aspects of community development than I would have received in any other entry level position. I wholeheartedly support Prosperity Indiana’s holistic approach to community development, and I am excited to learn and contribute throughout the upcoming year.
Along with supporting the Capacity Building team and working on the Outcomes Platform, I will be developing a new member service: Capacity Building Project Assistance. The purpose of this service is to provide Prosperity Indiana members with short-term, project-based capacity building help. If your organization is looking to create or expand a program, or could otherwise benefit from short-term assistance from an AmeriCorps VISTA, submit a request using this form.
In 2013, Prosperity Indiana began a multi-year partnership with the Legacy Foundation of Lake County to design a program that uses a neighborhood-based collective impact approach to strengthen communities from within -- through organizing, planning and decision-making and action. Four years later, the Legacy Foundation Neighborhood Spotlight program has seen four communities bring about transformation in local places, as residents, nonprofit organizations, and businesses came together to learn, plan, and implement change in their neighborhoods block-by-block.
Prosperity Indiana received an initial grant from the Knight Fund of the Legacy Foundation to facilitate the design of the Neighborhood Spotlight program in collaboration with the Legacy Foundation staff and board members. The Prosperity Indiana Capacity Building Team then worked with the inaugural communities, Hobart Northwest and the Gary-Miller Creative Arts District, to build the capacity of local stakeholders and coordinate collective impact planning efforts within each. Because of the program’s success, the JP Morgan Chase Foundation awarded Prosperity Indiana a grant to support the program and provide the same support to two additional communities, Gary’s Emerson neighborhood and the Town of Griffith, in 2016.
Now that all four communities are in the implementation phase of their plans, the excitement continues to build as participants see the projects that they organized around, decided on and are acting upon coming to fruition. Many of these projects are prime examples of what can happen when “a cross-section of community members work collaboratively and collectively on improving quality of life”.
The Gary-Miller Creative Arts District, one of the Spotlight communities, has been bustling with activity, completing so many of the action steps and goals of their quality of life plan that they’ve continued on to set new goals and objectives to accomplish.
Miller Community Builder Jessie Renslow says, “Community buy-in has made these projects hugely successful since they are community-sourced programs.”
Much of Renslow’s work has been to bring stakeholders together to get things done collaboratively instead of competing with one another.
“Because of Miller Spotlight, we’ve formed a lot of partnerships we couldn’t have had on our own.”
One project sparked by the identified strengths and needs of the community is a small business incubator and co-working space, The Stage (pictured on the right). Since its soft launch on February 12, 2017, this newly reclaimed community space has sprung to life with pop-up shops, business and financial literacy workshops, and other community gatherings to further the efforts of the Miller Neighborhood Spotlight work groups and connect fledgling local entrepreneurs with resources to strengthen their chances for success.
In an article by Dezimon Alicea of The Gary Crusader, Stage Manager Gretchen Sipp shared the community’s vision for the space. She said, “The hope is that “The Stage” will provide a platform for emerging entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, creatives, and the community as a whole to gain knowledge, build a social foundation, and turn their purpose into profit while building and supporting our city.”
Community builder Jessie Renslow (left) with Gretchen Sipp, manager of The Stage, a new small business incubator in Miller
Meanwhile, in another Spotlight community close to Miller, part of the Gary Downtown-Emerson neighborhood’s audacious plan is to turn this blighted area into an eco-district. Pastor Curtis Whittaker, Executive Director of FAITH CDC, the convening organization for Emerson’s Neighborhood Spotlight, said that the planning process was valuable in that it “forced doers to step back to create a vision and plan for moving forward.”
He added, “We’re grateful for the opportunity to see what the goal is and the steps to complete that goal.”
For Emerson, the Neighborhood Spotlight process has been “instrumental in pulling people together to get things done.”
This has been transformational for a neighborhood that had experienced planning burnout because its residents felt that many of the City’s plans had not come to fruition. The grassroots process that Neighborhood Spotlight provided allowed residents to see progress through early action projects and to build community and hope for the future of their neighborhood.
One of these tangible beacons of change in the Emerson neighborhood has been FAITH Farms. Burgeoning on the former site of two abandoned houses are crops of herbs and vegetables (pictured on the right). Currently tended to by a mixture of two paid staff, students receiving spending money for the summer and upcoming school year, and community volunteers, members of this urban farm crew are building agricultural skills as they plant, tend, weed, and harvest their crops. A farm stand is set up to allow neighbors to purchase fresh produce within walking distance of where they live. The group is also working with Purdue Extension to acquire an EBT machine, so that neighbors receiving SNAP benefits can use their food stamp dollars to make purchases. The long-term vision for the neighborhood includes expansion into closed loop systems like hydroponics and having an urban agricultural center where residents can learn about topics like nutrition and urban farming. The hope is that by becoming an eco-district they can create job opportunities and stabilize the community by attracting new residents and decreasing the number of blighted properties.
Planning for collective impact that leads to community transformation takes time and investment from a variety of stakeholders. Seeing the progress that each community has made to improve quality of life for themselves and their neighbors, through initiatives like Neighborhood Spotlight, is an incredible reward that reaches well beyond the time that the Prosperity Indiana team spends with resident leaders and community stakeholders. To learn more about collective impact and the framework we use for comprehensive community development, visit the Resource Library on our website.
To learn more about the Neighborhood Spotlight program and explore each community’s plan for collective impact, visit the Legacy Foundation’s website.
Update as of 8/7/17:
Below are some of the announced dates for interim study committees of interest to Prosperity Indiana's membership. (The full list of committee meeting dates announced so far can be found here: https://iga.in.gov/static-documents/2/4/2/e/242eba6c/cal_of_meetings.pdf):
In our earlier blog, we outlined the topics to be examined this year in the General Assembly’s interim study committees. Now, we have also learned the legislator assignments to these committees. Below is a list of the committee assignments for the committees we are watching on behalf of Prosperity Indiana’s member interests, as well as a summary of the topics under consideration by those committees that are of interest to our membership.
Stay tuned to our blog or check here for updates on dates for interim study committee meetings.
Corrections and Criminal Code
CHR- Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis
V CHR- Rep. Thomas Washburne, R-Inglefield
Sen. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville
Rep. Edward DeLaney, D-Indianapolis
Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis
Rep. Ryan Hatfield, D-Evansville
Sen. Timothy Lanane, D-Anderson
Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage
Rep. Sharon Negele, R-Attica
Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis
Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington
Sen. James Tomes, R-Wadesville
Rep. Gregory Steuerwald, R-Avon
The Corrections and Criminal Code Interim Committee will examine the availability and certification of treatment providers and treatment facilities and extending support services (including mental health and addiction treatment) to individuals in the criminal justice system
Courts and the Judiciary
CHR- Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville
V CHR- Gregory Steuerwald, R-Avon
Sen. Randall Head, R-Logansport
Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis
Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek
Rep. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend
Rep. Ryan Dvorak, D-South Bend
Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago
Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Corydon
Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis
Rep. Chris May, R-Bedford
Rep. Thomas Washburne, R-Inglefield
The Courts and the Judiciary Interim Committee will study Adult Protective Services, indigent services for persons charged with a misdemeanor, civil forfeiture laws, defense services for children in need of services and guardianship.
CHR- Sen. Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown
V CHR- Rep. David Wolkins, R-Warsaw
Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso
Rep. Mike Aylesworth, R-Hebron
Sen. Susan Glick, R-LaGrange
Rep. Greg Beumer, R-Modoc
Sen. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell
Sen. David Niezgodski, D-South Bend
Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie
Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington
Rep. William Friend, R-Macy
Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis
The Environmental Affairs Interim Committee will study public water supply protection and issues related to lead removal, how water utility service can be adequately and affordably provided in areas of Indiana in which water utility service is inadequate and/or costly; the health effects and issues concerning economic development from wind power devices; and rural broadband service in Indiana.
CHR- Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek
V CHR- Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville
Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis
Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield
Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne
Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers
Sen. James Buck, R-Kokomo
Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis
Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle
Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis
Rep. Steven Stemler, D-Jeffersonville
Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton
The Fiscal Policy Interim Committee will study uniform property tax assessment of nonprofit entities (KEY PRIORITY), issues related to establishing a neighborhood enhancement property tax relief program, a multi-year review of certain tax incentives, and tax increment financing issues
Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services
CHR- Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso
V CHR- Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, R-Beech Grove
Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville
Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary
Sen. Michael Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores
Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem
Rep. David Frizzell, R-Greenwood
Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville
Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis
Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond
Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis
Rep. Dennis Zent, R-Angola
The Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services Interim Committee will study changes to state law in light of changes that will come from modifications in federal healthcare legislation.
Does your organization serve low- and moderate-income individuals?
The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate, a project of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), is pleased to announce the inaugural Indiana Response to Hate Conference. This Conference will bring people together committed to combating and addressing hate through this first of its kind training opportunity.
DATE/TIME: The Inaugural Indiana Response to Hate Conference will be held on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at the Marriott East in Indianapolis from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Registration opens at 8:00 AM along with a continental breakfast. The conference will begin promptly at 9:00 AM. Please be sure to arrive by 8:30 AM to receive your registration packet and breakfast.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND FEATURED SPEAKERS: The luncheon keynote speaker will be Judy Shepard, Anti-Hate Crimes Activist and Mother of Matthew Shepard. However, Ms. Shepard is not alone in speaking at the conference. The full agenda of phenomenal speakers includes:
AGENDA: A draft agenda can be viewed here. Please note that the schedule and speakers are subject to change.
CONFERENCE COST: The registration cost for this all-day event is only $40/person if registered on or by July 16, 2017. After this date, the cost will be $55/person. This registration fee assists with the costs of the speaker related costs, audio/visual needs, continental breakfast, lunch, and beverage. Due to hotel meal count requirements, no refunds will be provided after July 31, 2017.
REGISTRATION: To register for the conference, click here. Registration is required. Space is limited.
More information can be found on the event page: http://www.fhcci.org/events/response-2017/
Every year, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis’ (FHLBI) Affordable Housing Advisory Council (AHAC)—comprised of housing and community development leaders from Michigan and Indiana—helps chart the bank’s path forward on this mission. The council is a forum for knowledge sharing, policy advice, and relationship building between FHLBI members and practitioners doing the difficult work of developing communities.
Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Andy Fraizer who currently serves as chair of AHAC says, “This is an excellent opportunity to understand FHLBI and regulatory policies that govern it, find alignment, and be a resource, shaping the direction of FHLBI.”
FHLBI is accepting nominations for vacancies on its Affordable Housing Advisory Council. Interested parties should complete a nomination form.
Nominations must be received by September 30, 2017.
About the Advisory Council
The 12 members of the Advisory Council meet quarterly to confer with representatives of FHLBI’s Board of Directors on execution of the bank’s housing finance and community investment strategies in Indiana and Michigan. Members provide recommendations on matters such as low- and moderate-income housing, community investment programs in FHLBI’s district, and the use of Affordable Housing Program (AHP) subsidies, FHLBI advances, and other credit products.
Members receive a stipend for each quarterly meeting they attend and are reimbursed for travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Meetings may require overnight travel but are typically one day in length. On occasion, additional committee meetings may be required.
Advisory Council members serve three-year terms, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
FHLBI seeks nominees from a diverse range of community and nonprofit organizations actively involved in providing or promoting low- and moderate-income housing or community lending in Michigan and Indiana. Nominees must reside in the state they seek to represent on the Council.
For more information, visit the Affordable Housing Advisory Council page at www.fhlbi.com or contact MaryBeth Wott, First Vice President and Community Investment Officer, at 317-465-0368 or at 1-800-688-6697.