• 17 Mar 2021 5:00 PM | Anonymous member


    March 17, 2021

    CONTACT: Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402| jlove@prosperityindiana.org

    Prosperity Indiana Grows Team to Expand Capacity Building Resources, Programs

    INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce that Marie Beason has joined the PI team as Capacity Building Director. In this role, she will utilize her skills in training and community development to strengthen pathways to prosperity for Indiana families, communities and the organizations that serve them. Another exciting update is that Teresa Reimschisel is moving to a full-time role as Operations & Special Projects Manager.

    Beason’s deep roots in community-based programming began with her work as Executive Director of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) and grew throughout her career leading philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Prosperity Indiana, Beason operated a consulting practice helping nonprofit clients conceptualize strategies, assess programs and implement recommended action plans to achieve organizational success. Prior to consulting, Beason served as Director of Professional Development for the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, where she led organizational development efforts on behalf of Indiana’s philanthropic sector.

    Beason said, “My career in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership has solidified my belief that social change is best achieved through a symbiotic relationship between policy, programs and philanthropy. Prosperity Indiana and its members serve vital roles within this triangle of change, and I am excited to help PI grow and build the capacity of its members.”

    As Operations & Special Projects Manager, Reimschisel will maintain, evaluate and enhance day-to-day operational processes and organizational impact reporting. She will also support creation and expansion efforts of PI’s signature programs. With previous experience in management, classroom and individual instruction and advocacy, Reimschisel enjoys connecting organizations with resources that will multiply their impact.

    Reimschisel said, “My background in higher education administration and years of community volunteerism combine to give me a profound appreciation for the work PI and our members do every day. I look forward to expanding our internal capacity and getting to know our members and partners better.”

    Prosperity Indiana is excited to welcome Beason and Reimschisel as full-time “Pieces of the PI.”


    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

  • 10 Feb 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous member


    February 10, 2021

    Prosperity Indiana and Indiana United Ways Release Shelter from the Storm

    Today, Indiana United Ways and Prosperity Indiana are pleased to co-release Shelter from the Storm: How Avoiding a COVID-19 Eviction Crisis Helps All Hoosiers. This report is the result of a months-long roundtable of stakeholders from across the housing sector to address the public health and economic threats from pandemic-related housing instability. Participants included representatives from Indiana’s housing developers, multifamily and affordable housing providers, advocates from community economic development, antipoverty, homelessness and domestic violence prevention organizations, as well as representatives from the legal and public health sector and from Indiana’s courts, family services, and housing agencies.

    Roundtable participants came together to discuss how COVID-19 housing instability affects public health and economic impacts for the state’s providers, residents, and communities. Experts from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State, Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, and IU Public Policy Institute contributed presentations to help participants create recommendations for Indiana to take next steps. While resources, data, and presentations from the roundtable are reflected in the report, contributions do not imply organizational endorsement of any specific topics or involvement in next steps.

    Throughout the roundtable, participants also contributed to a series of surveys that revealed a great deal of consensus about the threats of COVID-19 housing instability in Indiana, including:

    • 84% percent of roundtable participants reported that the public health threat from COVID-19 evictions is a high or medium priority;
    • 92% of participants reported that the overall financial impact of COVID-19 evictions to Indiana’s economy is a high or medium priority; and
    • 92% of participants rated the issue of rental assistance not getting to where it is needed most as a high or medium priority for the state to address.

    While agreeing that more work needs to be done, roundtable participants coalesced on three broad recommendations for Indiana to take necessary next steps to avoid a COVID-19 housing stability crisis:

    • Emergency next steps include making more rental assistance available and incorporating landlord and tenant input into the design and outreach of any future rental assistance.
    • Additional data collection is needed to assist with understanding the risk of evictions, assistance needs and filings/evictions, including learning more about the specific needs of smaller ‘mom and pop’ landlords.
    • More partnerships, education, and outreach is needed, and Indiana should partner with providers and community-based organizations to help rental assistance reach the renters who need the assistance most.

    In addition to these broad recommendations, co-conveners Indiana United Ways and Prosperity Indiana believe the release of this report coincides with a critical opportunity for Indiana’s policymakers to take immediate steps to improve housing stability. The state of Indiana and several localities will soon receive $448 million in new federal emergency rental and utility assistance. Ensuring this new assistance reaches the residents, properties, and communities who need it most embodies the greatest areas of consensus among roundtable participants.

    This report and recommendations are by no means the last word on COVID-19 evictions and housing instability in Indiana. Instead, the roundtable is intended to model the kind of robust policy conversation and guidance for Indiana’s policymakers to use to make immediate progress, even as additional discussions and work are needed.


    Jessica Love                                        Maureen Noe

    Executive Director                             President/CEO

    Prosperity Indiana                             Indiana United Ways


    About Indiana United Ways

    Indiana United Ways is the state association for United Ways in Indiana that supports thriving United Ways through capacity building, shared services, and partnering. Visit iuw.org to learn more.

    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 organization and individual members, representing thousands of practitioners statewide from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 02 Feb 2021 10:21 AM | Anonymous member


    February 2, 2021

    Contact: Natalie James | (317) 222-1221 x406 | njames@prosperityindiana.org  

    Prosperity Indiana selected as one of 8 new State Grantees to national Opportunity Starts at Home campaign

    INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce that it has been selected to join a cohort of eight state-based organizations each to receive a $50,000 grant for the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) national multisector affordable homes campaign. Prosperity Indiana will use the funding to expand the capacity of its ongoing OSAH activities and to diversify Indiana’s state housing coalition to include new partners from the health, civil rights, and economic opportunity sectors. These multi-sector partnerships will be leveraged to engage Indiana’s federal elected officials to enact policies which correct longstanding racial inequities and expand affordable housing for the nation’s lowest income people.

    The grantees were selected through a highly competitive proposal process and will be formally recognized as state affiliates of the national campaign, as well as gain access to resources, multi-sector networks, and technical assistance from the national campaign.  Each applicant demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing federal affordable housing solutions for the lowest income people, amplifying racial equity, and expanding partnerships to different sectors.  In addition to Prosperity Indiana, the grantees are:

    “Not only is it critical for Congress to hear from national advocates, but also from their own constituents in the states they represent,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.  “Prosperity Indiana will be a critical partner in helping the campaign achieve its goals.  To be sure, the housing crisis cannot be solved without stronger federal action. And we are more likely to build the necessary political will in Congress when an array of sectors are standing shoulder-to-shoulder demanding solutions, rather than just housing advocates alone.”   

    In addition to this new cohort of grantees, the campaign also has previously established partnerships with Housing California, Maine Together, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, Oregon Housing Alliance, and Utah Housing Coalition.

    “We are proud to join this cohort of leaders in affordable housing advocacy from across the country and thankful for the resources that will accompany this designation,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana. “The multi-sector strategy to engage our federal delegation embraced by Opportunity Starts at Home is a natural fit with the way we like to get things done in the Hoosier state. And so, as we move from COVID recovery to rebuilding, the timing seems right to start pulling together new partners to ensure increased options for housing stability are created for those who need it most.”

    Follow Prosperity Indiana’s housing initiatives, including OSAH, through Housing4Hoosiers.org and on Twitter and Facebook. Follow the national Opportunity Starts at Home campaign on Twitter and sign up for its e-newsletter to get the latest updates about the campaign, including new partners, calls to action, events, and research.


    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 organization and individual members, representing thousands of practitioners statewide from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 23 Dec 2020 10:49 AM | Anonymous member


    December 23, 2020

    Contact: Rita O’Donohue | (317) 222-1221 x405 | rodonohue@prosperityindiana.org  

    Announcing Candidates for Prosperity Indiana’s 2021 Summit Awards!

    INDIANAPOLIS – Top community development leaders and programs across Indiana have been nominated for the prestigious Prosperity Indiana Awards. Winners have not been named and will be announced at the annual Prosperity Indiana Summit on January 13-14, 2021.

    The Michael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award, presented by First Financial Bank, distinguishes an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development industry. 


    • Joe Bowling, Englewood Community Development Corporation

    • Timothy Eckerle, Grant County Economic Growth Council

    • Jennifer Layton, LTHC Homeless Services

    • Austin Maxheimer, Community One

    • Annette Phillips, PathStone Corporation

    The Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award, presented by Brightpoint,  recognizes the outstanding professional leadership and commitment of a staff person working for a community economic development organization.


    • Anthony Bridgeman, PNC Bank

    • Serita Cabell, Memorial Community Development Corporation

    • Courtney Goodwyn, Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation

    • Eric Ogle, Office of Community and Rural Affairs

    • Travis Richards, Jay County Community Development Corporation

    • Emily Scott, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

    The Key Award for Supportive Services Program of the Year, presented by Merchants Bank of Indiana, honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented (non-construction) community development initiative. 


    • Digital Ready Businesses Program, Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue Extension Community Development

    • The Excel Center, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana

    • Homelessness and Housing Resource Team, Adult & Child Health

    • Kendallville Restorations, Inc.

    • LTHC Homeless Services

    • Maggie Bag Project, Stability First

    • Project Home Indy

    • Second Helpings

    The John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award, presented by Fifth Third Bank, is designed to celebrate outstanding leaders in the field of rural community economic development.


    • Alex Cornwell, The Waynedale News

    • Charyl Luth, Affordable Housing Association of Indiana

    • September McConnell, Community Foundation of Whitley County, Inc.

    The 2021 Prosperity Indiana Summit theme is centered on racial equity and inclusion, and the event is open to the public. Register at prosperityindiana.org/summit.


    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 organization and individual members, representing thousands of practitioners statewide from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 15 Oct 2020 11:57 AM | Anonymous member

    Are you interested in understanding just how eviction is affecting your local community? Have you or anyone you know ever been evicted? Are you looking for ways to engage with your community about eviction and also learn more in the process?

    Researchers find 248,000-313,000 Hoosier households are at risk of eviction due to COVID-19. Another recent study estimates 150,000 evictions will be filed by January 2021 and $376,000,000 - $485,000,000 will be lost in rent shortfall in Indiana, unless policy solutions are implemented. Watch the Eviction Lab’s ‘Why Eviction Matters’ video here.

    Sign up for our free 'Evicted in Indiana' Reading Guide and Webinar Series for your community organization! Join the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition for three webinars tying topics from Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted to current housing stability issues in Indiana and how to avoid a COVID-19 eviction crisis.

    Click here to receive the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition’s Evicted reading guide. This guide is designed for individuals and organizations who want to learn more about housing stability issues. Read by yourself or lead your own book club.  Check your local library or major retailer for a copy of Evicted.

    By using the reading guide and participating in the webinar series, you will gain an understanding of the factors behind evictions, the personal and community impact of housing instability, and the risk of a COVID-19 eviction crisis.

    For additional questions, contact Natalie James, Coalition Builder.

  • 10 Sep 2020 2:45 PM | Anonymous member


    September 10, 2020

    CONTACT:  Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402 | jlove@prosperityindiana.org, Michaela Wischmeier | (317) 222-1221 x409| mwischmeier@prosperityindiana.org

    Prosperity Indiana acquires Housing4Hoosiers

    INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Housing4Hoosiers website and Help Desk service, formerly managed by South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO). SCIHO has ceased operations as of Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

    “SCIHO has been a valued member of Prosperity Indiana, working to meet critical needs through affordable housing development in Monroe County, as well as creating tools and resources to address tenant needs in their service area and beyond,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.

    Prosperity Indiana will maintain Housing4Hoosiers as an affordable housing resource to promote educational information about housing options and tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities in Indiana. The goal of the program is to ensure Hoosiers have safe, affordable, and stable homes they can count on in their community. “Renting in Indiana: A Handbook for Tenants and Landlords” was created and was recently updated by SCIHO and has been housed on the Housing4Hoosiers website.

    Love said, “As the new home for Housing4Hoosiers, Prosperity Indiana aims to ensure it will become a key housing asset among our community economic development programs. We look forward to offering this advocacy, research and referral resource to benefit those we serve across our statewide footprint.”

    Individuals may reach out to Housing4Hoosiers for assistance and resources related to affordable housing issues. Contact Housing4Hoosiers via email at h4h@prosperityindiana.org.


    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 09 Sep 2020 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce two additions to our full-time staff: Michaela Wischmeier as Research & Communications Specialist and Natalie James as Coalition Builder.

    Michaela Wischmeier began a new role of Research & Communications Specialist on August 31, after serving as an AmeriCorps Fellow with Prosperity Indiana since January 2020. In her AmeriCorps role, Michaela has assisted with various projects, including communications content such as the monthly “Piece of the PI” newsletter, advocacy research, survey development and analysis, and creating and compiling resources for members. As Research & Communications Specialist, Michaela will be responsible for developing and publishing effective communications across multiple platforms for the organization. She will also perform research, training, and consulting services throughout various program areas to assist Prosperity Indiana members.

    In previous roles, Michaela has experience in prevention education and direct service work with domestic violence survivors, as well as nonprofit development and fundraising. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Affairs through IUPUI. Michaela is a lifelong Hoosier from Columbus.

    Natalie James will join Prosperity Indiana in the new role of Coalition Builder on September 21. Natalie will serve as the lead staff person for several of Prosperity Indiana’s issue-based coalitions. These coalitions have the common purpose of advancing policies that help meet basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity for all, especially including Indiana’s most vulnerable and historically marginalized people and communities. Across each of these coalitions, Natalie will help advance Prosperity Indiana’s mission and policy priorities by engaging current members and expanding the reach and influence of these coalitions. By building diverse and inclusive partnerships with communities and individuals throughout the state, she will develop relationships and the advocacy capacity of members to achieve coalition goals.

    Natalie comes to Prosperity Indiana after completing her service term as an AmeriCorps Public Ally with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation in Indianapolis. As a Public Ally, Natalie researched guidance on mixed-income housing best practices and recruited volunteers to support community building and economic development activities in the Mid-North area of the city. A native of Indianapolis and Dorchester, MA, Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Smith College.

    We couldn’t be more excited to have Michaela and Natalie join as full-time “Pieces of the PI”. Please help us welcome them to the Prosperity Indiana team!

  • 15 Apr 2020 1:56 PM | Anonymous member

    Prosperity Indiana Receives $50K from National Low Income Housing Coalition for COVID-19 response and recovery advocacy


    Contact: Jessica Love, Executive Director

    executivedirector@prosperityindiana.org, 317-222-1221 x402

    Andrew Bradley, Policy Director

    abradley@prosperityindiana.org, 317-222-1221 x403

    INDIANAPOLIS (April 15, 2020) – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce an award totaling $50,000 from National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will increase capacity for Prosperity Indiana to convene partners to advocate for short-term housing stability policy solutions and conduct longer-term education and research to achieve federal, state and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically rearranged the advocacy world in Indiana, quickly turning priorities upside-down across the housing and community economic development landscape. The pandemic has had disproportionate impact on Hoosiers by demographic groups, including people of color, and many of the counties hardest hit by COVID-19 also have the highest rates of rental housing instability and homelessness.

    Since the outbreak first emerged, Prosperity Indiana has worked with partners and policymakers to ensure that the most vulnerable Hoosier families and the organizations that serve them are kept as safe as possible.  On March 25, Prosperity Indiana thanked Governor Holcomb for heeding our call to protect Hoosier renters from dangerous expansion of retaliatory evictions in SEA 148 and for signing an executive order pausing residential evictions during the public health emergency.

    The grant from NLIHC will allow Prosperity Indiana to expand on our advocacy response to the pandemic to date. Because the pause on evictions is currently set to expire on May 5, Prosperity Indiana recommended, on behalf of a newly forming housing coalition, that Indiana take steps to go further to protect Hoosier renters by extending the moratoriums to match those on federal leases; pairing federal and state resources to work with communities to provide emergency rental assistance; and use market-based tools to reimburse landlords who do not evict tenants after the public health emergency is lifted. Prosperity Indiana looks forward to using this new grant to bring together partners from the housing and anti-homelessness community across Indiana to research and educate policymakers about effective medium- and longer-term responses to the pandemic.

    “We are thankful to NLIHC for this grant that will allow us to build on our policy recommendations to prevent homelessness during the peak of this pandemic by working with partners across the state to protect housing stability and avoid a wave of evictions, once the emergency orders are lifted,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.

    “Now is the time to pair federal and state funds with community and private resources to ensure that Hoosiers are safe at home throughout the public health crisis and beyond. We want to do more than just survive this life-altering event. If we use this time to create the needed policy structures, housing stability for all Hoosiers shifts from becoming a possibility to a reality long-term,” Love said.

    Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has used its broad membership base to help Hoosiers meet their basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity. The organization is known for its role as a convener and advocacy voice in Indiana’s community development landscape and has established its presence as an authority on housing and community development policy.


    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

    About the National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Founded in 1974, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone. NLIHC’s goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.

  • 20 Mar 2020 1:17 PM | Anonymous member

    Indiana Coalition for Human Services Praises First Steps, Calls for Further Action to Protect Hoosier Families

    As a member of the Indiana Coalition for Human Services, IIWF was eager to participate in the development of a coordinated, member-driven call for a strong policy response. 

    Now more than ever, Hoosiers need to pull together and support one another. The COVID-19 pandemic and the steps needed to end its spread will undoubtedly deepen the financial challenges many households in Indiana were already experiencing, and will cast many others into crisis. Making the right policy choices in this moment is critical. We will need our state leaders and federal delegation to advocate for solutions that allow Hoosiers to meet their basic needs, stabilize their household, and rebuild toward financial well-being.

    We want to commend the Holcomb Administration for acting quickly to put many important policies in place to protect Hoosier Families. In particular, we support the decisions to:

    • Suspend all utility disconnects during the COVID-19 crises, including gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water and wastewater services.
    • Ensure Hoosier workers have access to Unemployment Insurance due to COVID-19 related job losses.
    • Suspend evictions and foreclosure proceedings, ensuring that at this critical time, Hoosiers do not lose their housing.
    • Waive premium payments for those participating in the Healthy Indiana Plan and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
    • Waive job search requirements for those applying for or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
    • Expand the ways in which telehealth services are being offered and paid for, including for mental health services.
    • Waive licensing requirements for therapists so that Hoosiers can see out-of-state therapists without requiring that therapist to be licensed in Indiana.
    • Delay renewal processing for Medicaid and HIP recipients. 
    • Waive work requirements for able bodied adults without dependents on SNAP.
    • Make all WIC appointments by telephone and issuing three months of benefits.

    While we applaud these policy changes, we know that more policy changes at both the state and federal level will be critical if we are to keep Hoosier families safe, healthy, and financially stable. The policies outlined below are the ones that are still needed if we are to help our communities and our nation cope with and recover from this crisis.


    Hoosiers need to maintain safe, stable housing throughout the crisis. Indiana has multiple localities that, in normal circumstances, already lead the nation in terms of eviction. Loss of housing is always incredibly stressful, but in this moment it could also result in the spread of infection to shelters or other households. 

    • Veto SEA 148 to prevent making law from dangerous, unvetted language that would worsen Indiana’s affordable housing, eviction and homeless crisis.
    • For those experiencing homelessness, provide supplemental financial assistance directly to housing authorities, housing assistance providers and homelessness service organizations. Free housing counseling services should be provided as well.
    • Urge OCC and FDIC to require banks and other lenders to waive fees and work with distressed borrowers who need to skip or modify mortgage payments. 
    • Urge Congress to include emergency assistance funding to help prevent housing instability and homelessness as a result of the coronavirus outbreak to any supplemental funding bill.

    Health Care

    Access to healthcare is essential for screening and treatment. For our most vulnerable populations, such as those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly, it is also necessary that they have access to healthcare that keeps them as healthy and resilient as possible. Medicaid expansion has given millions of Americans access to healthcare but those who remain uninsured, those who elected for non-ACA compliant coverage, and those who have burdensome requirements for retaining their coverage need further protection.

    • Temporarily freeze CHIP redetermination compliance.
    • Increase CHIP eligibility threshold to 400% FPL ongoing to increase current access and mitigate future risks.
    • Open a nationwide Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that allows for the uninsured and those with non-ACA plans to gain access to comprehensive coverage.
    • Require insurance companies to allow for teletherapy, which is not automatically covered by the changes that were announced recently by CMS.
    • Allow teletherapy and pay for it even if it’s only by phone. Many areas of the state don’t have internet access and even in areas with service,  individuals may not have internet access.


    As families attempt to navigate schooling and working from home, caring for children who are affected by daycare and school closures, or quarantining, access to communications and internet, natural gas, electricity, and running water will be even more critical.

    • Restore access to all utilities, including communications and water, to those households currently without service.
    • Provide access, through hot spots or other means, to broadband internet service for those communities and households currently lacking access.


    Access to nutritious foods is critical to health and well-being. Certain groups will be especially vulnerable as access to school meals and other services are shut down. Policymakers should take steps to ensure that no-one goes hungry and that Hoosiers can maintain their health through nutritious food options during the pandemic and beyond.

    • Offer automatic boosts in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments through waivers for temporary, emergency CR-SNAP as well as for households with children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals if not for school closures.
    • Streamline application processes and extend renewal processes for existing SNAP caseload.
    • Apply for USDA and other applicable waivers to allow continued food service to children and families affected by school closures.

    Other Expenses

    Income matters to vulnerable families and at no time is this more true than during a public health crisis that is making going to work and work activities difficult. Hoosiers will need access to alternative sources of income as they take leave without pay, see shifts cut, or lose their jobs altogether. Hard-hit businesses will need support as well.

    • Expand access to unemployment insurance to workers whose employers temporarily shut down, workers who are required to self-quarantine, parents or guardians who were forced to quit or take unpaid leave due to emergency school closures, and workers who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave to care for loved ones affected by the virus.
    • Enact an emergency paid sick days rule to cover workers in occupations with high public contact that often lack paid sick leave, such as leisure and hospitality, food services, child care, transportation, and home health. 
    • Expand access to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families by:
      • Suspending work requirements, placing a moratorium on sanctions and terminations.
      • Considering only continuing income for eligibility and benefit amounts - we should not be taking into account lost wages as we calculate benefits and continuing eligibility.
      • Providing a one-time additional payment to all TANF families to cope with added expenses, such as additional at-home meals for children, increased utility usage, and other needs related to COVID-19.  
    • Provide direct, robust stimulus to working families, the self-employed, and small business owners. Prioritize forms of aid that will replace lost earnings, especially to those least likely to have savings, paid leave, or the ability to work from home.
    • Any stimulus to companies should be accompanied by expectations that they will keep workers employed and offer paid sick leave. 

    Civil Rights

    National emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak often lead to increases in antisemitic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric and violence.  Already, organizations like the Anti-defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center are seeing hateful messages, memes, and conspiracy theories proliferating online. 

    • Local law enforcement agencies, to the best of their ability, should maintain regular proactive communication with communities of color, immigrant communities, and minority faith communities.
    • Local law enforcement should continue, to the best of their ability, to maintain the reporting and tracking of bias-motivated crimes as a priority so that national law enforcement agencies know when and where support should be provided. 
    • Congress should continue to support programs and federal grant opportunities for non-profit organizations to better secure their facilities and be better prepared for emergencies and emergency management.

    Immigration/Public Charge

    It is incumbent that all individuals currently residing within the United States seek any and all medical attention that they believe they need without fear of retribution. On March 17, 2020, USCIS published guidance stating that all immigrants with symptoms that resemble COVID-19 should seek necessary medical treatment and that treatment would not negatively affect any immigrants’ future public charge determination, even if treatment that is provided is paid for by a public benefits program such as Medicaid.

    • All elected officials should publicly share information regarding the USCIS determination on public charge and encourage all immigrants to seek any necessary medical treatment they may need

    Consumer Protection

    Now more than ever, consumers are vulnerable to price gouging, predatory lending, and scams. Delayed and delinquent bills that appear on their credit reports could also cause serious and long-lasting harm to their ability to secure access to credit, jobs, housing, and insurance.

    • The Attorney General and other regulators should warn consumers about scams and predatory lending, encourage them to file complaints, and direct them to alternative resources. Create a centralized hub of resources and institutions willing to offer assistance and/or low-cost loans.
    • Freeze negative credit reporting and require loan forbearance periods with no interest or fees.
    • Stop all debt collection activities, including wage garnishments and repossessions.

    For the Future

    This pandemic has brought into sharp relief many of the existing flaws in our public policy framework. Moving forward, leaders should look to create a policy environment that supports public health & financial stability by making housing and health care more accessible, boosting the quality of U.S. jobs, and enacting and enforcing strong civil rights and consumer protections.

    We recognize that this list is by no means comprehensive, but represents some of the initial policy considerations from advocates who care about and are regularly engaged in safeguarding the physical and financial well-being of Hoosiers. We hope state officials will consider these recommendations. It is time for us to bring all available resources together and take care of each other.

    View the original blog here.

Policy News

Prosperity Indiana
1099 N. Meridian Street, Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone // 317.222.1221 
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