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Monday, May 27, 2024

ICAPI awarded grant to study disability workforce challenges

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The Indiana Community Action Poverty Institute (ICAPI) has been awarded a grant by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to conduct a nine-month study on the challenges faced by Hoosiers who are forced to leave the workforce due to a disability.

The project will focus on understanding the financial needs of individuals and the complexities they encounter when applying for or receiving financial assistance.

“A disability can strike anyone at any time,” Community Needs Analyst at ICAPI Ashley Phillips said. “It’s crucial for all of us to understand the process of leaving the workforce due to disability and ensure the system works effectively for Hoosiers now and in the future. At ICAPI, we’re committed to long-term change that creates a better future, and we believe this study’s findings will be instrumental in guiding that process.”

The initiative aligns with IHCDA’s vision of a sustainable quality of life for all Hoosiers.

The study aims to educate policymakers, government agencies and the public about the current difficulties faced by Hoosiers leaving the workforce due to disability, as well as the ongoing needs of these individuals. The project will culminate in publications and workshops to disseminate the findings.

“We are excited to partner with ICAPI on this important project,” Executive Director of IHCDA Jake Sipe said. “Our agency strives to ensure every community and individual has the opportunity to achieve a good quality of life, and this is especially important for our most vulnerable populations.”

While the ICAPI study focuses on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities leaving the workforce, the issue of poverty is a complex one with many contributing factors. To address this topic more broadly, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) will host a free conference titled “Faith & Action” on April 18. The conference aims to connect faith communities and others to work together on solutions to poverty in Indianapolis.

Keynote speaker, president and co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute in Baltimore Reverend Jamie Washington, will speak about the ways in which poverty, race and class can create barriers to progress. He will provide ideas and insight for dismantling those barriers and empowering communities to break the cycle of poverty.

The conference will feature director of the Marion County Health Department Dr. Virginia Caine, who will share statistics on the economic and health disparities in Indianapolis, underscoring the need for change. There will also be a panel discussion featuring leaders from various non-profit organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Indiana, Faith In Indiana, the United Way of Central Indiana and the Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance.

Contact multimedia and sports reporter Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral.

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