IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

From Jake's Desk

IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake


(Left) While the physical locations of their CARE Center have had to temporarily close, Eastern Star Church continues to support individuals in the community that need assistance. (Right) The Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network has been using social media and newsletters to share important information including safe ways to worship during this year’s Ramadan.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic we were proactive in engaging our community stakeholders through a series of virtual listening sessions to better understand the impact the virus was having on communities throughout the state. These more than two dozen weekly sessions included developers, lenders, realtors, and not-for-profit organizations.

IHCDA’s Legal Team, under the leadership of General Counsel, David Stewart and Deputy General Counsel, Carmen Files, saw a great opportunity to reach out to organizations not typically in our daily work. They held a series of sessions geared towards Indiana faith-based organizations.

They knew going into these listening sessions that many faith-based organizations already provided some type of support for individuals in need. Nevertheless, it was encouraging to learn how faith-based organizations were able to quickly respond and provide aid to those in need in a safe manner as the number of individuals needing assistance increased.

Eastern Star Church, which has one of the largest congregations in Central Indiana, shared information during one of these listening sessions about its CARE Center. Even though its physical locations were closed due to COVID-19, the church has continued to provide emergency assistance – including food, rent, utility, and referrals to community partners. The church also launched a COVID-19 webpage to provide information about available resources.

Faith-based and other not-for-profit organizations are great conduits for sharing important state and local resources. One such organization is the Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network (IMAN).

One of the main focuses of IMAN is community engagement. Using its strong network of individuals and organizations, IMAN shares important information to Muslim families in Indiana, including information about assistance and tips on how to safely worship.

I want to take a moment to thank each individual and organization that participated in any of our weekly listening sessions. Not only were participants able to take information shared during these sessions and implement best practices, but your comments, suggestions, and feedback have allowed us at IHCDA to make more informed decisions.

I ask that you please continue to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC, ISDH, and local health department guidelines. We are #INthistogether.


J. Jacob Sipe
Executive Director

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