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PRESS RELEASE November 19, 2020

CROWN POINT, IN- Indiana 211, the 3-digit dialing code for health and human services, officially became a part of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) in July with the passage of the State Enrolled Act 267. Prior to this change, Northwest Indiana Community Action (NWICA) hosted, staffed, promoted, and professionally answered the Region’s 211 calls locally. Effective December 31, 2019 NWICA discontinued answering calls made through the 2-1-1 dialing code. The change, which was part of Governor Holcomb’s 2020 Next Level agenda, “will…more efficiently aid Hoosiers in need by providing a one-stop shop for community and state services,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We will connect them with what they need, when they need it with this 24-hours a day, seven days a week hotline.”


Recently, in an Indiana FSSA press release, Secretary Jennifer Sullivan, M.S., M.P.H, announced that Gary Olund, President/CEO of NWICA, will be one of 30 individuals who will serve on the Indiana 211 Advisory Board. Mr. Olund shared that, “We are honored to serve as a voice for residents of northwest Indiana in need of access to health and human services. We believe that we have earned a seat at the table through our expertise and experience and are looking forward to the opportunity to provide insight and maintain communication with the Administration and other partners from around Indiana.”


NWICA has a proud history of providing information and excellent service delivery; we are known as the industry leader and respected voice for our constituents through demonstrated expertise and outstanding community service. In 2006, NWICA began answering 2-1-1 calls in addition to the Information & Assistance (I&A) service that NWICA already offered through the Older Americans Act (OAA). NWICA, designated as the Area Agency on Aging in 1974, easily integrated the two services (I&A and 2-1-1) by recognizing the synchronicity and efficiencies that could be created. According to the OAA, Information and Assistance services, (A) provides individuals with current information on opportunities and services available within their communities, including information relating to assistive technology; (B) assesses the problems and capabilities of the individuals; (C ) links the individuals to the opportunities and services that are available; (D) to the maximum extent practicable, ensures that the individuals receive the services needed by the individuals, and are aware of the opportunities available to the individuals, by establishing adequate follow-up procedures; and (E) serves the entire community of older individuals, particularly— (i) older individuals with greatest social need; (ii) older individuals with greatest economic need; and (iii) older individuals at risk for institutional placement. Even though NWICA does not answer 2-1-1 calls the OAA I&A service, provided through our Resource Connections Department at 1-800-826-7871, remains a key service.

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A letter from our President/CEO:

February 4, 2020

Dear Valued partner,

Northwest Indiana Community Action provides services to the low income, elderly & disabled community and has done so for over fifty-four years. One of the key services we provide is Information and Assistance Services, which connects individuals with various community resources. A part of this service has been answering calls for the 2-1-1 service and effective December 31st we discontinued answering the 2-1-1 calls.

Through our Resource Connections Department, we are pleased to be able to continue to provide information and assistance services. You can assist us by sharing this information and by providing updated agency information that allows us to maintain an updated resource database.

Attached here is our new program data application and our program cards with information on how to reach us.

Thank you for your support and helping meet the needs of your community.

Sincerely,

Gary Olund
President/CEO
Northwest Indiana Community Action

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Northwest Indiana residents will be can connect to local resources such as:

• food banks, clothing, homeless shelters, warming/cooling shelters, domestic violence shelters
• medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention, rehabilitation, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, children’s insurance programs.
• financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) filing assistance, free tax preparation sites
• home health care, adult day care, congregate meals, home delivered meals, respite care, transportation, homemaker services, wellness programs
• quality childcare, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
• Volunteer/donor opportunities.