Indiana

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Below is a set of key data indicators related to poverty. For the original sources, click on the data point.

Poverty by demographic

  • Child poverty rate: 22%
  • Senior poverty rate: 7%
  • Women in poverty: 15.1%
  • Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 41%
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children below 200% poverty: 229,000

Economic well-being

  • Poverty rate: 15.6%
  • Extreme poverty rate: 7.15%
  • Unemployment rate: 8.3%
  • Food insecurity: 13.5%
  • Low-income families that work: 31.9%
  • Minimum Wage: $7.25
  • Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 24.1%
  • Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 13%
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: 162,000

Family

  • Teen birth rate per 1,000: 37.3
  • Children living in single parent families: 35%
  • Children in foster care: 12,276
  • Percent of children in immigrant families: 9%
  • Number of grandparents raising grandchildren: 116,416

Assets

  • Asset poverty rate: 23.8%
  • Unbanked households: 7.8%
  • Average college graduate debt: $27,886

Education

  • Individuals with a high school degree: 87%
  • Individuals with a four year college degree: 23.4%
  • Teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 8%
  • Percent of college students with debt: 64%
  • High school graduation rate: 77.2%

Housing

  • Total households: 2,472,870
  • Renters: 29%
  • Households paying more than 30% of income on housing: 348,644
  • Homeless people: 6,259
  • Home foreclosure rate: 3.49%

Justice System

  • Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 2,422
  • Total incarcerated (prison and jail): 28,831

Participation in federal programs

  • Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 29,016
  • Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 404,000
  • EITC recipients: 555,000
  • Households receiving federal rental assistance: 91,069
  • Families receiving child care subsidies: 17,700
  • Participants in all Head Start programs: 19,442
  • Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: 853,624
  • Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 159,525
  • Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 272,724

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key Indiana policies and a link to an  organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports

Below is a list of reports about poverty and opportunity in the state. If you have a state report you’d like featured on this page, please email Tamanna@thehatchergroup.com.


Asset-Building

State Profile: Indiana

CFED, 2012

Asset Poverty Profile: Indiana

CFED, 2012

Families & Children

The Cliff Effect: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Indiana Institute for Working Families, October 2012

Status of Working Families, 2011

Indiana Institute for Working Families, April 2012

Indiana 2011 Data Book

The Indiana Youth Institute, December 2011

The State of Poverty and Opportunity in Indiana

Half in Ten, October 2011

The Status of Working Families in Indiana: 2010 Update

Sarah Downing, Indiana Community Action Association, February 2011

Homeless Youth in Indiana

Indiana Youth Institute, December 2009

KIDS COUNT in Indiana 2010 Data Book

Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana KIDS COUNT Data Center, 2010

Child Poverty Increasing in Indiana

Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana KIDS COUNT Data Center, October 2009

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Indiana 2009

Diana M. Pearce, Center for Women’s Welfare, University of Washington School of Social Work, October 2009

Education

Reverse Credit Transfer: A Completion Strategy That Indiana's Earned

Indiana Institute for Working Families, October 2013

A Stronger Nation through Education: Indiana

Lumina Foundation, March 2012

Investing in Indiana’s Adult Workers: Increasing Financial Aid Opportunities

Sarah Downing, Jessica Fraser, Lisa Travis, Indiana Institute for Working Families and Indiana Community Action Association, June 2009

The Journal and Courier, July 23, 2014: New funding to create homeless outreach position

“A pair of grants recently awarded to the Wabash Valley Alliance will strengthen outreach efforts to the homeless in Greater Lafayette. The alliance has secured more than $122,000 in state and federal funding to create a position that focuses solely on street-level outreach to the local homeless.”

The Courier-Journal, July 22, 2014: Report: More kids living in poverty in Ky., Ind.

“The health and education status of children in Kentucky and Indiana has moderately improved in recent years, but their economic situation has worsened, according to the annual KIDS COUNT report released Tuesday.”

The Journal and Courier, July 19, 2014: 8-county survey: 182 homeless; most under 24

“Newly released figures from January's Point-in-Time homeless count suggest a downward trend. But that annual count — conducted each winter — does not paint a true picture of the size of the local homeless population, organizers say.”

The Palladium-Item, July 07, 2014: (Op-Ed) Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 helps fix broken Medicaid system

“If approved, the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 would replace traditional Medicaid for low-income able-bodied Hoosier adults. Unlike traditional Medicaid, which is government-driven, HIP 2.0 is consumer-driven. It allows participants to take greater control over their own health-care decisions through POWER accounts, which are essentially health savings accounts.”

The Journal and Courier, July 01, 2014: (Op-Ed) Pence: Indiana’s plan is the change Medicaid needs

“Today, Indiana submitted its proposal for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If approved, the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 (HIP 2.0) would replace traditional Medicaid for low-income, able-bodied Hoosier adults. Unlike traditional Medicaid, which is government-driven, HIP 2.0 is consumer-driven. It allows participants to take greater control over their own health care decisions through POWER accounts, which are essentially health savings accounts.”

The Hendricks County Flyer, July 01, 2014: Full-service health center to serve homeless patients

“Eskenazi Health and Horizon House recently opened a new health center aimed at meeting the health care needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.”

The Pharos Tribune, June 25, 2014: Ground broken on housing for homeless veterans

“Crews have broken ground on the first phase of a new western Indiana housing project designed specifically to house the region's homeless, disabled veterans.”

The Hendricks County Flyer, June 11, 2014: State official talks changes to Healthy Indiana Plan

“The new plan, tabbed as HIP 2.0, will advance private, market-based Medicaid reforms in Indiana to provide health insurance to Hoosiers ages 19 to 64 who under 138 percent of the poverty level. That would mean in 2014, an individual whose income is about $16,105 annually — or $32,913 for a family of four — would be eligible.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, June 03, 2014: Indiana preschool program won’t start this year

“Republican Gov. Mike Pence had touted the plan to pay for low-income children to attend early childhood programs as a top accomplishment of the 2014 legislative session. The bill approved by legislators called for the state Family and Social Services Administration to pick five counties around the state for a pilot program.”

The Washington Times, June 03, 2014: (Editorial) Pence’s sellout on Medicaid expansion in Indiana

“Mr. Pence wants conservatives to embrace Medicaid expansion as a responsible, limited-government alternative to Obamacare, writing in an editorial essay in The Wall Street Journal and in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute. Include us out.”

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, May 30, 2014: Feds roll out school meal program

“More Allen County students could receive free meals next school year through a nationwide program designed to help children in high-poverty areas.”

The Times-Picayune, May 23, 2014: (Editorial) Gov. Jindal should follow example of Indiana governor on Medicaid

“The valiant efforts by some lawmakers to get expanded Medicaid coverage for poor Louisianians are apparently dead for this session. The House Health and Welfare Committee rejected legislation Thursday to require the state to accept the federal expansion of the program. The Senate had already voted against taking the Medicaid money.”

The Star Press, May 22, 2014: (Op-Ed) HIP 2.0 seeks to help low-income Hoosiers

“What he wants to do is offer a two-tiered program of coverage, to be called HIP 2.0. The first would provide limited coverage at little or no cost below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Another tier, HIP Plus would include dental and vision coverage, and other service at a cost of $3 to $25 per month, based on income.”

The Times-Picayune, May 21, 2014: Gov. Jindal won't follow lead of Indiana's GOP governor who is expanding Medicaid under Obamacare

“Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence plans to seek federal funding from the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, taking a different course for his state than other GOP governors, including Gov. Bobby Jindal in Louisiana.”

Forbes, May 19, 2014: (Op-Ed) Indiana's Innovative Medicaid Expansion Idea Could Chart A Path For Major Reform Going Forward

“I have been a huge fan of the popular Healthy Indiana Plan since it was conceived by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008 as a way to expand sensible health coverage to uninsured Hoosiers.”

The New York Times, May 16, 2014: Indiana Seeks More Coverage for Poor, but Many Would Pay

“The governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, on Thursday proposed using federal Medicaid funds available under the Affordable Care Act to expand a state health insurance program to cover an additional 350,000 low-income adults. But unlike traditional Medicaid, the plan would require many participants to make monthly contributions toward the cost of coverage.”

The Indianapolis Business Journal, April 14, 2014: Even without expansion, 40,000 more Hoosiers join Medicaid

“Even without expanding eligibility for Indiana Medicaid, the program had enrolled 40,577 more Hoosiers as of March than it had in the same month last year.”

The Palladium-Item, February 23, 2014: Pence seeking Medicaid alternative

“Gov. Mike Pence said Saturday he is encouraged by the one-on-one discussion he had Friday with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about getting approval for an alternative approach to expanding Medicaid in Indiana.”

The Journal and Courier, February 16, 2014: New support program aids homeless veterans

“Homeless veterans, or those on the cusp of losing their homes, have one more resource in the Tippecanoe County area thanks to a program now offered by Lafayette Transitional Housing Center.”

The Kokomo Tribune, January 31, 2014: Finding the homeless

“Kimberly was just one of the homeless people in the city who showed up at area social agencies Thursday to participate in the annual homeless count through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.”

The Muncie Star Press, January 30, 2014: Relationships and trust make a difference in ending homelessness

“Social service advocates who work with the city’s homeless have said in 2013, the population has been divided primarily into two groups: families still struggling from the 2008 recession and a chronically homeless group, which is primarily male, middle-aged and suffering from a mental health or substance abuse problem.”

The Muncie Star Press, January 30, 2014: 'Counting' the homeless: Official numbers don't tell the story

“For the second consecutive year, a government count has found a decrease in the number of homeless living in the city limits.”

The Seattle Post Intelligencer, January 22, 2014: Panel backs bill for Ind. welfare drug testing

“A bill that would require screening for possible drug use among welfare recipients is moving forward in the Indiana Legislature after a House committee voted to advance the measure Wednesday.”

The Times-Mail, January 13, 2014: Indiana lawmakers revive welfare drug testing bill (Subscription Required)

“Cash welfare recipients may face drug testing in an effort by Republican lawmakers to overhaul entitlements.”

The Herald-Press, December 27, 2013: Poverty hitting youth hard

“Indiana's children are hard-hit by poverty, according to a Dec. 2011 report from the Indiana Commission on Childhood Poverty. In 2011, 20 percent of Hoosier children lived below the federal poverty threshold -- $19,530 for a family of three and $23,550 for a family of four, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. Nine percent of Hoosier children lived in extreme poverty, defined by the Census Bureau as less than 50 percent of the federal poverty threshold, in 2011.”

The Muncie Star Press, December 24, 2013: Emergency homeless shelters for women open but not many are using them

“Homeless women who need a place to sleep for a night now have somewhere to go, unlike in years past.”

The Muncie Star Press, December 12, 2013: Leaving poverty requires financial education

“Social service advocates are ready to teach the city’s low-income population how to fish - with money.”

The Pharos-Tribune, December 06, 2013: Logansport homeless numbers plateau

“While a national agency reports the number of people coming through the country’s homeless shelters is decreasing, a Logansport shelter’s numbers remain steady, but the goals of both continue to remain the same.”

The Indianapolis Star, December 04, 2013: Indiana’s skepticism over Medicaid dates way backThe Indianapolis Star, December 04, 2013: Indiana’s skepticism over Medicaid dates way back

“Indiana’s cautiousness about expanding Medicaid is nothing new. Indiana was one of the last nine states to implement Medicaid, after it was created in 1965. And when Indiana did join the joint state-federal health care program for the poor in 1970, it went with the minimum option.”

The Indianapolis Star, December 04, 2013: (Op-Ed) Erika D. Smith: Pence’s health plan unfair to vulnerable Hoosiers

“For 10,631 Hoosiers, Gov. Mike Pence is about to become a cross between Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch. Thanks to Pence, these financially struggling Hoosiers will soon lose their health insurance. Letters from the state’s Family and Social Services Administration will arrive in coming days to let them know that they will no longer be covered under the Healthy Indiana Plan after Dec. 31.”

The Palladium-Item, December 02, 2013: Indiana looking for way to include 'personal responsibility' in any Medicaid expansion

“Whether hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers will be able to get health insurance through Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act might hinge on whether the federal government approves a state plan that requires them to pay some of the cost of their health care.”

The Courier-Journal, December 02, 2013: (Editorial) Medicaid: Tale of two states

“They have decided to reject expansion of Medicaid under the law also known as Obamacare, an expansion that could help as many as 475,000 low-income, uninsured Hoosiers get health care, The Courier-Journal's Laura Ungar reported Sunday.”

The Herald-Bulliten, November 29, 2013: (Editorial) Editorial: This holiday season, help fill up the Empty Stocking Fund

“The need for economic assistance in Madison County is great. Observe the following tell-tale statistics.”

The Kokomo Tribune, November 26, 2013: More Ind. students living near poverty

“More students across the state and in Howard County are living in low-income households and schools are finding ways to accommodate those students.”

The News-Sentinel, November 07, 2013: Part of Indiana welfare website down for 2 weeks

“Part of Indiana's welfare website has been offline for two weeks, preventing clients from accessing the status of their cases for food stamps and other benefits.”

The Indianapolis Star, October 31, 2013: (Editorial) Poor Iowans still in health insurance limbo

“The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, allows millions of additional low-income people to be enrolled in the state and federal governments’ Medicaid program. Some states have signed up tens of thousands of people in the past few weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

The Peru Tribune, October 28, 2013: SNAP benefits to be reduced

“Families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also called food stamps, will see a reduction in their benefits when a recession-era boost expires Friday.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2013: Ind. working poor highlighted in pair of studies

“A pair of reports released last week highlighted different angles of the continuing troubles faced by Indiana's working poor and raised questions about who ends up paying for their safety net.”

The Pharos-Tribune, October 08, 2013: (Op-Ed) Marcus: Working sensibly toward better future

“There are so many ways to look at Brown County. You can marvel at the golden colors as the leaves turn this time of the year. You can admire the high median household income and high rates of educational attainment enjoyed by the citizens of Brown County. Or, you can zero in on the low wages paid workers in the county.”

The Vincennes Sun-Commercial, September 25, 2013: Report shows more Hoosiers are lacking health care than most of the rest of the country (Subscription Required)

“Hoosiers are more likely to lack health insurance than Americans in general, according to a pair of reports issued last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

The Tribune Star, September 22, 2013: New Census data details poverty’s impact in Indiana, Wabash Valley

“Hoosier families continue to struggle as Indiana saw large declines in income in the last 12 years, new data released last week by the United States Census Bureau showed.”

The Star Press, September 13, 2013: Poverty Awareness Year program to educate children, parents about food insecurity

“You’re never too young to learn about the level of hunger in Delaware County. Especially since you’re never too young to experience it, according to recent studies.”

The News and Tribune, September 08, 2013: (Op-Ed) Hayden: State cracking under health care strain

“In the war over the Affordable Care Act, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won a policy victory when the Obama administration gave him a temporary pass to continue with the Healthy Indiana Plan, a high-deductible health insurance program that covers only 37,000 low-income Hoosiers.”

The Nashua Telegraph, September 04, 2013: (Op-Ed) Panhandling carries a price

“This month, Indianapolis joined San Antonio, Portland, Ore., and numerous other cities in curbing aggressive begging.”

The Washington Post September 03, 2013: Indiana is granted a health-law waiver; Michigan lawmakers vote to expand Medicaid

“The federal government will allow Indiana to operate its own health program temporarily, Gov. Mike Pence (R) said Tuesday, making it the first state to receive such a major exception this year under President Obama’s signature health-care law.”

The News and Tribune, September 03, 2013: Feds approve Indiana’s extension of insurance program

“The federal government has given conditional approval to Indiana to extend its state-run Healthy Indiana Plan [HIP] that provides health insurance coverage for about 37,000 low-income Hoosiers while officials continue to wrestle over what to do with the hundreds of thousands of state residents who remain uninsured.”

The Courier-Journal, August 12, 2013: LifeSpring to offer space for homeless

“LifeSpring Inc., the Jeffersonville-based behavioral health provider, has been awarded a $225,000 federal Housing and Urban Development grant to help convert its transitional housing program into permanent housing for the homeless.”

The Huntington Herald-Press, August 11, 2013: Hoosiers affected by poverty (Subscription Required)

“Many Hoosiers are living with low income or below the poverty level and Huntington is no exception. A report released by the Indiana Institute for Working Families found that more than 1 million Hoosiers are living in poverty and 2.24 million Hoosiers are living below 200 percent of the poverty level. According to the report, 200 percent of the poverty level is generally required to be self-sufficient.”

The Evening News and Tribune, August 09, 2013: Homeless under bridge: ‘Go where?’

“But now, because of the Ohio River Bridges Project, the homeless encampments at exit 0 have been pushed farther north, and outreach efforts are searching for a new location where they can provide the homeless with daily necessities. It’s one of the many issues homeless advocates, project managers and elected officials are facing as they try to address the impact of the bridge project on homelessness.”

The Journal-Press, August 09, 2013: Count is a snapshot of homeless in state, county

“The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has released the statewide findings from the 2013 Point-in-Time Homeless Count. Conducted every January, the count is a snap shot of homelessness in the state on a particular night.”

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, August 08, 2013: Number of homeless veterans in northeast Indiana triples

“The number of homeless veterans in northeast Indiana has tripled from a year ago, according to recent data from the United Way of Allen County and the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness.”

The Pharos-Tribune, August 07, 2013: (Op-Ed) Area’s uninsured an inconvenient truth

“Over the years since Bowen left office in 1981, the spectrum of Medicaid benefits for adults in Indiana has eroded. Those benefits now rank among the worst in the nation.”

The Star Press, July 30, 2013: (Editorial) Poverty numbers grim

“Data released this week paint a grim picture of poverty in the U.S., with four out of five adults facing unemployment, near-poverty or reliance on government assistance sometime during their lives.”

The Courier-Journal, July 27, 2013: Homeless in Indiana: With little help, we still must take action

“Homelessness in Southern Indiana is real, but it is different from homelessness in Louisville. How? Very simply put, money.”

The Courier-Journal, July 27, 2013: Homeless in Indiana: With little help, we still must take action

“Homelessness in Southern Indiana is real, but it is different from homelessness in Louisville. How? Very simply put, money.”

The Courier-Journal, July 19, 2013: Kentucky, Indiana meetings seek suggestions for easing poor’s bridge toll burden

“Construction has begun, and the final legal challenge to the Ohio River Bridges Project has been swept aside, but Kentucky and Indiana still need to resolve how to lessen the sting of bridge tolls on the area’s low-income and minority residents. The federal government requires such a plan, and the states are weighing a number of options that include waiving tolls for buses and allowing low-income commuters to buy only a few trips at a time.”

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, July 17, 2013: (Editorial) Surplus celebrated as poverty grows

“Around the same time state leaders were boasting that Indiana was closing its June books with $1.9 billion in reserves, a report from the Indiana Institute for Working Families was released showing poverty in Indiana is sharply increasing.”

The Herald Bulletin, July 13, 2013: Local agencies help families cope amid financial hardship

“Of greater concern, according to the "The Status of Working Families in Indiana, 2012," is that poverty is rising because wages in the post-recession economy are significantly less than they were before it began in 2007. Among the report's findings are that in the last decade poverty in Indiana has increased at a faster rate than in all but five states. From 2000 through 2011, the poverty rate has increased by 58.7 percent.”

The Greensburg Daily News, July 12, 2013: Report says Indiana ‘working families’ are worse off

“While the State of Indiana is enjoying a surplus of funds, many of the state’s working families are having a tougher time making ends meet, according to a new report issued by an anti-poverty advocacy organization.”

The Evening News and Tribune, July 10, 2013: (Op-Ed) Anderson: Kicking out complacency in ending homelessness

“Homelessness in Southern Indiana is real, but it is different from homelessness in Louisville. How? Very simply put: money. It is easy to point fingers and say the folks in Jeffersonville are not as enlightened as Louisvillians. After all for 30 years Louisville has had a Coalition for the Homeless. Also, Louisville has several million dollars to address homelessness because it is an entitlement community. It is much easier to address an issue when you have the resources to do so.”

The Kokomo Tribune, July 09, 2013: Health of state’s children improving

“Even as unemployment rates gradually fell following the recession, poverty rates in most areas continued to climb. Indiana’s rate went from 17 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2011. Numbers for both Howard and Miami counties have held steady for the past three years — varying by only a percentage point in either direction. In 2011, 22.7 percent of Miami County children lived in poverty. In Howard County that number was 24.8 percent.”

The Courier-Journal, July 08, 2013: (Editorial) Help, not scorn, for the homeless

“It is sad that the construction of a new Ohio River bridge is forcing homeless people to flee their makeshift encampments under a highway overpass in Jeffersonville. But it’s unconscionable that city officials, starting with Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore, have so little to offer such impoverished and desperate people living on the edges of their community.”

The Courier-Journal, July 06, 2013: Bridge construction forcing homeless from Southern Indiana sites

“Construction of a new bridge next to the Kennedy Bridge is forcing dozens of homeless people to flee their makeshift camps near Jeffersonville, Ind.”

The Tribune Star, June 30, 2013: Indiana kids health ranking up 13 spots

“New data shows good news about Indiana children’s health but other areas still need improvement. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Book for 2013, Indiana ranked 21st in child health, up 13 spots from last year.”

The Courier-Journal, June 24, 2013: (Editorial) The future for kids

“In Kentucky and Indiana, poverty is worsening for children, according to the latest Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report, which serves as an annual update on the welfare of children, state by state. And with poverty come a host of poor outcomes for children — including educational attainment, living conditions, abuse, neglect, health and hunger. If you doubt the last item, please read the letter on this page about child hunger in Kentucky and the nation.”

The Indianapolis Business Journal, June 3, 2013: (Op-Ed) Siddiqui: Forward with the Medicaid experiment

“Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed expansion of health care for low-income Hoosiers through the Healthy Indiana Plan is a valuable experiment that will continue Indiana's trend as an innovator in government.”

Pharos-Tribune, May 26, 2013: Free lunch program no longer a poverty indicator

“Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley said he and other GOP legislative leaders have 'lost confidence' in the accuracy of the federal school lunch program as an indicator of poverty. ‘There’s no accountability in the federal program,’ Kenley said.”

Journal and Courier, May 03, 2013: Event zeroes in on mothers: Prevention education, health care stressed

“MDwise, the only nonprofit Medicaid health plan headquartered in Indiana, and United Way of Greater Lafayette organized the event. The organizers targeted low-income mothers to make sure they have affordable access to health care and to provide basic information.”

The Indianapolis Star, April 27, 2013: Welfare drug testing bill fails to win approvalWelfare drug testing bill fails to win approval

“A bill that would have required some Indiana welfare recipients to face drug testing died late Friday after the Senate did not call it down for a vote.”

The Courier-Journal, April 14, 2013: JCPS braces for sequestration budget cuts that will affect programs for low-income students

“Exact figures won’t be known until May, but projected 5 percent to 10 percent reductions to Title I funding for low-income students, special education, Head Start and other programs for the 2013-14 school year could threaten funding for nearly 300 teacher and staff positions and may require trimming programs, district officials said.”

The Indianapolis Star, April 11, 2013: Senate approves bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients

“Families struggling with drug addiction and poverty could lose their welfare benefits under a bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday. Supporters of House Bill 1483 say drug-testing welfare recipients will help them, because no one would lose benefits if they successfully stay on a drug treatment program. The alternative, they argue, is a continuing dangerous lifestyle that drains family income and leaves their children vulnerable.”

The Indianapolis Star, April 10, 2013: Hoosiers receiving health insurance through employer on decline

“Indiana’s change was greatest among families earning below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $39,060 for a family of three. Coverage fell from 53 percent of those households getting insurance through an employer to 32 percent, the largest drop in that income category in the nation.”

The Indianapolis Star, April 02, 2013: (Editorial) For kids' sake, no time to go slow on preschool

“Last week's vote by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee to approve an early childhood education pilot program - but without the funding included when the House passed the bill 93-6 - could mean that an estimated 1,000 low-income Hoosier children will miss out on a vital start to their schooling.”

South Bend Tribune, March 21, 2013: Local counties hold steady, improve health rankings

“Meleski said the county's highest specific ranking this year came in ‘clinical care,’ where the county was ranked 12th in the state. The lowest ranking - 81 out of 92 - came from socioeconomic factors related to health, which include high school graduation rates and some college education, unemployment, children in poverty or single-parent households, violent crime rates and inadequate social support, according to the release.”

The Courier-Journal, March 14, 2013: Bill for drug testing of some welfare recipients advances

“A legislative committee approved a proposal to require drug testing for some Indiana welfare recipients despite complaints that it would be unfair to the state’s neediest residents.”

The Indianapolis Star, March 14, 2013: (Op-Ed) Indiana's poor will suffer without Medicaid expansion

“As Indiana and other states decide whether to participate in the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, they remind us that federal-state partnerships can compromise the effectiveness of national benefit programs. Local control may respect differences in community values, but it also prevents fair access to essential government services.”

The Star Press, March 12, 2013: (Editorial) Bill requiring drug testing would punish poor

“If you're poor in Indiana and receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Indiana Legislature is no friend. Republicans in the General Assembly are continuing to wage war on the poor in a new bill that would require people receiving TANF to submit to drug tests, or risk losing their benefits.”

The Indianapolis Star, March 01, 2013: (Op-Ed) Proven program to lift the low-income could be cut in half

“IDA provides for a state-federal grant of three times the sum a person deposits in his or her own bank account from earned income every year for four years. The maximums are a $400 deposit and $1,200 match per year. The money must go to education, opening a business, or buying or rehabbing a home.”

USA Today, February 26, 2013: Indiana House backs drug tests of welfare recipients

“Indiana welfare recipients could face drug testing and loss of benefits if they fail to stick to treatment in a bill now headed to the Indiana Senate.”

The Indianapolis, February 18, 2013: Wishard and Community form partnership for low-income patients

“Wishard-Eskenazi Health and Community Health Network announced today that they will form a partnership that will provide low-income patients with greater access to care.”

The Indianapolis Star, February 06, 2013: Indiana bill earmarks $14 million for preschool program

“The measure would fund a two-year pilot program to measure the effect of preschool experience. Initially, the bill would earmark $7 million for each year to send about 1,000 low-income children to approved preschool programs.”

The Indianapolis Star, February 03, 2013: GTECH won't expand lottery sales in low-income areas, but says it will replace retailers that drop out

“The Hoosier Lottery's new private operator, GTECH Corp., has promised not to target low-income neighborhoods as it tries to dramatically boost state lottery revenues, but a similar commitment in neighboring Illinois didn't stop the company from replacing scores of retailers in low-income areas that closed or stopped selling lottery tickets.”

The Star Press, January 26, 2013: Poverty Awareness Year to educate community on pervasive issue

“That's not stopping them, however, from organizing a Poverty Awareness Year, a series of community meetings together with regularly scheduled social service activities - such as the Second Harvest of East Central Indiana fresh food distributions - in hopes that someone new will discover poverty as a serious problem in the community.”

The Star Press, January 25, 2013: Childhood poverty still a concern in Muncie

“One in five children living in Indiana - more than 300,000 - are living in poverty. This is higher than the national average of 18 percent, and it's expected to get worse if Hoosiers continue to ignore to this problem, according to Michael Patchner, chairman of the Indiana Commission on Childhood Poverty.”

Palladium Item, January 12, 2013: Senior sign-ups set for food program

“Low-income Wayne County residents age 60 and older who qualify can receive a free monthly box of supplemental food by pre-registering at one of two sessions this coming week. The Richmond Senior Community Center, in partnership with Gleaners Community Food Program, RSVP and the Area 9 In-Home & Community Services Agency, is starting this month to offer the Community Supplemental Food Program that serves low-income seniors.”

The Indianapolis Star, January 10, 2013: (Op-Ed) Hoosier Tavis Smiley says America must unite to solve poverty

“It's not that we don't understand poverty. In the past decade, Hoosiers experienced the second-largest decrease in median household income in the nation, according to the Indiana Institute for Working Families. A good number of us don't earn enough money to be self-sufficient. To be more specific, about 1 million Hoosiers, including more than 150,000 families with children, live at or below the federal poverty line. But Smiley's message, more than anything, is about rewriting the narrative of how we think about, talk about and ultimately set about reducing poverty.”

The Indianapolis Star, December 07, 2012: Connersville students help distribute food to children, families in need

“Hunger and poverty are common among Connersville Senior High School's 1,200 students -- most of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch. But an initiative by Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana hopes to alleviate that. The high school in Fayette County, a high-poverty area about 70 miles east of Indianapolis, is the center of a new effort to distribute food to students and their immediate families.”

The News-Sentinel, December 04, 2012: Indiana utility disconnection moratorium takes effect

“The moratorium is one of several measures and programs aimed at helping people who cannot afford to heat their homes during the winter. Along with the federally-funded Energy Assistance Program, Indiana Michigan Power funds its own relief program. And the city of Fort Wayne offers loans up to $5,000 to help low-income people make furnace repairs.”

The Indianapolis Star, December 01, 2012: 363,000 Hoosiers could end up without health insurance if Medicaid isn't expanded

“So far, discussions about a potential expansion have focused almost exclusively on the existing Healthy Indiana Plan, a state-sponsored program for low-income adults that combines high deductibles and a health savings account to which enrollees must contribute 2 percent to 5 percent of their income. Experts say the federal government is likely to take issue with certain aspects of the plan, including its cap on enrollment and benefits that are less robust than traditional Medicaid.”

The News-Sentinel, November 29, 2012: Heating assistance offered for low-income Fort Wayne residents

“Low-income Fort Wayne residents may qualify for loans up to $5,000 to help with winter heating expenses, Mayor Tom Henry said. The city's Winter Heating Program provides five-year loans up to $5,000 at low interest rates for households at 80 percent or less of the area median income.”

Journal and Courier, November 23, 2012: A better way out of poverty

“At the Indiana Institute for Working Families - a nonprofit and nonpartisan policy institute - we are increasingly concerned about the growing number of Hoosiers in poverty. Our work centers on data-driven research to promote policies that help Hoosiers achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency - the ability to care for their families without government support.”

The Indianapolis Star, November 21, 2012: (Editorial) Families are winners with vouchers

“More than 80 percent of voucher recipients qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, a common measure of poverty. About half of the students are minorities, including 20 percent who are black and 19 percent Hispanic. Two-thirds live in urban areas, where many of Indiana's worst-performing public schools are located. In only the second year of the voucher program, more than 9,300 students have been given the freedom to attend schools of their choice. Indiana's is the fast-growing voucher system in the nation. But is it constitutional?”

The Star Press, November 12, 2012: (Editorial) Settlement gives monetary boost to help keep the heat on

“An additional $28.8 million was directed to the Indiana Energy Assistance program from a multi-state settlement Attorney General Greg Zoeller entered into with the nation's five largest banks over their foreclosure abuses and mortgage-servicing practices. About $4 million a year will be made available for heating assistance from this settlement.”

The Star Press, October 26, 2012: New programs aim to help veterans

“Veterans are typically at a higher risk for homelessness, unemployment, divorce as well as mental health services, yet thousands don't receive the care they need when they return from duty. Whether it's pride or a lack of knowledge about what's available, social service advocates aren't sure what makes veterans more vulnerable. But new programs in the area focusing on housing and education hope to prevent veterans from falling through the cracks and into homelessness.”

Indianapolis Star, October 24, 2012: Habitat project in Noblesville rehabs foreclosed home

“According to a May 2012 report from the Central Indiana Community Foundation, poverty has increased 67 percent in Hamilton County, and many households are struggling to meet rent or mortgage payments and to keep food on their tables. A recent U.S. Census report shows that about 4.5 percent of the county's residents are living below the poverty line. This is the fourth service project for Katz, Sapper & Miller, but the first build.”

The Indianapolis Star, October 04, 2012: Families are a real issue

“Pence's plan highlights this simple approach to reducing poverty. ‘Graduate from high school,’ he noted, ‘work full time or go to college and wait until you're married before having a child.’ If a child lives with married parents in Indiana, the likelihood of poverty is reduced by 85 percent.”

The Indianapolis Star, September 27, 2012: Sewage overflow pipes run into Indianapolis poor areas, near parks, schools

“Just upstream, a pipe capable of dumping raw sewage into the creek jutted out from the bank. James' fishing method illustrates a problem. Despite warnings posted along creeks and rivers, many people don't fully understand the risks of coming into contact with the water in the streams that run through their neighborhoods. Particularly vulnerable are children -- especially those in impoverished parts of the city.”

Palladium-Item, September 27, 2012: Union County health clinic will re-open

“Union County's low-income health clinic will reopen Oct. 4, after the Union County Council agreed Thursday to transfer money to cover malpractice insurance for the staff. The health department will receive a one-time grant from the Indiana Department of Health that will pay for malpractice insurance, but it will be six to eight weeks before those funds arrive, health department secretary Diann Timberman said.”

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, August 31, 2012: $220,000 in grants tapped for nonprofits

“The city uses a competitive application process to make a portion of its Community Development Block Grant money available to nonprofit groups in the form of public service grants; Community Development Block Grant regulations cap the amount available for nonprofits. This year's grant recipients will provide literacy and financial education to families, provide ‘real work’ experience and career counseling to ex-offenders and help the homeless find jobs and housing.”

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, August 28, 2012: (Op-Ed) Numbers bear out welfare reform’s success

"Timeliness of decisions across all programs has gone from 75 percent to 93 percent. For TANF, or cash welfare, timeliness has almost doubled. The backlog of pending cases has been slashed by two-thirds. Error rates for food stamps have been cut in half, from 6.6 percent to 3.3 percent. Indiana is now above national averages in all important performance measurements. And all this has happened while demand on the system exploded, from 695,000 to more than 1.3 million applicants."

The Indianapolis Star, July 1, 2012: Why Waivers May Be Inflating Graduation Rates In Indianapolis Public Schools

"That percentage of black students who used a district-approved waiver is not only high, it is disproportionate even when compared with other demographic groups educators identify as at-risk. For example, one in seven Indiana students who receive free and reduced-price school meals -- a standard measure of poverty -- received waivers. For Hispanic students, it also was one in seven."

The San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 2012: Health ruling could leave 290K in Ind. uncovered

"The court ruling last week gave states the option of going along with a Medicaid expansion that would cover families with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level, an amount equivalent to $14,856 annually for an individual or $30,657 for a family of four."

The Indianapolis Star, April 20, 2012: Having a place to call home

"Indiana has an estimated 3,600 homeless veterans, said Debra Des Vignes, an HVAF spokeswoman. Nationally, there are an estimated 200,000 homeless veterans. Some veterans are overcoming addictions to drugs or alcohol and are being served by HVAF's Residential, Employment, Substance Abuse Treatment program, Des Vignes said."

The Washington Post, April 12, 2012: Guess which states don’t fund pre-K programs

"Yet a new report shows that funding across the country by states has declined over the past two years — to the tune of about $90 million — even though enrollment has increased. What’s more, a number of states don’t even fund early pre-K programs."

The Indianapolis Star, April 12, 2012: Event shows that homelessness defies stereotypes

"The truth is, being homeless can happen to just about anybody. Young or old. Black or white. Military vet or draft dodger. Lazy or hard-working. People with entire wardrobes of brand-name clothes or people with only the dirty jeans and jackets on their backs."

The Indianapolis Star, February 24, 2012: Grading system likely to hurt high-poverty schools most

"Indianapolis Public School 46 is a success story, a lauded example of how a school whose students come from poverty can excel with help from a community partner. Just last week, Kroger announced that the grocery chain would again commit $100,000 in cash and volunteers this year to the school it adopted 27 years ago."

Bloomberg, January 25, 2012: Daniels Says Democratic ‘Extremism’ Is ‘Pro-Poverty Policy’

"Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said Democratic “extremism” promotes a “pro-poverty policy” by hindering U.S. energy development, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and backing costly environmental regulations."

Belleville News-Democrat, January 19, 2012: 'Poverty plays a huge role': District 201 chief wants to close racial gap in test scores

"New District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said Wednesday that one of his top priorities is to close the achievement gap between white and black students. Dosier said a recent slip in the district's state report card scores are in part because of a gap between the achievement levels of its black and white students."

Belleville News-Democrat, January 19, 2012: (Editorial) Working families earned this relief

"That check is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a complicated name for tax relief for working families. Congress enacted a federal EITC in 1975, and Illinois enacted a state version in 2000. On Jan. 10 I signed a bill to put more money in the pockets of working families by doubling Illinois' EITC from 5 percent of the federal credit to 10 percent, saving low-income workers an extra $105 million a year."

The Indianapolis Star, January 18, 2012: Gifts help residents who have trouble paying heating bills

"For example, for a family of four, the income range would be $33,500 to $67,000. Those at the higher end of the range would need to demonstrate special needs, such as medical bills, United Way officials said. Families whose income falls below 150 percent of the poverty level typically qualify for assistance under state programs, Kinney said."

Journal and Courier, January 16, 2012: The changing face of homelessness

"'People ask me what am I doing here,' she said, recalling responses when others learn that she's in transitional housing. 'They say, You don't look like the type of person that's supposed to be here. But I say to them ... you can't put a face on homelessness, and you can't look at me and say because you think I look like a better person that I'm not homeless, because I am.'"

The Associated Press, January 2, 2012: Indianapolis looks to move homeless for Super Bowl

"Police and social service agencies will work together to get downtown Indianapolis' homeless population off the streets during Super Bowl activities but there will be no forced relocation, authorities said."

Palladium-Item, December 20, 2011: Seniors' holidays brightened by food donations

"Senior citizens in Preble County, Ohio, and in five Indiana counties received holiday gifts of food and other items through the Preble County Council on Aging and the Richmond-based Area 9 In-Home and Community Services Agency."

The Indianapolis Star, December 7, 2011: (Editorial) Indiana fails to shape up in national health rankings

"Among the few areas with slight improvements were children in poverty and cardiovascular deaths. This year, 25.2 percent of children lived in poverty, 43rd in the country, down from 26.3 percent. Cardiovascular deaths, at 291 per 100,000 residents, were down from 300.5, but the 38th ranking remained the same."

Indiana Daily Student, November 18, 2011: Bloomington’s inequality ranks among highest in nation

"As more people hear the message of the Occupy movements each day, institutions, politicians and journalists have begun examining poverty and income inequality specifically in the Monroe County area."

Indiana Public Media, November 17, 2011: Students Increase Poverty Rate, Grant Money For Bloomington

"Bloomington has the third highest poverty rate in the nation according to U.S. Census data that ranked all cities with populations greater than 65,000. That number however is largely inflated by the city’s student population, which is nearly half of the city’s population."

Journal and Courier, October 31, 2011: (Op-Ed) Food insecurity a growing problem

"Real median household income in the United States declined. The national poverty rate increased to 15.1 percent -- that's 46.2 million people, seven times the population of the state of Indiana. And 16.2 percent of Hoosiers live in poverty."

South Bend Tribune, October 1, 2011: ND panel talks K-12 schooling

"The truth, she said, is that kids of poverty face huge problems at home and at school. And, unfortunately, their schools tend to not have the resources to level the playing field for them."

The Indianapolis Star, September 28, 2011: (Op-Ed) True to their schools

"'We have people who want to tell people poverty doesn't exist,' declared Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools. 'These are people who woke up on third base and thought they hit a triple.'"