Energy Assistance Program:
This success story is told by a client that participated in TRI-CAP’s Energy Assistance Program:
I applied for help with my utilities through TRI-CAP’s Energy Assistance Program due to the fact I’m 79 years of age and I have COPD, asthma, and crippling arthritis. It’s impossible for me to work so I must depend on my social security for everything, which that just barely covers the essentials.
So, it is my heartfelt “thank you” that I extend to TRI-CAP for their assistance with my utilities during this winter season. Without it, this would be a miserable cold winter. It’s good to know that there is an organization like TRI-CAP that will extend a helping hand to old folks like me and others. You have my undying gratitude for your help!
A 14-year-old young lady visited the clinic for an initial exam accompanied by her mother. The mother and daughter had a close relationship and the daughter felt comfortable talking to her mother about sex. The mother stated that her daughter was already on pills but had run out because she did not have the funds to purchase the generic pills. She was excited to learn that she could bring her daughter to TRI-CAP’s Family Planning services to get an examination, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and eventually obtain a year’s supply of birth control pills at no cost based on their income.
This is a success story that resembles many of our clients. However, what was more important was the great learning opportunity for both mother and daughter. In formulating a reproductive health plan and the teen assessment, it was clear that this young lady had goals and wanted to be at least 25 years old before becoming pregnant. We counseled this young lady about the importance of abstinence being the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy and STIs. In the event she still chose to be sexually active, she was counseled on the acronym “ABC: Abstinence, Be faithful, and use Condoms.” She and mom both learned how you can contract herpes and HPV even if condoms are used 100% of the time. Mom left the clinic very happy that someone had spent time counseling her daughter as we had done. It was evident that this was a learning moment for both.
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Family Planning clients:
I couldn’t afford to see a gynecologist annually, along with paying for birth control. Being a full-time college student and working several part-time jobs meant that I didn’t have certain health coverage. I’ve been using TRI-CAP’s Family Planning services for a little over 10 years in order to prevent unseen obstacles that could shatter my dreams, goals, or future plans.
After going to TRI-CAP’s Family Planning office for my annual exam, I received a letter in the mail stating to call the office as soon as possible regarding my pap smear results. I called TRI-CAP and they informed me that my pap smear results were abnormal. They gave me a list of gynecologists to choose from and once I selected the doctor I wanted, TRI-CAP scheduled a follow up appointment with them. TRI-CAP sent all my information to the gynecologist I selected. After seeing the gynecologist TRI-CAP referred me to, the doctor told me that I had LSIL (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion) which is a form of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). I heard commercials about HPV and the vaccine, but I never got the vaccine because of the high cost. The gynecologist told me my LSIL had developed into pre-cancerous cells.
Two months later, I had LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) surgery. The doctor was able to remove all the pre-cancerous cells.
The weight was lifted off my shoulders! The doctor advised, that for three yearsl after my surgery, I would need to routinely go see the gynecologist at least every six months; however, I was able to use TRI-CAP’s services to receive discounted birth control. I just had my second after-surgery visit and everything is going well!
I thank TRI-CAP every day for their services, volunteers, and programs. Without an exceptional facility and staff, I wouldn’t be in the great health that I am today. Thank you, TRI-CAP!!!!
A United States Veteran was referred to us from Indiana Legal Services after many months of unsuccessful attempts to obtain a modification on his mortgage. TRI-CAP’s Foreclosure Prevention Advisor worked with this client for several months on this difficult situation. We contacted the Veterans Administration and were told they were doing everything possible. The homeowner and TRI-CAP’s Foreclosure Prevention Advisor worked together on a scheduled basis with each party. We contacted the large bank twice a week resupplying them with updated income, financial worksheets, and all other requested information until we finally received an approval for a loan modification. Our client’s monthly payment and interest annual percentage rate on the mortgage was reduced significantly.
A client contacted us the day before the sheriff sale on their house. One of TRI-CAP’s foreclosure prevention counselors met with the client and discussed what they could do to help with the client’s home mortgage loan application. They called the lender and explained that TRI-CAP is working with the client on the HHF (Hardest Hit Fund) program and the client meets all the qualifications to be approved for the program. The lender agreed to stop the sheriff sale for 30 days.
We submitted the loan application to Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and then submitted the file to the lender. We closed a few weeks later, and the client was able to keep her home! The program was able to apply a reinstatement amount and it helped with the monthly payment moving forward. The client was very thankful for the program, which saved her home!
A young family of three submitted this letter of thanks for the foreclosure assistance received from TRI-CAP after the head of household lost his longtime employment in a sales career:
We can’t thank you enough for all your help with the Hardest Hit Fund. This Program has been such a blessing to us and without it we could have lost our home. My husband has now completed his second week of class and is on track…
The family received financial assistance through the HHF program to help catch up on their loan obligations. They will also receive $777.62 per month to apply to their mortgage until they reach their maximum allowable benefit. Part of the requirement for the HHF grant is that the recipient either receives job training or performs volunteer work 40 hours per month. This recipient did both! The head of household volunteered in helping with the southern Indiana tornado damages from 2012. He also applied for truck driver training and received financial assistance through Work One to obtain this training. The family now has hope of keeping their home.
One of TRI-CAP’s clients gave a testimonial of how the Hardest Hit Funds and our team member, Justin, helped her and her family. The following are her answers to TRI-CAP’s survey questions regarding the Hardest Hit Funds program:
What did you like about our program?
First, I love the one on one treatment I received, I always got the same counselor, Justin is the best!!! I have been trying to get a mortgage modification for quite some time with no results. Once I started working with Justin, he explained everything to me and he became my advocate. The mortgage company told me that the only way to stop the foreclosure was filing bankruptcy. Justin explained to me why that was not the way to approach the problem. He helped me understand what I was up against and what my options where.
What could we do to improve our program in the future?
I really cannot help with this question since I really think and feel that Justin is the Best. He is my HERO!! He helped me SAVE my Home. I am so pleased with this program that I give everyone I know that is struggling your information.
Please provide a brief testimonial about your experience with Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Program and with the housing counselor that worked with you.
Excellent is an UNDERSTATEMENT!! Justin explained everything in a way I understood 100%. We kept in touch by email and phone calls. Without Justin and HHF, I would have never SAVED MY HOME!! Justin and the HHF Program prepared me to continue fighting for my home. It took my bank a year to respond and finally approve my modification, but Justin was with me every step of the way.
From one of TRI-CAP’s clients using the Hardest Hit Housing Foreclosure Program:
This company saved me from losing everything I had worked hard for when I lost my job of 11 years. Justin is awesome!
This Success Story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Hardest Hit Housing Foreclosure Program clients:
I had a health-related set back that snowballed into a predicament that was going to cause me to lose my home of 30 years. This is a home I aspired to have about 50 years ago, and I have some prominence in the community for being in this historic 126-year-old home. My career is based on historic preservation, renovation, and time investment into sustaining viable urban neighborhoods. Without the HHF assistance my life’s efforts would have been destroyed.
I can testify that many others feel this program serves a fundamentally powerful purpose that should remain available to those that are hit the hardest.
I can compare this program as one of my life’s most transformative in the best degree of full appreciation. I hope others benefit just as perfectly as this program is designed.
A Head Start family was needing assistance with obtaining a physical and dental exam for their child in order to meet the requirements of TRI-CAP’s Head Start Program Performance Standards. One of TRI-CAP’s Family Advocates gave several referrals to the family including TRI-CAP’s Dental Grant. When the child went to the dentist, the dentist noted that the child needed some dental work done. TRI-CAP’s Dental Grant funds helped assist with the child’s dental work and the child will now have healthy teeth.
At a family goal meeting with one of my parents, the mother got very emotional and said they were currently living with her mom with the stipulation she needs to find a place of her own. Even though, she had a roof over her head, she still was being asked to move out which meant she could be displaced at any time. I directed her to contact Section 8 Housing. She came in to see me a few weeks after our meeting and thanked me for giving her the resources she needed to find a place to live.
She was moved up the list enough to qualify for immediate placement in their own apartment. She was told by the landlord that they should be moving into a unit that will be opening soon. Her son is so excited because he will soon have his own room! She lost all hope of finding a place of her own but now there is light at the end of this tunnel. She didn’t give up and took the resources we offered, did the work and is now being rewarded.
A student’s legal guardian, took an IDA (Individual Development Account) application that was passed out at one of our parent meetings. They called Tammy, TRI-CAP’s Housing and Personal Finances Manager at our Boonville office, about applying for the IDA program. They wanted to buy a home of their own and add further stability in their lives. They were accepted into the IDA Program and will be able to use the funds for a down payment on a home or to make improvements to a home as long as they are able to purchase before the end of their two years with the IDA Program.
They were so excited and thankful to us for informing them about this opportunity. It definitely will enrich their lives and makes home ownership a reality for this family. This is such a major accomplishment for them and they are on the road to meeting their major goal that was set up through family partnership.
In one of our Head Start classrooms, the children discussed about the importance of sharing with others when they are in need. As a result of this discussion, one of the little girls in the class went through all her toys before Christmas and had her mom donate these toys to their church to be shared with other little boys and girls that are less fortunate. The message was well received and as a result of this, another little girl that was going through a rough time was given this small act of kindness to show her that someone cares and wanted to brighten her life with this selfless act of love and compassion.
A Head Start teacher noticed that a few children were not wearing winter coats as the weather grew colder. Since they spend time outside every day, she asked the parents to please send the children in their winter coats. One parent told the teacher that last year’s coat was too small for her child and that she could not afford a new winter coat. The teacher immediately sent an email asking for resources to help this mother get a coat for her child.
The teacher wrote, “little did I know at the time that my email would be forwarded to several people in different TRI-CAP offices. Within a few days, not only did the child in my class get a new coat, but several children from the other classes also received new coats.”
With a teacher’s quick action to help one family’s need and the collective reaction of the TRI-CAP community, several families’ needs were met through an overwhelming response of caring and generosity!
Through Head Start, children are able to receive early intervention services that aid them in becoming kindergarten ready. For two years we had a child with a severe speech delay enrolled in our Head Start Program. His speech delay was causing him to fall behind in other areas. After completing a speech evaluation, he became enrolled in Head Start and the Warrick County School Cooperative Preschool. Throughout the first year he was very quiet and would play alongside other children. He lacked confidence in himself and would rarely participate in activities. With each activity he was offered love, support, and encouragement, even if he seemed uninterested. By the second year he had become “Mr. Popularity”. He grown to be confident in himself and joined in with group activities. He learned how to play with others and how to use his words to interact with friends. Each day he gained more and more knowledge and was getting excited for Kindergarten. When he completed his Lollipop test for Kindergarten his mom came in and shared the exciting news. He had completed the test with the teacher and only missed two questions. He also recognized every letter and numbers up to twenty. His speech greatly improved and he spoke in complete sentences. After two great years we were sad to see him go, but thrilled to know that he was ready to conquer whatever came his way.
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start parents:
When my daughter entered Head Start, she was a very dependent 3 year old. It was rough because she clung to me every morning and cried because she didn’t want to go to school. Her unhappiness made me question if I was doing the right thing. I was already struggling with the guilt of being a working mom and it felt like she would never adjust. The teachers were always patient and understanding and never seemed to be bothered by her difficulty. After discussion at home visits and evaluation, it was discovered that my daughter had an auditory learning disability. Head Start provided speech therapy. Gradually, things began to change. By the end of the year, she had stopped clinging to me in the mornings and had begun to look forward to her day. I noticed a great improvement in her language and comprehension skills as well.
When my daughter returned to Head Start after summer break she was excited and missed her teachers and her friends. She was content and independent at school and at home. She was more sociable and was making better choices. By the end of the fall semester, we discovered that she could read really well. My daughter was also released from speech with no continuing concerns. Watching her thrive and become successful has done so much to alleviate my worries and the guilt that I had felt when she first began.
As my daughter concludes her time in Head Start and heads to Kindergarten next year I can only say that I am grateful. I don’t want to think about where my daughter would be if she had not attended Head Start. I only want to stand in amazement about what she is doing now because of the opportunity to be in the Head Start Program. There is a quote by Forest Whitcraft that goes like this, “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
You’ve made a huge difference for my child. Thank you!
Every year, TRI-CAP Head Start has a Healthier Heart Fair where we get vendors from all over the tri-state to come teach the families about obtaining healthy lifestyles for themselves and their families. Our staff go above and beyond to get prizes donated for our families who attend. One of the prizes we were able to get donated was a yearly family membership to Bob’s Gym. The family that won has been going every day and mom has lost over 20 pounds. The Head Start child attended Zumba classes, which helped him to become more social within the classroom.
At one of our first parent-teacher conference we discussed a Head Start student’s progress with a new parent. The young mother looked very proud as we shared, “He has just blossomed this year! He is reading and writing letters all the time. He is so enthusiastic that he has become a real leader in our class. We are just amazed at how he is soaking up everything and asking for more!”
She nodded and smiled in agreement. She said that he reads signs everywhere we go! She said, “We went to a store recently and outside the store we had to stop while he read all the letters on the sign.” She paused and smiled, then continued to say that she is so pleased with how far he has come in his time at Head Start. She said, “You know, two years ago he could barely talk and now he talks all the time, reads, and spells. It’s just great!”
We had no idea he would just take off like this and lead the whole class. Mom continued to tell how seeing her son’s progress has helped her understand more about development. She said that she has noticed in her younger son some of the same speech patterns that they had seen in her older son. This is Head Start at its best. We helped a child, taught a parent, and touched a family!
We met with some Head Start parents to help them set family goals. While discussing different life areas, they brought it to our attention that they did not have their high school diploma or GED. We referred them to various places including Warrick Education Center to see what steps they would need to take to get their GEDs. A couple weeks later, we met with the same Head Start parents for a family development meeting. They enrolled in classes at the Education Center and took their GED test. We congratulated them on taking the first step toward a higher education. They are very excited about their success and looking forward to having more income for their family!
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start teachers that has been teaching at TRI-CAP for over 30 years:
Very early in my Head Start career, I had a young boy who was hearing impaired. I recall him doing well in class. I invited this young man, my former student, to bring his ice truck to our classroom and show the children what he does. This former student of mine accepted the invitation and taught the children about his own small business. It was fun and rewarding to have a former student give back to Head Start by volunteering and taking time out of his busy schedule to teach our students. He actually donated some ice for the water table which made his visit also turn into a science lesson.
Sometimes Head Start successes are defined outside of the classroom or aside from the child. TRI-CAP’s Head Start teachers work with the entire family. Upon first contact with a new Head Start family, our teacher was told about the worries they were having with money issues and job security. They described their work and college experiences, explaining that they had a degree and would like to pursue a job in that field. Our teacher informed them of a job opening and encouraged them to apply. They turned in a resume, had an interview, and received the position. The family reports feeling much more financially stable which is also helping with their child’s emotional stability.
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start parents:
Our family is so thankful for the services you have provided to us over the last three years.
We had the opportunity to have both our son and daughter enrolled in Head Start. My husband works full time while I am a college student pursuing a degree in Nursing.
Without the help of the TRI-CAP family I would not be able to attend college. This program has meant so much to our family. In return I have volunteered my time in the classroom and with special events in order to show the gratitude our family has for TRI-CAP.
This program, beyond measure, has benefited our children academically. Our son was first enrolled in Head Start at the age of four and was able to get the educational tools he needed before entering kindergarten.
Our daughter had the blessing of entering Head Start when she was three years old. She has spent two years in Head Start. Within these two years the teachers have prepared her for advancement into kindergarten. The teachers pushed her academically and introduced her to word families. After our daughter learned word families, the teacher sent her home with sight words to work on. Our daughter has been able to read 60 books this year alone. She is such a bright young lady.
Our family wants to share with TRI-CAP that they have helped make a difference in our lives. We have been given opportunities that we would not otherwise have had without their help. Thank you for caring for our children, helping them build friendships and confidence, and giving them a positive atmosphere to thrive in when they are away from home. We truly feel indebted to TRI-CAP and cannot express enough gratitude for nurturing our children, encouraging them, kissing their boo boos, giving them hugs every day, introducing them to different techniques on how to paint, and praising them for all their hard work. Thank you!
At enrollment a single mom of four children shared that she was having a rough time because she didn’t have child care for her children. She was not sure what she was going to do after her maternity leave because she couldn’t secure child care. We referred her to the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). The mother applied, and we faxed the paperwork for her. The mother contacted us to let us know that she got approved for the CCDF program. She was excited to tell us that the program has helped her get daycare for her children and as a result she has more time to work.
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start parents:
Head Start has been great for my family of six kids! I know they are in a safe, loving, educational environment that helps my children grow and thrive. They provide nutritious meals and fun activities. If it hadn’t been for Head Start, I could not have worked. Thanks to the staff and program for helping our family of 10!
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start parents:
TRI-CAP has helped my family a lot in many different ways. The Head Start Program has helped my twin boys very much. Before the twins started Head Start, they had been in the First Steps Program for their speech. When the twins started Head Start, they couldn’t spell their names, they didn’t know any letters of their name, any letters of the alphabet, or any numbers. They only knew a few shapes and a few colors. They can now spell their first and last names! They know the alphabet, colors, numbers, and shapes! Head Start has really gone over and beyond to help them get ready for kindergarten. And since they have started Head Start, they have become social butterflies!
This success story is told by one of TRI-CAP’s Head Start parents:
My son had never been to a classroom setting and did not have the average social skills that most children his age had. My son feared most adults outside of the adults in his family. Yet the teachers and other amazing people within this program opened my child up to a new world of learning, friendship, love, and trust. His teacher became like a surrogate grandmother to my son, being very attentive to his special needs due to his heart and lung condition and showed him love and kindness beyond our expectations. The other teachers and staff literally became my son’s “Best Friends” and always showed the utmost care and devotion to his education and growth.
The Head Start program was one of the best decisions my husband and I could have made when it came to my child’s development, growth, and improvement. It allowed him to become more of the amazing, brilliant, and talented boy that my son is today. This program also addressed the needs within my family as well. If there were times that my family was dealing with strife, TRI-CAP gave information and assistance that helped keep my family afloat when we dealt with hardships that were unforeseen in our path. The staff was always willing to listen and answer any questions they could. If there was a question they could not answer, they found options that we would not think of on our own.
My husband and I are grateful for the programs within TRI-CAP and are evidence to the statement that TRI-CAP does help families in need. We could never forget the wonderful experiences and friendships that we have been blessed with by being a part of the opportunities that TRI-CAP provides for the community. TRI-CAP and the Head Start program are a wonderful asset to the community and the families that they serve.
A Head Start student participated in Operation Kids Sight, which is a vision-screening program and during that process it was discovered the student may need glasses. After taking the student to the eye doctor, it was confirmed the child needed glasses. The mother approached her Family Advocate and was very concerned because even with the discounts that the eye doctor was going to give them, she would not be able to come up with the money to purchase glasses for her child. The Family Advocate contacted the Lion’s Club. Between the Lion’s Club and Operation Kids Sight, they were able to help this family financially afford glasses. The child now has the needed glasses and looks quite cute in them!
A client came in to see me, he had been told by Care Source that they did not receive a payment on time and his health plan was cancelled. He had proof that he sent the Care Source payment on time.
Care Source sent one premium amount and the Marketplace sent a different amount based on advanced tax credits. My client spent a great deal of time on the phone trying to clear this up and got nowhere! He was extremely upset and said “he didn’t even want their insurance now.”
I called Care Source, explained the discrepancy in premium amounts, and that he had sent the correct amount on time. They looked into it and said it was their error. Care Source said it would be fixed immediately and that my client had coverage.
My client was very grateful!
A gentleman called stating he was losing his Medicaid due to his income being too high to qualify. He completed a Marketplace Insurance application during open enrollment. He was unaware he had made a mistake on the application, therefore eligibility results showed that he was not going to be receiving advanced tax credits to offset his costs on the Marketplace Insurance.
The Healthcare Navigator was able to look up his application and find his mistake on his application. The navigator guided him through the appeal process. The gentleman was granted a special enrollment period and was able to get insurance even though it was outside of the open enrollment time frame.
He thanked the Healthcare Navigator over and over, stating he and his wife would have no coverage at all if he had not been put in contact with us!
One of our clients had a brain aneurysm and is on disability. I did a Medicaid disability application on my client and they were deemed over income. So, I helped them fill out a marketplace insurance application and was able find them affordable coverage. The client was very happy and said with their health issues they couldn’t have done this without my assistance!
One of TRI-CAP’s Healthcare Navigators had a client who was about to give up on obtaining health insurance. This client been to several agencies but didn’t think anyone could help them. Our Healthcare Navigator assured them they could find a health insurance policy for them. After meeting with the client several times, our navigator was able to find the right policy that fit their needs and budget. This client expressed how much they appreciated our Healthcare Navigator services and if it weren’t for TRI-CAP they would have quit trying to find health insurance.
One Healthy Families participant has been enrolled in the Healthy Families Program for several years. This parent and baby have been diligent with their involvement and participation. With help and referrals from the Healthy Families Support Specialist, the parent was able to flee an abusive relationship. Steps were taken to protect the family such as reaching out to local law enforcement and having friends to call if in need of emergency support or when threatened with danger. The Healthy Families Support Specialist was able to provide referrals to assist the family in finding affordable and safe housing. This Family Support Specialist also helped see to the counseling and recovery needs of the family as they transitioned from an abusive situation to a successful life on their own.
The father of a family that participated in TRI-CAP’s Healthy Families Program was diagnosed with cancer and required almost constant treatment. With the help from the Healthy Families staff, the mother was able to stay positive throughout the process and was able to connect with several resources to help the family through a very difficult time. The father was declared cancer free and the family worked hard to get their lives back on track. This family showed great strength and perseverance through this health crisis and learned many ways to help continue on the road to self-sufficiency! Healthy Families is a home-based program serving families with children ages zero to three years old. Through one-on-one support and referrals made by TRI-CAP Healthy Families home visiting staff, this family was positively impacted.
A mother told her TRI-CAP Healthy Families support worker that she never did tummy time with her first two children. The Healthy Families support worker discussed with this mother the importance of tummy time for her baby’s development and demonstrated tracking, reaching, and rolling over activities with her baby.
Thanks, in part to her participation in Healthy Families, this mother is spending at least an hour each day with her baby devoted to doing floor and tummy time, to encourage her baby’s cognitive, fine, and gross motor skills. Baby has overcome a previous delay and is now advanced in her development in these areas.
While the primary purpose of this service is to assist parents in raising their newborn/toddler, we strive to improve the well-being of the entire family. Following help and encouragement from a Healthy Families Service Specialist, one family was recently connected with the Veteran’s Administration for needed services. The mother in this family had noticed signs of PTSD in her husband (a military veteran) but was struggling to help him recognize the symptoms or get help. With referrals and support from their Healthy Families home visitor, this father is now being evaluated for PTSD and will receive follow-up and counseling.
One Healthy Families client had many fears and misinformation about allowing her child to receive medical check-ups and immunizations. Our TRI-CAP’s Healthy Families Service Specialist was able to provide this parent with medical provider referrals, information on the importance of regular well-baby check-ups, and immunizations. This gave the parent information she needed and she was able to choose a medical provider for her child and schedule an appointment for immunizations and a check-up.
A Healthy Families participant been waiting for years to accomplish one of her biggest dreams of becoming a U.S. Citizen. Mom was able to save enough money for the US citizenship application. The Healthy Families Home Visitor provided her with a study guide and practice test. With the help and encouragement of her Home Visitor, Mom was able to pass her US Citizenship Test with a perfect score and was sworn in the following week!
One Healthy Families participant set a goal with her Healthy Families Home Visitor to go back to school to obtain a “better job.” With the help and encouragement from the Home Visitor, the mother not only completed the paperwork needed to enroll herself for classes, but in doing so, she was able to accept a position in the field for which she was returning to school for! Mom states, “My job is so flexible with me, they let me leave by 3:15 so I can go get the kids after school and I still have the evenings with them.”
One Healthy Families participant moved her elderly father into her own home when he was diagnosed with cancer. Mom was stress free prior to this but with all the changes going on, she has been experiencing high levels of stress. After many months of suggested family counseling, the entire family has agreed to go. Thanks to the referrals from her Healthy Families Home visitor, Mom and her father are receiving counseling services to cope with the stress from on-going cancer treatments, and to resolve past issues. This multi-generational family now seems to be back on track and functioning better.
Mom has been involved with TRI-CAP for close to 9 years collectively through Healthy Families, Family Planning and EAP. When an opportunity arose to be involved in a video to promote TRI- CAP programs, Mom instantly wanted to be a part of it.
During the video, the mom talked about her positive experiences with TRI-CAP programs (especially Healthy Families). Mom talked about how she has referred many friends and family to Healthy Families and other TRI-CAP programs. Mom discussed how if it were not for the support of Healthy Families and TRI-CAP, she would not be in the better place she is today. Awesome job and “Thank You” to this mom!
TRI-CAP Healthy Families staff completed an assessment on a child who scored low on gross motor skills due to not being able to lift their head up off the floor or being able to look side to side on their tummy. We suggested to the caregiver to put this child on the floor for more tummy time.
We explained that at first the child will probably not enjoy it and may cry but they need to try putting the child on his tummy for a few minutes a couple times a day. We also suggested distracting the child while on their tummy by putting toys around and talking to her. By doing this, it would keep the child calm and on their tummy longer so the child can work on her neck muscles.
At the next visit, the child was not only lifting her head completely off of the floor but she was rolling from belly to back! The caregiver stated they have been putting the child on their tummy more often and that the child did not like tummy time at all at first but has started to enjoy it for longer amounts of time.
This success story is told by a client that used TRI-CAP’s Individual Development Account services:
My family and I moved into a home that was built in the late 1940’s. Not long after we moved in, I noticed that I was tired and not feeling well and my children began suffering from allergies, ear issues, and the constant cough/runny nose. After many trips to a specialist, my then 18-month-old son was diagnosed with allergies and asthma. I began to search the home trying to figure out why we were suddenly ill all the time only to realize that the basement was full of mold. Our furnace was in the basement, so it was circulating the mold through the house. I worked vigorously trying to correct the problem only to find that it was not an easy task to take on. The mold grew back, and I felt powerless. I had an IDA account established and considered updates on the house but quickly realized that it was not something that we were prepared to take on.
We began the search for a new home. We decided that we wanted to give our children a “forever home” and a yard to play in. We knew that we needed something that was safe and that offered a healthy environment for our family. I took a Home Buyers Education Class and worked tirelessly to ensure that my credit was cleaned up. I paid off old debts I had tried to escape and couldn’t. Finally, I found the home that I knew was meant for me and my very large family. I was grateful that I had the TRI-CAP Individual Development Account when I was informed that we needed to pay for appraisals and closing costs. Those expenses were taken care of through the IDA. I was able to issue a cashier’s check to cover the closing costs from my IDA account.
I know that without the IDA account, we would not have been able to come up with the closing cost that was needed to secure our home. We have a large family and practically live from paycheck to paycheck. The IDA allowed us to make a positive move in the right direction for ourselves and our family. We have recently gone back to our allergy specialist who cleared my son’s allergies and asthma diagnoses and the rest of the family have seen a great improvement in the way we feel. We are grateful for such a wonderful program!
This success story comes from a client that used TRI-CAP’S Individual Development Account Program:
When I was a freshman in college, I was given the opportunity to open an IDA (Individual Development Account) account. Each month, I put in approximately $30 into the account. In doing so, it taught me to be diligent in saving each month.
Upon graduating college, I was burdened with student loan debt. Because of my debt, I did not think I would be able to buy a home anytime in the near future. A couple years later, I decided to meet with a Mortgage Loan Originator. The Mortgage Loan Originator informed me that since I had an IDA account, I was able to purchase my first home! Without the IDA account, I wouldn’t been able to purchase my home!
I believe that if the right individuals are given the chance to open an IDA account, they would greatly benefit from it just like I did. I will be forever grateful that I had this wonderful opportunity!
A client that was referred to TRI-CAP was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and was struggling to pay for medical bills. This client was a personal business owner and was at risk of losing everything she had worked so hard to achieve as an entrepreneur due to outstanding medical bills. TRI-CAP was able to assist her with medical bill payments and signing up for financial assistance through her treatment providers. This allowed her to receive 90% of her medical expenses paid. The TRI-CAP case manager was also able to assist her in emotional support throughout her breast cancer treatment. This client is now cancer free and actively working on progressing in her personal business.
A client contacted the TRI-CAP Breast Cancer Program because they had a large medical bill that was being turned into collections. Our TRI-CAP Case Manager was able to enroll the client in the Breast Cancer Treatment Program. After the client was enrolled, we contacted the medical provider and were able to stop the bill from being turned into collections by helping pay on the client’s medical bill. This brought not only financial but emotional peace of mind to the breast cancer survivor as they continued to receive supportive services and referrals from our Case Manager.
Through generous community donations, TRI-CAP’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program purchased 10 companion cats and distributed them to the following places: Caring Hands Unit of Memorial Hospital, Scenic Hills, The Waters, Brookside, Northwood Good Samaritan, The Timbers, Cathedral, St. Charles long term care facilities in Dubois County, and Golden Living and Amber Manor located in Pike County. The lifelike and realistic battery-operated therapy cats help older adults with high blood pressure, memory and dementia issues
For many years, the senior volunteers of TRI-CAP RSVP have provided front-of-the-house services for Actors Community Theatre. This has been a win-win partnership that satisfies the needs of ACT in that volunteers take tickets and hand out programs for theatrical performances and in return, the volunteers are treated to the live performance. ACT gives this generous donation as an in-kind contribution to TRI-CAP RSVP which helps to meet federal financial requirements.
TRI-CAP’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) continues a win/win relationship with Actors Community Theatre. ACT asks RSVP volunteers to perform Front of the House duties for their two productions each year. Each volunteer gets a free seat for the performance they are working which provides hundreds of dollars of in-kind donations, and ACT uses that community partnership data for their grant requests.
TRI-CAP RSVP volunteers have worked with the Backpack Buddy Project since the 2014 school year. The senior volunteers pack up to 500 bags of food every two weeks to serve both 5th and 10th Street Schools in Jasper. “So who gets all of this? Are there that many hungry kids in Dubois County?” Yes, Feeding America reports that 1 in 6 children in Indiana are food insecure. Five children in a classroom of 30 do not know if they will have a meal that evening when they get home from school or breakfast the next morning. The Dubois County Community Meal Program sponsors the Backpack buddy Project with community donations. The project serves 8 schools throughout the 4 Dubois County School Districts.
Since the fall of 2002, TRI-CAP RSVP volunteers have collaborated twice a year on a county-wide Medication Collection project. In that time, thousands of area residents have environmentally disposed of 10,565 lbs. of expired, unused, and unwanted pharmaceuticals. That is over 5 tons!
This Dubois County Collaboration of Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, Solid Waste Management District, Substance Abuse Council, and TRI-CAP RSVP senior volunteers have been proactive in generating greater awareness, education, and the means to dispose of pharmaceuticals through a two-prong substance abuse and environmental stewardship project.
In 2018 alone, 475 people environmentally disposed of over 600 lbs. of pharmaceuticals.
The Dubois County Medication Collection Project kicked off its 11th year with a collection that put us over three tons of pharmaceuticals collected since Oct 2002. All original organizers (plus the Indiana State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency) still work together on this project that impacts substance misuse and environmental stewardship. In 2012, TRI-CAP RSVP collaborated with 16 community partners on the medication collections. 737 people environmentally disposed of over 905 pounds of pharmaceuticals.
The Dubois County Substance Abuse Council has seen their availability of grant dollars shrink the last few years, which could greatly affect the sustainability of funding for the Medication Collection project that TRI-CAP RSVP spearheads. But because this project’s impact and outcomes is a direct correlation to the comprehensive work plans of the Council, this project received full funding. The project is in its 11th year with all original community partners still active and with the addition of the Indiana State Police and Drug Enforcement Agency, which pays for the disposal of the pharmaceuticals.
RSVP finished its 3 year grant cycle on March 31, 2018. All volunteer and hour goals were met.
TRI-CAP RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) has spearheaded the Pie Brigade of the Thanksgiving Day Feast in Dubois County for many years. 2018 was a record-setter for the feast. 1,833 people, the largest number of participants yet, enjoyed a Thanksgiving Day meal. 883 meals were delivered, 485 meals were carried out, and 465 people dined in. The Pie Brigade garnered over 300 pies from our very giving public!
I heard from a Pike County RSVP volunteer about the $15 gift cards that RSVP gave each active volunteer in place of a recognition luncheon that has a history of poor attendance. “Dear TRI-CAP, thank you for the $15 gift cards to Cakes and Coffee Café. I took a dear friend who recently lost her husband, out to breakfast. She appreciated the outing and so did I. Today is my birthday, thanks for the card.” A Somebody’s Place Volunteer.
Jasper Fire Department installed 90 smoke alarms while the RSVP Director manned the hotline for people calling in for smoke alarm installation and passed the information along to the fire department. Over 50 homes have received new smoke alarms.
100 people on 2 buses traveled to Maine on a 9 day trip in June. They experienced Chamber of Commerce weather and all seemed to enjoy this adventure greatly! TRI-CAP continues to offer a reasonably priced avenue of traveling for a multi-county area that also provides a sustaining stream of revenue. The bus trips have been a successful endeavor on many levels.
A tornado touched down in Ireland, IN on February 28, 2017. Dubois County EMA was in need of volunteers to oversee debris dumpster sites. Our RSVP Director was contacted on 3/2 and was able to find volunteers to cover a site in Ireland on Friday evening and Sunday. She was asked to join in on the Hot Wash discussion of “what worked and what didn’t work.” The Dubois County organizations that were involved gave praise and thanks for the services of senior volunteers of TRI-CAP RSVP.
One of our Senior Volunteers is also the mother of a veteran of the Afghanistan war. She has shared the troubles that she and her husband now face with their son and his restlessness and post traumatic stress issues. She told us that her trip to Branson with TRI-CAP RSVP was the only fun she has had for a year. She thanked us and said, “What a great service you are providing to us around here.”
In 2012, TRI-CAP collaborated with 31 community partners in three counties to provide educational luncheons, each focusing on topics germane to our senior citizens and their caregivers. 79 people participated in Pike County, 75 in Warrick County, and 85 in Dubois + 100 people for The Golden Years- Senior Focus Program, a Dubois County Public Health Partnership Program.
TRI-CAP Retired and Senior Volunteers collected coupons to benefit our military families. Our goal for the first batch of manufacturer’s coupons to be sent to the Schweinfurt, Germany Army base as part of our United States Military Families and Veterans work plan was a face value of $5,000. We exceeded that amount for a grand total of $6,284.10.
Community Capacity Building is an important part of the TRI-CAP RSVP Program. RSVP volunteers contribute their time and expertise to local organizations and agencies to help them keep expenses down. In June, nine volunteers gave SIRS 20 hours of their time to put a large donor appeal mailing together. The Jasper Chamber of Commerce used TRI-CAP RSVP volunteers for two different projects in June. Throughout the year, many volunteers help with civic, clerical, and fundraising activities. Volunteers do not take the place of paid employees. They help maintain their sustainability.
The Hope Community Garden sponsored by Memorial Hospital is producing! Hundreds of pounds of cherry tomatoes have been picked and delivered to food insecure areas. Cucumbers, peppers, and corn are coming along very nicely. TRI-CAP RSVP is a part of this program as a member of the End-User committee and our work is just beginning. We look forward to working with Purdue Extension and Head Start to help deliver fresh produce in our area.
I understand that the RSVP program could be facing some scrutiny in the future. I certainly hope that those involved understand what a valuable resource it is to our communities. I remember as a child that my grandma was very involved as a volunteer and looked so forward to being engaged with other volunteers and enjoyed having that program to fill her retirement days with meaningful work.
As Director of the Dubois County Solid Waste District, I cannot tell you enough how much we appreciate having the RSVP volunteers help with the medication collection days twice a year in Dubois County. Many counties are unable to offer this program, but Dubois County can offer 5 different locations a year because of the volunteer assistance. Additionally, we are able to turn the medication collection day into a recycling event as well! One quarter of what we collect is recyclable packaging. In most counties, this gets disposed of, but here in Dubois County, we can offer better environmental outcomes because of these dedicated volunteers.
The RSVP program is beneficial to our community and to the volunteers who are able to spend time with their peers in a valuable way. However, no volunteer program is worth its salt without a good leader and volunteer coordinator. Becky Beckman does such a wonderful job as the RSVP Director. I have known many volunteer programs to falter or fail because volunteers are not utilized, trained, and treated in the best way possible. The RSVP Director makes all of this happen in a way that is so valuable for the community and the volunteers themselves. We thank you for RSVP’s commitment to our programming and hope it can continue far into the future!
Carla J. Striegel-Winner
Dubois County Solid Waste District
RSVP Sleep Sacks
Sleep sacks are given out at each of our Healthy Families Assessment when our Intake visits potential client families.
Here’s what our parents had to say about the infant sleep sacks made by TRI-CAP RSVP volunteers:
- Recently I (Healthy Families Intake) gave one out right after baby was born. When I returned to the home a few days later, the mother thanked me for the sleep sack. This mother stated, “Thank you so much for the sleep sack! The baby loves it. I was afraid to swaddle knowing that the baby could possibly still squirm and kick the blanket over her face, but the sleep sack is perfect. I don’t have to worry about her not being able to breathe.”
- “The sleep sack works great. It gets so hot in our apartment and I am afraid that the baby might overheat in his sleep if I swaddle him; SIDS scares me. The sleep sack is light enough that he won’t overheat.”
- “I love these and they are so much more lightweight than the ones from the store.”
- “Oh, they are so nice. I always worry they will be cold at night.”
- “They made these? That is so sweet!”
- “I used sleep sacks all the time with my first child. It is nice to have a new one for her.”
- ” I did not know that it is not safe to use a blanket in the crib. I am glad you told me this. I had a friend whose baby died of SIDS. I would feel awful if that happened to my child. Tell RSVP thank you for making these.”
- “These are so cute! I will be able to use this much longer than my other sleep sacks. The other sleep sacks are so small they grow out of them so fast.”
A comment from a couple that have been on at least two of TRI-CAP RSVP sponsored bus trips:
“This is the best thing that has happened in our area in a long time.”
This couple is signed up for the Albuquerque trip in October and they also want to visit San Antonio in February and Colorado in June of 2016. She told me that they did not have an opportunity to travel when they were young, and she is just so excited to be in good enough health to do it now in their 70’s.
A single mother of three owned her home and needed weatherization services to help reduce her energy bills. Her furnace did not work and the water heater was in poor condition. The house had holes that went directly to the attic, which was allowing the heat they were getting from a ventless space heater to go directly through the roof. TRI-CAP was able to replace her furnace and water heater. We also were able to seal up all the holes to the attic, insulate the attic, as well as insulate and air seal the crawl space. The home owner was thrilled and was finally able to be comfortable and not have to worry so much about the heating bills. We saved this client about 50%+ on their utility cost and also gave them comfort and peace of mind at the same time. We were able to remove the ventless space heater, which kept them from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. The homeowner was extremely concerned about their situation prior to our weatherization services. Now that the home is more energy efficient, this mother can concentrate on raising her children and not worry so much on how to pay the extremely high gas bills.
Comments and Notes From Weatherization Clients (2019):
-I want to thank you for the smoke alarm. If it wasn’t for the smoke alarm, my house could have burned and my grandchildren could have died. I cannot thank you all enough for everything you did to fix it up. May God bless you all. Thank you!
-We would like to thank you for everything you have done to help us out. We really do appreciate it.
-A big thank you to the workers that helped to make my house warmer! Everyone was so professional and kind. Being old as I am, I am so truly grateful.
We received two short letters from clients in the Weatherization Program. The first came from a single mother of three. When we arrived at her home, we found the furnace in very poor condition. The exhaust pipe for the furnace caught fire and the exhaust from the furnace was spilling into her crawlspace. We had no choice but to shut down her furnace. Below are her comments:
Without the help of TRI-CAP, I may not have been able to replace my broken furnace in a timely manner. I greatly appreciate the assistance I have received from TRI-CAP and the time it was completed in was amazing. Thanks again.
The second letter came from a family that was having issues keeping their home warm. The father was recently disabled and they had a teenage daughter in the home. We added additional insulation, tuned up their furnace, and pressure balanced the entire home to allow the furnace to work more efficiently. Heat was being distributed unevenly throughout the home. Here are the client’s comments after we had finished the work:
The furnace is running so much more efficiently. The house stays warm throughout. Thanks so much!!
This success story is told by a client that used TRI-CAP’s Weatherization Program Services:
It was amazing how much heat loss there was in my house. The TRI-CAP employees were all polite, prompt, hard working men that never stopped until their scheduled lunch. They knew what they were doing and did a great job at it. I wouldn’t know another company or source that would be more knowledgeable finding the absence of insulation and knowing how to fix the problem. I’m actually getting excited to see how much my Vectren bill will be reduced this month.
A client was referred to us from the local 2-1-1 call center. The client was struggling to make ends meet. She is a single mother with three children. Her son was disabled and had emotional problems, which took up much of her time. The son’s disability check was her only source of income. She was unable to find work because of a lack of transportation.
TRI-CAP sold her an old, but dependable, surplus agency vehicle and allowed her to make monthly payments. She has made her payments on time every month and personally delivered the payments to our office. Because she had access to this vehicle she was able to find work within a week. Her children also needed coats and clothing for school. We knew of a church that was having a yard sale and they agreed to let the mother come and pick out any clothes that she would need for herself or the children.
Her son is still having emotional issues but he is receiving counseling through a local agency and she now has a caseworker helping her. The mother has her own home that she is purchasing through Habitat for Humanity. We also assisted her in obtaining child care vouchers for her other children so she would be able to work. We check on her monthly and she always tells us that she is doing fine and needs no additional help.
A United States Veteran was a referred from Indiana Legal Services after many months of unsuccessful attempts to obtain a modification on his mortgage. Our TRI-CAP Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Counselor worked with the client for 19 months on this most difficult situation. We contacted the Veterans’ Administration for this case and were told we were doing everything possible. The homeowner and TRI-CAP worked together on a scheduled basis with each party contacting the large bank twice per week, resupplying them with updated income, financial worksheets, and all other requested information until we finally received an approval for a loan modification. His monthly payment went from $747.35 to $547.78. His interest Annual Percentage Rate on the mortgage was reduced from 6.25% to 3.5%.
A local county Department of Corrections had identified financial education as a barrier to inmates awaiting re-entry into the general population. TRI-CAP worked with the local county officials and we developed a financial literacy class to educate the clients on budgeting, home energy management, and how to raise their credit scores. The program was made available to 12 men awaiting release. TRI-CAP conducted sessions at the jail in the evenings after the men returned from their work release duties. The program was well received.