Indiana Community Needs Assessment

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides funding for the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG).  The Community Services Block Grant provides assistance to States and local communities working through a network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient. For Indiana, CSBG funded activities create, coordinate, and deliver a broad array of services to low-income Hoosiers. The grant’s purpose is to fund initiatives to change conditions that perpetuate poverty, especially unemployment, inadequate housing, poor nutrition, and lack of educational opportunity.

The Lieutenant Governor of Indiana designated Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) as the appropriate lead agency for the administration of CSBG.  Indiana receives approximately $9 million annually. By regulation, 90 percent of the funds are allocated to private nonprofits or local units of government that provide self-sufficiency programs. In Indiana, funds are allocated to the state’s 22 Community Action Agencies (CAA).

The CAAs in Indiana provide an array of services formulated to address local needs. Services may include housing, energy assistance, nutrition, employment, and training as well as transportation, family development, child care, health care, emergency food and shelter, domestic violence prevention services, money management, and micro-business development.  

The goals of IHCDA and the community action network in Indiana are to improve the lives of citizens through efforts to enhance employment, education, financial literacy and management, health, proper nutrition, promote self-sufficiency, access to emergency resources, and link Hoosiers in need with service providers and resources.

Study Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assist IHCDA and Indiana’s CAAs with conducting community needs assessment as required by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). The   Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  According to federal regulations, the CAAs are required to conduct a community needs assessment.

Every three years IHCDA coordinates the completion of a needs assessment for each CAA to measure and record improvements in the condition of low-income people and the communities in which they live that result from community action intervention.  The goals of the community need assessment are to gain the perspective of low-income families, the human service network, and critical community stakeholders regarding the needs of low-income individuals and families.

All the data and information identifying the strengths, gaps, limits, and resources available in the community to meet the low-income populations’ needs will be examined and interpreted by the Indiana Community Action Agencies leadership teams to establish the framework for services and solutions needed to address the needs identified. The findings will be used to complete the agency’s ongoing Community Action Plan activities and as well as utilized in strategic planning efforts for successful programs in addressing resident identified impediments.