While the majority of programs from the Indianapolis Urban League focus on housing and employment needs, they are also involved in offering other services such as medical care and referrals. They are a leading Marion County non-profit for the less fortunate and low income in Marion County.
IUL was also designated as a Certified, non-profit Housing Counseling Agency by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. The Marion County location is also a member of public policy bodies as well as the Indiana Housing Task Force. As such, the organization will offer both tenant and homeowners fair housing services and counseling for low-income, at-risk, and disadvantaged households.
Assistance for both tenants and homeowners is offered. Households in need have access to limited financial assistance with paying rent and/or mortgages. This can include free counseling in regard to reverse mortgages, housing, and home ownership; eviction prevention assistance; education and training services; money-management classes; foreclosure mediation; referrals to government grant programs, and community advocacy.
Indianapolis Urban League also provides housing-related services to Marion County residents who have HIV/AIDS through the Positive Directions Rental or Mortgage Assistance Program. Services provided include counseling in regard to housing needs and issues, as well as direct financial assistance with rent or mortgage payments. This can be offered in the form of cash or a loan, and the amount paid out is up to two-thirds of the client's obligation.
In addition to the services described above, IUL manages funds and government grants that are allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. This is available to the greater Marion County community as part of the Indianapolis Winter Assistance Fund. There is also emergency assistance with paying rent and utility bills.
Free school supplies is offered for low income students. Indiana is one of the few states in the nation that charges textbook rental fees to parents of public school children. To help lessen the financial burdens of these costs that are associated with getting children ready each school year, the IUL hosts a Back-to-School program that distributes hundreds of backpacks and maybe clothing to elementary and middle school students.
IUL's Skilled Workforce Development (SWD) department offers a number of programs that focus on the work-related and employment needs of poor, minority and disadvantaged residents. Some of these programs are described below.
CARE - Community Access and Reentry Effort focuses on the unique employment needs of African-Americans and other disadvantaged young adults with histories of nonviolent, nonsexual felony offenses. In addition to providing guidance and help with the job-search process, the program offers a continuum of services to support the transition back into the community.
Following the best practices of the Ready4Work national demonstrations, the program provides employment readiness, education, job placement and intensive case management services. Wrap-around services addressing substance abuse, health care, healthy relationship skills, and other issues are available, as well.
The SWD Department's Employment Readiness Program has an exceptional record of assisting a broad range of citizens with finding stable employment in Marion County and resolving issues related to work. The Urban League activities include resume preparation, case management, skills assessments, and employment-readiness training. Highly qualified staff from the non-profit can also arrange for job search support, interviewing techniques, job leads, soft-skills training in regard to good attendance and work habits, a basic introduction to computer applications, and referrals.
As part of its community employment program, SWD presents the annual Equal Opportunity Career Fair and the Fall Career Fair. Attended by around hundreds of under and unemployed individuals each year, the career fairs facilitate educational institutions as well as connections between job candidates and employers.
Partnering with the Marion County One Stop Centers, the Urban League offers job placement services as well as career counseling. There is also extensive preparation given to people to enter the local competitive job market. This will include referrals to low-income youths, adults, and unemployed workers in Indianapolis.
The Career Track Program focuses on providing assistance with employment readiness and career planning. This is offered to clients whether they are high school graduates, GED recipients, or neither. The IUL program offers job referral services. There may be some limited amounts of tuition assistance for training programs and incentives for completion.
Project Ready, one of the National Urban League's signature programs, provides high school students with social and academic support while they prepare for college. The Project Ready curriculum revolves around three critical components. These include Cultural and Global Awareness, Academic Development, and Social Skills.
In addition to that, the creation of an Individual College Development Plan, or ICDP, is also an important part of program activities. The ICDP is a set of personalized and precise prospective outcomes for achievement that serves as a clear plan of action for navigating the world of college. Advisors from the Urban League and their partners follow up by closely monitoring each student's progress.
The Urban League offers Indianapolis residents with free basic computer training courses, like Microsoft Word, Keyboarding, and Emailing. They are also currently working with Marion County based Oasis Institute to add a computer training program for senior citizens as well.
Another Information Technology program offered by IUL is Soon to Make a Difference, which is an advanced computer program for ages 12-16 offered in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Informatics. The purpose is to encourage young people to consider college degrees in the technology field.
The Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) works to build safe and healthy communities. One of the ways they do this is by eliminating health disparities through prevention, referrals to food pantries, healthy eating, and ensuring that all residents have access to affordable healthcare.
To that end, the non-profit will continue local efforts by offering services and initiatives in the areas of aging, mental health and HIV/AIDS. The goal of their various programs is to assist in providing affordable health and dental care for the uninsured. They try to coordinate accessible healthcare for all residents.
IUL partners with the Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation, Indiana State Department of Health, Project Renew, Prisoner's Reform United, and Community Centers of Indianapolis to provide a program known as SPSS, or Special Populations and Support Services. It is for people living with mental health issues, HIV/AIDS, or substance abuse. As part of SPSS, Positive Directions is targeted at individuals who may be diagnosed with a combination of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse disorder, and mental issues.
The main location of the Indianapolis Urban League is Sam H. Joneter, 777 Indiana Ave. Indianapolis, IN. Call the center at 317-693-7603 for intake and information.
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