La Plaza financial assistance, education and social services.

Latinos that live in the Marion County and Indianapolis region can turn to La Plaza for help. The organization, its staff and volunteers offer a number of programs to the low income, needy, and less fortunate. There is everything from emergency assistance to support for Latinos in order to help them gain employment or educational support, such as ESL classes.

The non-profit only focuses on Latinos, which is the fastest-growing population in the region. With many struggling to pay for the expensive housing or keep up with other bills in Marion County region, La Plaza has experienced an increased demand for its services and advice. The fact is many Latinos are recently arrived immigrants who are seeking employment or living in poverty.

La Plaza works to provide free health and a wide variety of other social services that are tailored to the Latino community, serving thousands of individuals annually. The agency offers emergency financial assistance, case management, job counseling and placement, free legal aid, dental care, immunizations, free food, translation and interpretation services.

There is also seasonal aid. This may include free holiday or Christmas assistance programs or back to school supplies. All of this is just for starters, and much more is provided, even including referrals.

The non-profit also manages a pediatric clinic for the low income or uninsured as well as the Dyson Community Pediatric Initiative. In addition, La Plaza administers the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which may have free formula and food for infants and their mothers, including single parents. There is also the Wishard Advantage and Medicaid services.

The Homeless Crisis Response Program works to stop evictions, forestall homelessness and provide rapid re-housing services. Through this program, La Plaza promotes housing stability, offers support services and encourages client empowerment.

When in a crisis, there may be limited financial aid or loans to pay back rent or maybe the deposit on a new home in Marion County. This is done as La Plaza aims to prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place.




The emergency assistance program is for Income-eligible families. It will assist with paying heating and utility bills, rent payments, food and prescription medications. La Plaza offers needy families money for gasoline as well for work related reasons, and for local transportation in Marion County.

Summer Discovery is a six-week educational and cultural program designed for Latino children in elementary school that serves as a bridge between school years. Program activities involve reading, math classes, arts and physical education. Leadership is encouraged, and children learn about technology and various computer applications. Summer Discovery also features field trips and community service. The program is available to children who are entering first through sixth grade in the fall.

La Plaza administers LILY, also known as the Leadership Institute for Latino Youth, which is a free, six-week summer program intended for students in seventh through 10th grade. The service helps middle and high school students ready themselves for college, careers and adult life in general.

The program offers math and English enrichment, college and career exploration, leadership projects, and free physical and health education workshops. LILY participants also have opportunities to engage in community service and work with technology.

The Tu Futuro program encourages Latinos that live in Indianapolis and across the county to pursue a post-secondary education, such as college or a vocation. This educational program supports both young individuals and non-traditional students. Tu Futuro features workshops and individual consultations, bilingual presentations, and other classes.





It will help inform program participants about the college application process, financial aid or grants for paying for school, scholarships and careers. Participants in the program also have opportunities to attend youth leadership conferences, visit colleges, participate in education fairs and other college-related events.

A scholarship fund is also for Latino students. They have the ability to earn monetary awards for higher education through La Plaza’s educational or scholarship funds. The Central Indiana Community Foundation manages this on behalf of the agency and its partners.

The adult education and job development program in Marion County Indiana will also help individuals gain the skills and knowledge needed to achieve long term financial self-sufficiency. Examples of the free instructional and supportive services include parental education, job development classes, and even personal assessments.

Tutoring is available to help clients with writing, English grammar, math and budgeting. The agency also helps clients draft résumés and cover letters, search for employment, practice for job interviews, and acquire professional attire, such as suits. Moreover, the adult education and job development program that is provided by teachers offers classes such as ESL and more, some of which will help clients develop basic computer skills.

For more information, contact La Plaza. The organization is located at 8902 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46226 and can be reached by phone at (317) 890-3292.



By Jon McNamara

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