$825K donated to help low income Indy families

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – More help for the working poor of Indianapolis is on its way.  Much needed money with a precise goal: to provide financial stability to low income families and help them move up the economic ladder.

The additional money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, will help hundreds of local families through unexpected crisis.

The Far Eastside Neighborhood Center has been a fixture at 38th Street and Post Road since 2003, so a ribbon cutting ceremony might seem odd. But the celebration is the opening of the eighth Center for Working Families in Indianapolis.  It’s now a part of the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, or  CAFE.

“To help families increase their net worth, move toward self sufficiency and realize their vision and their goals,” says Melissa Drew, Executive Director of CAFE.

They call it a holistic approach. At CAFE, you can find everything from access to medical services to job listings and employment opportunities to computers to fill out applications for those jobs.

“I had part-time, less than part-time hours on my job. I was about to be homeless in the streets. I have a 2-year-old son and I was really a mess,” says  client Cathy Glass.

But she says CAFE changed that.

“A comfortable at ease feeling that everything is going to be alright. And it has been,” Glass says.

And now, as many as 300 more families can be helped. The United Way of Central Indiana is investing $700,000 in the Center for Working Families network. Another $125,000 is being donated by other local philanthropic groups.

“It may be just one time they need help. But at least if we can help them that one time get over their hurdles, that’s what the money means to me,” Sheryl Twitty, the Intake Coordinator for CAFE, said.

And those already helped, like Glass, know what a difference it can make.

“Oh my god. Oh my god. I think I’d be homeless. I really do. I really think I’d be homeless,” she says.

The United Way is investing the money as part of a long term goal to reduce the number of financially unstable families in central Indiana.

They hope to cut the number from its current level of almost 32 percent to 25 percent by 2020. For more on the Center for Working Families, click here.

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