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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Community Resource Summit planned

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The shaky economy has left many people -- some who have had the same job for many years -- unemployed or underemployed.

For those who have never had to navigate the complicated waters of unemployment, losing a job can be frightening and confusing.

To assist local people who have found themselves in such a predicament, TCU's Greencastle branch and Work One/Ivy Tech have teamed up to host a Free Community Resource Summit.

The event will take place March 10 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Community Room of Area 30 Career Center in Greencastle. Representatives from organizations dedicated to providing assistance to those in need will be on hand to provide information, answer questions and address concerns for those who have found themselves needing help as a result of the country's economic downturn.

Attendees will find information on and resources for credit counseling, making money go further and saving time, energy and money at the summit. They will also learn about the processes for getting assistance from locally agencies, as well as the programs those agencies offer.

TCU branches are required to participate in local community service initiatives, Greencastle branch manager Pam Lage said.

"This is just a way we can let everyone know where they can go for help in the community," Lage said.

In the past, employees from Greencastle participated in a number of projects, but Lage realized with the economy in the state it is in, something different was needed.

"I had a young couple come into my office who needed $364 to keep them from getting evicted," Lage said. "It was a situation where I wasn't going to be able to give them a loan, and I got to thinking, 'If I were unemployed, what would I do?' I realized I wouldn't even know where to start."

Lage made some phone calls and managed to get the couple the help they needed, but her interaction with them got her thinking they couldn't be the only Putnam County residents who were in financial crisis.

Lage contacted Brad Johnson, the coordinator for Greencastle's Ivy Tech campus, who said he would like to help out and who also pointed her in the direction of others who would likely want to be involved in the summit.

"It has just ballooned," Lage said. "Everyone has just been wonderful. And not only do they want to help, but they give me names and contacts for others to call on."

Representatives from a number of organizations will be at the summit. Participants will include the Putnam County office of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Energy Assistance, Duke Energy, Opportunity Housing, Greencastle Housing Authority, Vectren, Healthy Familes, Johnson-Nichols Health Clinic, Community Partners, Youth Development, Mental Health America of Putnam County, Knoy Center, New Providence, New Life and Senior Center food pantries and A-Way Home Shelter, among others.

Information on free and reduced school lunch programs and food stamps will also be available.

"It's been very encouraging to know we have a community that cares so much," she said.

Brunch will be provided by Area 30, and Rural Transit will assist those who need transportation to the event.

Lage said she would "not turn anyone away" who wanted to be involved with the summit, and still welcomes any individual or organization who would like to participate.

For more information on the summit, call Lage at 653-7833.

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