New OCRA Program to HELP Hoosier Communities

New OCRA Program to HELP Hoosier Communities

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Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, along with the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), announced the new Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) at Ivy Tech in Evansville Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Crouch says HELP is designed for local units of government to optimize their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

Officials say HELP will include thorough training on ARPA, the introduction of a community coordinator position, and the creation of an online dashboard that includes high-quality data about the selected city or town.

To help carry out the year-long program, OCRA is partnering with the Purdue Center for Regional Development, the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, the Ball State University Indiana Communities Institute, and Ivy Tech Community College.

Communities selected to participate in HELP will collaborate with these higher education institutions on four key pathways:

  • Advancing e-connectivity
  • Enhancing quality of place
  • Promoting community wellness
  • Strengthening local economies.

Officials say these four pathways will help communities to be more resilient to future economic downturns.