By Jill Sheridan | WFYI 90.1FM (NPR, Indianapolis)
May 21, 2020
A diverse group of Hoosiers from around the state spoke at a digital town hall Thursday night, held by Faith in Indiana. Much of the discussion was focused on a need for more government assistance in the face of COVID-19.
Speakers included Indiana education leaders, a health-care worker, a formerly incarcerated individual, a woman in need of health insurance and elected officials.
The Who Cares For Us Town Hall called on Gov. Eric Holcomb to do more to help those hardest hit.
Anna Gonzales is a mother and the daughter of immigrants, whose family lost work at an upscale Fort Wayne restaurant and don’t receive unemployment, or stimulus aid because of undocumented status.
“Even though we had been paying taxes for 20 years,” says Gonzales. “The 20 years we’ve been in Indiana.”
The group calls for free testing, removing barriers to treatment, community led and targeted contact tracing, rent and utility assistance as well paid family leave.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the pandemic has laid bare racial disparities.
“Theres is no denying that the worst health outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic are occurring in communities of color and especially in communities in poverty,” says Hogsett.
Faith in Indiana Board Member Melanie Moore says the state and federal government have the resources.
“And more on the way,” says Moore. “Indiana has enough to care for all of us.”
The group calls for more free testing, removing barriers to treatment, community led and targeted contact tracing, rent and utility assistance and paid family leave.
There was also a call to complete the census and vote.