Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment
Since 2004, CAJE has ensured the implementation of positive changes in areas such as Healthcare, Education, Housing, Job Access, Public Transportation, and Suicide Prevention, and more.
We are a multi-issue organization that has come together to act on the root causes of community problems in the belief that united, we can be a powerful force for improving the quality of life and business climate for the entire tri-county area. We empower “everyday citizens” to act on behalf of themselves to bring about long-lasting systemic change.
Since 2014 countless lives have been saved in the city of Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Warrick County, and Posey County, due to CAJE’s three-year push to equip all local first responders with the opioid overdose antidote Narcan.
At the 2014 Nehemiah Action, CAJE won commitments from Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, ECHO’s Sandy Strader-McMillan and County Council President Tom Shetler to find funding for ECHO Health’s proposed dental care program. This program gives low income and members of the community access to quality dental care at a sliding scale cost. The program was funded during the summer of 2014 and there are currently 19 area dentists involved in the program, with that number growing. In 2018, CAJE was invited to the ribbon cutting for a new ECHO Community Health dental clinic! ECHO now provides referrals and on-site services! Since 2014, ECHO has served over 5,000 low-income patients and has received over $1 million dollars in local and federal funding!
In November 2014, CAJE voted to address the lack of affordable housing in Evansville. Since that time CAJE has pushed the City to reinstate regular meetings for the existing Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) and brought its policies and procedures in line with best practices. Since May 2017, CAJE got commitments from the Mayor and key City Council members to put $500,000 each year in the trust fund. The organization will continue to push for a permanent and sustainable funding source – of at least $2 million/year for the AHTF.
In 2012, CAJE got Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, County Council President Tom Shetler, State Senator Jim Tomes, County Prosecutor Nick Hermann, Judge Wayne Trockman, and Drug Treatment Court Director Larry Paul to form a working group to find funding for expansion of drug treatment court in the county. Drug treatment court is a proven method for lowering criminal recidivism and drug addiction, but had been severely understaffed in Vanderburgh County, resulting in long waitlists. The working group created by CAJE leveraged $1 million for the expansion of drug treatment court, resulting in a 20% expansion of the number of participants in the program annually.
In 2016, CAJE took local mental health providers and city officials to San Antonio, Texas to tour that city’s successful crisis intervention center. Plans are now in place to make such a center a reality in Southwest Indiana. Once doors open sometime in 2020, the Crisis Stabilization and Sobering Unit will stop the warehousing of people with mental health and addiction disorders, provide an alternative to the emergency room, and allow for compassionate treatment options for individuals in crisis.
Re-entry & Recidivism
In 2017, CAJE got Vanderburgh County Commissioner Ben Shoulders and the majority of the Vanderburgh County Council to allocate funding for a second case manager for a successful re-entry program. The case manager was hired in January 2018, doubling the capacity of the program. The county has continued to annually fund the program and the resulting reduction in recidivism has saved the county nearly $200,000 and has kept dozens of families intact!
Read more about CAJE in the news.
PO Box 18172
Evansville, IN 47719
Lead Organizer: Amy DeVries