Spotlight on Bright Point and wonderful possibilities

| December 5, 2016
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

I felt compelled to bring Brightpoint to you this week because I know that in this thing called life, you have goals and some of you might want to start your own business and you’ll need a small business loan. Sometimes, you don’t have a lot of time to examine all of your possibilities and you might have left out one or two, so I’m here to help.  Also, you might have juniors or seniors in high school who are not receiving scholarships to attend college and you don’t have the money for their tuition but you’ve been searching and maybe you left out one or two. So, I’m here to help with that too by bringing to you the president /CEO of  Brightpoint so he can share information on their programs that might make you lives a little easier.

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Steve Hoffman and I’m the president/CEO of Brightpoint that’s located at 227 E. Washington Blvd., here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  As president, I run the place, I make sure we get the resources that we need and I make sure we serve the people that we need to serve in the right way.

“Our mission is to create economic opportunities for communities, families and individuals who lack access to affordable capital and financial services. The focus on helping individuals, is with early childhood kids up to age five because we‘re trying to get them on par when they go to kindergarten.  Without it, a lot of our kids would fall behind and when they’re behind by kindergarten, they’ll stay behind, so we’re trying to intervene there.

Steve Hoffman, president and CEO of Brightpoint

Steve Hoffman, president and CEO of Brightpoint

“For our youth, juniors and seniors that are in high school, we have our JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates)  program because they’re making decisions that will effect whether  they’re going to be living in poverty as adults. And if, they don’t graduate from high school and get secondary education, employment or career path training, they’re going to be living in poverty. So, we’re interjecting with youth at that age as well.  We’re in 14 area high schools and six here in Fort Wayne and through training, mentoring and placement services, we prepare young people for employment or post-secondary training/education after high school.  Our mission is not just to keep young people in school through graduation, we also provide work-based learning experiences that will lead to career advancement opportunities and a more rewarding future.

“We’ve been around for 51 years now and we’ve been through a lot of different administrations and a lot of different congresses and so forth, so there’s always threats  and opportunities out there and with this new election, we’ll just adjust to whatever comes.  However, there are some programs that may become a risk and that have been threatened in the past but as an organization we have lots of different programs going on.  Programs do die sometimes but organizationally, I would say with a lot of confidence, nothing catastrophic is going to happen.      

“I was born and raised in Monroeville, Indiana, and I still live out there and we all depend on Fort Wayne quite significantly.  I never thought this would be my career path. After high school, I went into the military and I went to college and grad school.  After that, I was looking for a job and a job opened here as a case manager 17 years ago now, and about eight or nine months in that position, this position opened up and it was more of what I was after.  I fell in love with the mission immediately and I’ve always been big into youth but I didn’t think about what poverty is until I started working here and it’s now a passion and I met my wife her too.  

“I enjoy what I do but there’s a lot of stress, a lot of responsibilities, it’s a hard mission and it’s tough seeing some situations people are in.  However, it’s tremendously rewarding when I see the success they have through our program and I have great people to work with.

“If I could change anything within this organization it would be that more people who are in poverty would use our programs because in the end, it’s all targeted at maximizing each person’s income potential to meet all of there needs.  If we could bring everybody up to a self-sufficient income level, then a lot of our mission gets accomplished.  That’s why we have lots of programs here: We’re here to put ourselves out of business by helping people become self sufficient but I don’t think that will happen while I’m around but that is the goal.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (260) 423-3546.”

Great job Mr. Hoffman, on that note, here is more information they have to offer you and it’s available in their lobby or on their website www.mybrightpoint.org:

“Brightpoint Small Business Loans-For a Brighter Future was founded in 2010.  The Brightpoint Development Fund, is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable business loans, financial education and housing-development services.  We’re a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) micro lender and a U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  Our loan program is generously supported by partners. Our Development Fund program, is designed to help all levels of business, from aspiring entrepreneurs to established enterprises looking to expand in the amounts of: $300-$50,000 with Interest of 6.75 percent to 9.25 percent. Term: 12 to 60 months.  Also, Brightpoint requires borrowers to have a responsible credit history, some available collateral and a business plan.  If the business plan doesn’t exist, our staff and partners can help you complete one.

“Family Development-is a home-visitation program that helps families move from poverty to self-sufficiency.  Family development help families use their strengths to set and accomplish goals.  What to expect:  the FDSW (caseworker) and families uses the family development questionnaire and Matrix  to assess the family situation and help identify goals.  The Matrix consist of 12 life areas that encompass every aspect of a family.  All families are ranked from one to ten in each life area the family development program is designed to help individuals improve in each of these life areas.  One of the goals of the program is to move families up the scale in as many life areas as possible.”  

Brightpoint programs and services include:

• Family Stability—Covering Kids and Families. icensed Indiana Navigators provide free help to individuals and families so they can understand and enroll in state and federal health insurance programs.  Navigators assist at all points in the enrollment process and will work with consumers after approval to maintain their coverage.

• Supportive Housing and Energy Assistance.

• Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

• Child Care Assistance.

• Housing Solutions.

• Family Development.

• Supportive Services for Veterans Families—SSVF.

• Weatherization

• Child and Youth Development—Early Head Start, Head Start and more.

Now in closing I say, enjoy and much success to you who need them and contact them to help.  So until next week you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye bye, babies.

P.S.  If you’d like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone you know, all in the name of love,  just send me an e-mail to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo.com.  I’d love to hear from you.

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