Since the change in administration two years ago, Blackfeet Housing has worked to develop programs that inspire Blackfeet Families and their communities to give their time and effort to those in need. Making service a defining part of our reservation community life through this AmeriCorps grant proposal is one step in that direction.
This proposed project will focus on serving the residents of Blackfeet Housing projects. Those serving on this project will be young adults from 18 years of age to 24. The members will come from families living as tenants in housing projects with their families. These young adults will be able to learn about serving others in their own communities. Additionally, it will enable members to understand that they can make a difference serving others and their community while at the same time furthering their education.
The twelve AmeriCorps members selected for service will receive training on residential beautification projects through minor home repair and landscaping. Members will receive training from programs such as the Blackfeet Land Department, Transportation Department, Blackfeet Manpower, and the Blackfeet Extension Service. Once training has been completed the members will take their newfound knowledge and apply it to homes on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Upon completion of landscaping and minor repairs to the homes, members can take pride in what they have contributed to the community. With little or no landscaping currently done to homes, members will be able to see what a difference their service and accomplishments have made. In turn families living in the units will take more pride in their homes. Added to the benefits will be energy conservation as well as beautifying the property. During the summer, properly placed trees and shrubs can help reduce cooling costs. In the winter, well-placed landscaping can reduce home heat loss by blocking cold winter winds. Additional benefits will be realized by selecting plants and trees that are relatively pest free, and by designing a landscape that requires less water and fuel use to keep it attractive.
The total cost of implementation of our AmeriCorps Project is $441,643. Of this amount, $85,749 has been committed from in-kind contributions from Blackfeet Housing and other tribal programs. This grant will complete the funding we need to fully implement this proposed project. We are excited about the prospect of partnering with the Corporation for National and Community Service's AmeriCorps Grant.