National Service Blog
Posted on Feb 9, 2015
Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.
These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.
Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.
“Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”
These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.
“The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.
For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...
Posted on Aug 19, 2013
It’s back-to-school time. In the upcoming weeks, children across the country will be asked this quintessential question: “What did you do this summer?” The answer for nearly 3,000 Baltimore elementary students may surprise you.With the help of 93 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates, they practiced reading and writing. More importantly, they had lots of fun in the process!
Posted on Aug 15, 2013
As a part of the National Preparedness & Response Corps (NPRC), over 100 AmeriCorps members recently joined the ranks of the American Red Cross and will take positions in 21 chapters around the country to help communities be better prepared for disasters.
Posted on Aug 13, 2013
On June 25, President Obama made a federal disaster declaration for parts of Alaska along the Yukon River due to ice jam-related flooding from May 17 to June 11. On cue, a team of AmeriCorps members soon arrived in the remote village of Galena to help people there begin to recover.
Posted on Jul 29, 2013
A few years ago, a young teenager named Chris was living the street life in Austin, Texas, a high school dropout dealing drugs and facing bleak prospects for the future. While spending time at a juvenile detention center, two Senior Corps volunteers offered Chris love, support, and consistent finger-wagging, encouraging him to take his life in a new direction. Today, thanks to AmeriCorps, Chris has graduated from high school, gained valuable work skills, and found his passion in life - becoming a wildland firefighter.
Posted on Jul 26, 2013
A flash flood on July 17 swept through Bannack State Park, a ghost town near Dillon, MT, unearthing many historic artifacts that were scattered throughout the flood zone. Shortly thereafter, a 14-member team from Montana State Parks AmeriCorps sprang into action to locate, tag, and recover items from the site.
Posted on Jul 26, 2013
Last week, members of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) family joined Volunteer West Virginia and the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia as more than 40,000 volunteers descended on the Mountain State to perform 350 service projects across nine counties. By the time all was said and done, volunteers performed more than 300,000 hours of service during a five-day period.
Posted on Jul 25, 2013
In the spirit of Let’s Read. Let’s Move., Atlanta is tackling the challenge to keep kids’ brains and bodies active through the new Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, which will host a series of events across the city that cater to the community’s young readers.
Posted on Jul 19, 2013
What an amazing week for national service! From the White House to West Virginia, service was in the spotlight.
Posted on Jul 16, 2013
The first immigrants to America came seeking freedom, but they survived -- and, in time, came to thrive -- because of their determination and because of each other. They valued self-reliance, but in times of strife they also knew could rely on neighbors, friends, sometimes even strangers to offer a helping hand.That neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit is woven into the DNA of the American spirit. It defines in a very real sense who we are as a people.It also unites us.
Posted on Jul 15, 2013
In his 1989 Inaugural Address, when President George H.W. Bush uttered the words “a thousand points of light” he launched a movement. By signing the first National Service Act in 1990, President Bush ushered in the modern era of national service, setting the stage for the creation of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).