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 Jan 17, 2014
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived—and challenged the rest of us to do the same. He not only championed the equal rights but also equal access to economic opportunity for all Americans. This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service will honor his legacy as hundreds of thousands of Americans pay tribute by serving their communities on Monday, Jan. 20.
Posted on Jan 10, 2014
“I am a guidance counselor and a teacher, den mother, referee, and confidant. I am a newspaper reporter, editor, and printer. I am a public relations man, chauffer, and pawn shop operator. I am also a scribe, medic, friend, buddy, and informer. I’m the low man on the totem pole, but the buck stops with me. I’m the middle man between Corpsman and staff, between staff and staff, and between Corpsmen and Corpsmen.”
Posted on Jan 8, 2014
As Christina Bodison navigated a demanding course load at Howard University, the former biology major actively searched for ways to be of service to others. First, she mentored high school students during an alternative spring break program in Detroit. Then, she researched HIV, AIDS, and the socioeconomic factors that bar access to health care. All of this compelled Christina to join the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the fight against poverty.
Posted on Dec 31, 2013
This past year, we engaged millions of Americans in high-impact service, meeting pressing needs in communities across the nation. Working hand in hand with thousands of local partners, our members and volunteers improved lives, expanded economic opportunity, and strengthened communities. As 2013 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite national service moments.
Posted on Dec 23, 2013
We always believed that once you became a homeowner, you were insulated from homelessness or hunger, unless a health or work catastrophe occurred, but seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina changed our view of security in America.
Posted on Dec 23, 2013
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land, AmeriCorps members were driving, in a basic white van. But their stockings weren't hung; no, not with care. They’re riding in a van, going to who knows where;
Posted on Dec 17, 2013
As AmeriCorps celebrates its 20th anniversary, it’s exciting to reflect on what the authors of the National Community Service Trust Act imagined for the power of national service. They believed that service should be an innovative public-private partnership, and Minnesota Reading Corps is bringing that vision to life.
Posted on Dec 17, 2013
During this holiday season, we are reminded of a timeless lesson: it is better to give than receive, more blessed to serve than be served. And our new Volunteering and Civic Life in America report shows that Americans embrace this idea -- not only during the holidays, but all year long.
Posted on Dec 12, 2013
The recent death of Nelson Mandela affected many who were touched by his inspirational life story, and his fight as a political prisoner to create a free and democratic South Africa. City Year, an AmeriCorps grantee, paid tribute to Mandela in a message from its CEO and co-founder, Michael Brown.
Posted on Dec 10, 2013
The 2014 Martin Luther King Day of Service is a little more than a month away, and now is the time to order materials to promote the event and join Americans across the nation who will be volunteering in their communities.