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 20, 2009
    “STATE YOUR NAME!” was barked at Dakota, who was sitting on a hay mattress in the jail at Fort Clinch. The Sergeant, as we were instructed to call him, was using a feather pen to write the thirteen names of my group on a pass to notify the gate keeper that we had permission to leave the fort. By this point Dakota did not question him and simply stated his name. We had just spent the day with the Sergeant, learning about life in 1864, from someone who was “living” in 1864.
  • Posted on Aug 20, 2009
    McKenna, Long & Aldridge Washington Partner Cass Christenson and Associate Michael Alexander recently won a social security disability appeal forMs. Thomas, a pro-bono client who was unable to navigate through the paperwork and legalities involved in such an appeal. In 2006, Ms. Thomas filed her own disability claim, but she was denied benefits. She then filed a request for reconsideration, which was also denied. Due to lack of procedural understanding, Ms. Thomas failed to assert a timely request for appeal and was left with only food stamps to sustain her.
  • Posted on Aug 19, 2009
    The key to a good story web is to give the yarn plenty of slack when you toss it across the circle. Holding on to your end, unspool it a bit before you throw it to Quincy, or Josanna, or Angel, or any of the 5th graders at Adams Middle School with hands stretched above their heads, anxious to share their insights on the book we’ve been discussing, Joyce Hansen’s “The Gift Giver.”
  • Posted on Aug 19, 2009
    “We’re bored!” This is what we heard from a group of middle school students after our initial meeting to brainstorm a summer youth program for Ames, Iowa. That settled it. We needed to find something for them to do.
  • Posted on Aug 19, 2009
    As part of United We Serve’s Energy and Enviornment Week, the Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC) in Pennsyvania conducted a two-week volunteer initiative. Volunteers came from across the country to make minor home repairs, renovations, and weatherization. Over 200 youth volunteers performed 6,750 hours of work on 33 homes the first week.
  • Posted on Aug 19, 2009
    Three weeks before the summer began, the school board told staff members at the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast that they would not be able to serve lunch to the youth club members for the first time in five years.
  • Posted on Aug 18, 2009
    Yes, United We Serve!
  • Posted on Aug 18, 2009
    All across the USA, the members of the Lajna Imaillah, the women’s auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), are reaching out to help those in need. It is the central teaching of Islam that supporting the poor and the less-fortunate goes hand in hand with worship of God.
  • Posted on Aug 18, 2009
    Every year in America, over 100 million new cell phones are sold at stores and malls. Of theses sales, 95% sales are going to consumers that already have a phone. What do you do with your old phone?
  • Posted on Aug 18, 2009
    Students from Laconia High School in New Hampshire are well on their way to the creation of a DVD that will contain blueprints and critical information to be used by emergency services. In addition to creating a new emergency brochure for parents, students are using state-of-the-art Computer Aided Drafting software and laser measuring tools to create detailed floor plans and 3-D views of each room in the high school. I

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