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 10, 2009
    Every fall, I am in charge of getting items donated to put in care packages to our deployed soldiers. In November, we mail out these items to Minnesota based units in time for a Christmas arrival.
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009
    “Service is a core component of building the esteem and values of children. By serving this summer, we hope our young scholars and their families will make an ongoing commitment to volunteering throughout the year,” says Mary Elizabeth Bruce, Founding Director of Major Initiatives for Summer Advantage USA.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    The YMCA Earth Service Corps joined forces with the Washington Trails Association to get dirty at Mount Saint Helens for a week of environmental restoration.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    My dad has been in the military for over 25 years. I have been through the hurts that come with deployment and that’s why I started “Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs” with a friend and won a Do Something grant to help us reach our goals. BDU stands for Battle Dress Uniforms.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    Many families spend their weekends at ballparks decked out in team colors, cheering on little league sports teams. Some families in Orange County, however, spend one Sunday a month rallying together as a different kind of team, where the goal is not to win, but to serve.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    This summer I’ve been working as an AmeriCorps Summer VISTA for a non-profit group called Parents Plus. I have just returned from a year abroad in Spain but I figured with my AmeriCorps position mostly involving office work I would not have much of an opportunity to practice my Spanish this summer. I was mistaken.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    I graduated with my MPH from Boston University (BU) School of Public Health in January of 2008. At that time I was working on a public health research project at BU, an occupational health screening project for former workers of Department of Energy Laboratories.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    United We Serve to Save Energy & the Earth!! I organized a home energy efficiency event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The overarching goal was to reach out to the Battle Creek community to help lower their energy costs and decrease carbon pollution emissions.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    First reading service experience today (July 27, 2009) at the Charles Houston Recreation Center here in Alexandria. Arrived a bit early to a beautiful new community center that was spacious and inviting.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    Odyssey House, Inc., a 40 year old non-profit community service agency devoted to assisting disenfranchised individuals with substance abuse and mental health problems, serves many different populations in our residential treatment facilities and supportive housing.

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