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 Jul 29, 2009
    Sons of Norway assists year round with the Ski for Light Puget Sound chapter. We think it is important to not only get involved with the event, but to maintain a tie to Ski for Light to demonstrate how vital this event is for blind and mobility impaired individuals. Ski for Light allows blind and mobility impaired people the opportunity to interact with the outdoors in winter through skiing or sit-skiing. With the help of guides, they spend hours outside, enjoying activities that may otherwise not be available to them.
  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    When President Obama announced United We Serve, a summer service initiative to encourage all Americans to reach out in service to their neighbors and communities, he was very clear that the government acting alone can’t pull America through these hard economic times.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    Some 100 children from Washington, D.C.’s embattled Trinidad neighborhood and other underserved city neighborhoods took part in a major event on July 15 celebrating community service and summer learning activities.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    What happens when a small-town Montana boy grows up and enlists in the U.S. Air Force? He becomes a Big Brother, of course! Stationed near Belleville, Illinois at Scott Air Force Base, First Lieutenant Cody H. is the Chief Information Officer for the 375th Medical Group. Cody's day job has him checking up on the base's medical information systems to make sure the network is operational.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    Hello. My name is Janna and I am the Founder and CEO of Solano Green Alliance. I am an Employment Resource Specialist by trade and have worked helping the poor since 1996. Along with my disabled husband, I Founded Solano Green Alliance to build more Pathways out of Poverty for Women, People of Color and Low Income People. We began our efforts January 22, 2009 in Vallejo, California, which is a bankrupt City in Solano County. We based our effort on Van Jones' concepts from his book, "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems."
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    In January 2009, I began my year of Americorps service through Hands On Gulf Coast. As an Art Outreach Specialist with the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, I have worked with hundreds of children in three counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    I have recently been volunteering at a local nursing home. It is the one my husband stayed in prior to his death last year. I find that I have enjoyed being with and socializing with the seniors there, as i am a senior myself.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    I shall never forget a little girl named Sabrina. Her hair was fly-away dish-water blonde and framed her narrow face, thin lips, pointy chin and blue eyes. Thin and gangly, she made a perfect target for numerous taunts and teasing from other children. She was also very disruptive in class. She was defiant of the teacher, aggressive to other children and rude. It seemed she didn’t want to learn. She needed help!
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Darius was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder that claimed the life of his older brother. Knowing the rest of his life would be spent in a wheelchair, at 15 Darius left his home for the first time on a cross-country road trip. Darius and his best friends drove from small-town Georgia to California, hoping to convince MTV to “pimp his ride,” his wheelchair that is.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Armed with fierce determination and dozens of canoes and kayaks, volunteers continued the massive effort to eradicate the aquatic invasive plant water chestnut from Mill Pond at the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, New York on Wednesday, July 8th 2009.

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