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 Feb 27, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    Before becoming an AmeriCorps member, John Laderer yearned for a clear direction. “I was somebody who was just floating by in high school,” he said. “I really wasn’t learning…and my reading, writing, and math scores reflected that.”
  • Posted on Feb 26, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    March has been designated Healthy Futures Month for the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary celebration. So, what does Healthy Futures mean?...
  • Posted on Feb 25, 2014
    By Michael Smith

     

    In 2009, President Obama created the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) with a simple goal: Find solutions that work and provide the resources and spotlight needed so they can work for more people. Nearly five years later, the Social Innovation Fund represents more than a half billion dollars in public and private funds that are evaluating, expanding, and igniting innovative community solutions nationwide.
  • Posted on Feb 24, 2014
    By Robert Bisi

     

    AmeriCorps members’ contribution to American education doesn’t end when our students leave for college. By expanding the role of higher education in communities across the United States through service and volunteering, our programs have a huge footprint in higher education, serving at more than 157 institutions across the United States.
  • Posted on Feb 24, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer participated in a Twitter chat to answer questions about national service and education as part of the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary celebration. We have made the transcript available on Storify, in case you missed it.
  • Posted on Feb 23, 2014
    By Marlene Saez

     

    The chronically homeless population often utilize hospitals’ emergency rooms to meet their basic health care needs, not only causing public costs to skyrocket but also doing little to address the other mental and behavioral needs of this very vulnerable population.   The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) initiative responds directly to one of the most pressing policy problems currently facing states and the nation as a whole: rising public spending on health care with poor health outcomes.
  • Posted on Feb 19, 2014
    By Tyler Pearson

     

    It’s common knowledge that poverty has been a particularly formidable foe, and its resistance to solutions creates harmful residual effects – especially for children trying to escape its clutches. The Huntsville Network for Urban School Renewal (HNUSR) is working to help children break free of this legacy, and I am proud to be able to contribute to the solution.
  • Posted on Feb 19, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    Do you have questions about national service or AmeriCorps, and the services we provide to improve educational outcomes around the nation? Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service will be taking your questions during her next Twitter chat tomorrow!
    Tags: Social Media
  • Posted on Feb 19, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    After her seventh-grade teacher explained the connection between service and the Peace Corps, a 12-year-old Laura Glaub promised to factor service into her own life. Years later, she pursued opportunities that would support her dream of becoming a social worker. A quick online search led her to Partners for After School Success, a multi-site AmeriCorps program that targets middle and high school students.
  • Posted on Feb 17, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    Iowa can add another “first-in-the-nation” jewel to its crown with today’s announcement by Governor Terry Branstad of the creation of the Governor’s Council on National Service in Iowa.

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