National Service Blog

  • Posted on Jun 15, 2015

    Forty percent (PDF) of asthma episodes are caused by preventable hazards found in homes, including mold and dust mites. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is helping low-income individuals and families reduce such asthma triggers in their households.

    It is doing so using a cost-effective and integrated approach that utilizes a comprehensive environmental assessment based on eight elements of “green and healthy homes:” dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, well-maintained, and energy-efficient. A review of published studies (PDF) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that such home-based, multicomponent asthma interventions provide substantial return on investment.

    GHHI’s asthma program is part of its integrated intervention services that also includes remediation and education for home health, safety, and energy efficiency. Its first pay for success project is located in Baltimore, Md., and will include Calvert Foundation and other investors providing up-front capital to scale the program. Program partners Johns Hopkins Health Care and the Johns Hopkins Health System will then pay back to the Calvert Foundation a portion of avoided medical costs if the program achieves agreed-upon outcomes, such as decreased asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

    To show funders the program was...

  • Posted on Jun 15, 2015
    Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and the number-two cause of disability in the United States after heart disease. Its damaging effects include reduced productivity, lower incomes, and overall poor health. Rural areas in the United States are especially susceptible to high rates of depression, primarily because of higher rates of social isolation, poverty, and economic distress.
  • Posted on May 20, 2015
    As one of the first wave of federal Pay for Success (PFS) grantees, Third Sector Capital Partners prides itself on going the extra mile to support programs that help at-risk youth and young adults secure a living wage and the employment skills to gain self-sufficiency.
  • Posted on Apr 24, 2015
    FoodCorps AmeriCorps Member Gets Big Surprise on Rachael Ray ShowHere’s a great segment from the Rachael Ray Show from earlier this week with the host and Jessica Alba featuring the service of FoodCorps AmeriCorps member Noel Webster. Follow the link to watch the big reveal for the Washington, DC, City Blossoms national service member who educates children about healthy foods and eating habits.
  • Posted on Apr 14, 2015
    AIDS United (formerly the National AIDS Fund) supports community-driven programs that serve people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).In 2010, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) selected AIDS United as one of its first grantees. Together with its 12 subgrantees, comprising the Access to Care (A2C) initiative, AIDS United is increasing the engagement of low-income and marginalized individuals who know they are HIV-positive but lack access to medical care and other supportive services.
  • Posted on Mar 23, 2015
    The Science of CuteIf you can find a more adorable way to show the potential 3D printing technology than this puppy’s new paws, we’d like to see it. Learn more at the White House Science Fair … and happy National Puppy Day!
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    Individuals experiencing long-term homelessness also often suffer from medical fragility caused or aggravated by life on the streets and in shelters. Lacking stable access to housing and preventative health care services, they become “high-utilizers” of costly inpatient and emergency care.
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    More than 40 grantee representatives, federal officials, and non-profit and social sector leaders participated in the three-day workshop, which featured rich conversations about lessons learned from early implementation of PFS projects, funded with $12 million from the SIF last fall.
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    Nearly a million New Yorkers earn less than $20,000 per year because they lack the skills needed to secure a living-wage job. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force seeks to better understand and combat this “skills gap.”
  • 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.
  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015
    The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a credible and consequential model for meeting unmet human needs in American communities. So says a new book providing a comprehensive history of the Obama Administration’s efforts to promote evidence-based social policy.

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