Economic Opportunity

Volunteers discussing the importance of economic oppertunity

In 2011, 22 percent of U.S. children lived in poverty and 33 percent of our children lived in families in which neither parent had full-time, year-round jobs. On a single night in America, 636,017 people were homeless -- essentially as many people as live in Baltimore, MD.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is dedicated to creating economic opportunity by using national service to improve the financial well-being and security of economically disadvantaged individuals. Community organizations across the country are learning about specific interventions to address the housing, financial literacy, and employment needs of low-income populations.

For example, there is corroborating research that shows the most successful intervention for chronic homelessness is permanent supportive housing, which couples housing with services that target the specific needs of residents. Similarly, evaluations of financial coaching show strong potential for this service to aid asset building among low-income families.

For more than 45 years, national service has proven to be a catalyst when combined with community-based economic opportunity resources and programming. Our programs will boost initiatives that provide financial education, tax preparation services, consumer counseling, connection with community services or benefits, housing construction and repair, and links to job training and placement programs.  

National Service in Action

Giving neighbors a hand

AmeriCorps members with Impact Alabama NCCC completed more than 141,000 hours of service in Ohio, helping more than 3,000 neighbors prepare and recover from disasters and prepare their tax returns.

Helping at-risk kids succeed

LifeBridge AmeriCorps, sponsored by the United Way of Central West Virginia, engages 50 AmeriCorps members in mentoring and tutoring at-risk students in 18 counties across the state to improve academic performance.

Providing needed legal assistance

VISTA members serving at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago support low-income families by recruiting hundreds of volunteer attorneys and law students who provided more than 8,500 hours of pro bono service.

Supporting others to succeed

RSVP volunteers at Area 10 Agency on Aging in Indiana operate Job Links, where 85 percent of the difficult-to-employ people served felt more prepared and confident to find and keep a job after their coaching sessions.

Maximizing the power of service

Collaboration among various service programs in Michigan -- including AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, and NCCC -- creates economic opportunity, builds low-cost housing, helps with taxes and provides credit counseling for Americans in need.

Additional Information
CNCS Performance Measurements
Knowledge Network Economic Opportunity page
National Service Blog: Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity Updates

GovDelivery Email



National Service Blog - Economic Opportunity

Tags: AmeriCorps, Grants, Grantees, Economic Opportunity, Disaster Services, Environmental Stewardship, Veterans and Military Families, Veterans, environment, Disaster
By Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovati
Tags: SIFund, Economic Opportunity, SIF

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