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After working to reap the rewards of retirement, our nation’s seniors are targets for those who would prey on the vulnerabilities that often come with aging. To combat this problem, Senior Corps is partnering with the Department of Justice to support the Elder Justice Initiative to prevent elder abuse.

The initiative combines the use of federal resources, law enforcement, and state and local officials to protect seniors from financial, emotional, and physical threats to their well-being. This is a need that will grow for years based on United States Census Bureau reports that expect continued growth of the 65-and-older population as the Baby Boom generation crosses that milestone in droves. 

Elder abuse impacts a large swath of our seniors as approximately 1 of every 10 are being abused each year, with the majority of these incidents going unreported to authorities. The harm that bad actors cause can be devastating in so many ways. 

Seniors are often targeted because they may be more susceptible to approaches that prey on desires to form romantic relationships, offers of get-rich-quick schemes, harassing calls about false criminal penalties or that threaten physical violence.  

With more than 245,000 volunteers serving through Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions, Senior Corps can be a valuable resource to educate groups and individuals about preventative measures, and to be the eyes and ears that observe warning signs of abuse or disturbing incidents. Each year, Senior Corps makes more than 1,100 grants to local communities supporting the implementation of our three program models at 30,000 service locations.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Justice to expand our work in combatting elder abuse and fraud,” said Deborah Cox-Roush, director of Senior Corps. “From educating seniors on how to prevent fraud to leveraging even more volunteers to join these efforts and working with local law enforcement, our network of more than 245,000 Senior Corps volunteers are ensuring our nation’s seniors have the care and support they need and deserve.”

Feb 22, 2018

After working to reap the rewards of retirement, our nation’s seniors are targets for those who would prey on the vulnerabilities that often come with aging. To combat this problem, Senior Corps...

Last year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) awarded 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Planning Grants to seven worthy organizations. The goal? To help these organizations develop their own national service programs with a focus on evidence and evaluation.

Evidence-based programming underscores the mission of CNCS’s Office of Research & Evaluation (ORE). We see program development as an iterative process, using evaluation and research as indicators for improving programs, impacting more lives, and building stronger communities. To that end, ORE helps further the school of evaluation by providing organizations with the resources and tools to incorporate evaluation into their own efforts.

Every grant is a unique story. Not just for the obvious reasons of differing organizations, missions, and locations, but also the process of developing, administering, and evaluating a program. The evidence-based planning grant process can provide valuable insights for our grantees’ peers and other organizations that may also consider applying for a grant.

It is for that reason that we decided to chronicle our 2017 grantees’ journey through program development. In this first of four blogs, we introduce each organization and examine their initial experiences as they began planning their programs. Stay tuned for future blogs, as we dive deeper into their program development, challenges, and how each grantee overcame obstacles.

Antioch University

Feb 21, 2018

By Debbie Basile, Project Director - Lutheran Foster Grandparent Program

It was Sunday morning and I began the usual routine: I stretched in bed; arms flung outward; groaned a bit; leisurely ambled my way to the bathroom. I scowled at myself in the mirror and completed the tasks at hand. I got dressed and went off to church.

You know how it is in church: everyone has a specific seat. Therefore, I went to my usual spot - the back left corner. I believe that finding that familiar seat is a throwback to grade school, when we all sat in alphabetical order or in our reading group. I wandered over to the table and poured myself a cup of coffee; this is an offering at our contemporary service. I sat quietly listening to the prelude music as the parishioners sauntered in. From my corner spot, I have an ideal vantage point - I can see who comes and who goes, who sits here, who sits there, and who sits with whom. I love to watch people - it is so intriguing.

This specific Sunday, I watched a particular family arrive. They quickly stopped to pick up their church bulletin and headed to their “assigned” seats. I noticed a big smile on the face of the youngest member of the family, as he yanked to break away from his mother’s hand. I watched this young man connect eyeball to eyeball with a woman already seated in the congregation. The boy made a beeline right over to this woman with open arms and gave her a big hug. She immediately smiled and graciously returned the hug. I thought to myself, “Oh, how nice that is. The woman must be a relative or a former neighbor. Someone respected.”  

Feb 8, 2018

AmeriCorps VISTA has 3,000 opportunities nationwide for you to go where you’re skills, talents, and experience are needed - in communities, fighting poverty. You may not have thought to search in Wyoming, but here are 10 good reasons to consider serving in the Cowboy State:

1. Go find your park! We have an abundance of public lands. Between 2 National Parks, 12 State Parks, 5 National Forests, & 1 National Monument, there millions of acres to explore. (Photo credit:


2. Local nonprofits need your help! Recent downturns in the coal, oil, and gas industries, have led to the loss of an estimated 25,000 jobs. Local nonprofits are struggling to meet the gaps and keep up with the need, and that is where some of our AmeriCorps VISTA projects fit in. 


3. Get outside! We have year-round recreation opportunities such as: hiking, hunting, biking, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, fishing, and more! 


4. Eat Local. From fresh produce to wild game to cutthroat trout, our cuisine is as local and as fresh as it gets.

Jan 16, 2018

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  Service experience helps man overcome unexpected homelessness By Dominic GonzalezAs an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving with San Antonio’s...

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