AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Deploy More Response Teams in Flint Water Emergency

Mar 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Adding to federal response efforts, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, dispatched dozens of additional national service members to support state and local efforts addressing the water emergency in Flint, Mich.

Currently, 46 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members are engaged in response operations in Flint. These national service members educate residents on using water filters appropriately, provide information on best practices in healthcare and nutrition related to lead exposure, assist with donations management, and connect residents to wrap-around services.

In January, CNCS announced the deployment of AmeriCorps resources, including AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA, to Flint and placed the first boots on the ground by February 1. This deployment included AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams, CNCS’ elite, specialty-trained crewed deployed at the request of local and federal emergency managers. These teams provide expert manpower for everything from coordinating volunteers to donations management, public information outreach to shelter operations, and needs assessments to case management.

“National service is all about getting things done to solve local problems, and we are committed to supporting the people of Flint at this time of need,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Working hand-in-hand with local partners, these dedicated AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers continue to provide important public health services to Flint residents. We know this is a long-term challenge and will be looking for other ways to use national service and volunteering to meet this critical need.”

CNCS has an established record with it comes to disaster response, both natural and manmade. Following a disaster, national service acts as a force multiplier, providing key resources and significantly expanding the capacity of existing organizations on the ground. More than 40,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members were deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina. In the decade since, AmeriCorps teams have provided critical support after countless disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, the 2013 floods in Colorado, tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Moore, Okla., the explosion in West, Texas, and the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.

CNCS continues to work closely with the Michigan Community Service Commission, the City of Flint, and local nonprofit partners to identify additional ways the agency’s AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other national service resources can support Flint and address the long-term health and safety issues caused by the water crisis.

Last year, more than 11,000 Michigan residents served through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps at more than 1,700 locations throughout the state. They tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers. Last year, CNCS committed more than $26.6 million to support Michigan communities through national service initiatives, which leveraged an additional $16.2 million in other resources to strengthen community impact.

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