More than 2,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members continue efforts in Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma impacted areas
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the federal government’s ongoing recovery efforts, the Corporation for the National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency for service and volunteering, has committed more than 2,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Since August, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps disaster teams have been dispatched to Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
CNCS has activated seven teams to support Hurricane Maria recovery operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes four Strike Teams from the agency’s elite AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team that will establish volunteer and donations management operations. AmeriCorps members serving with FEMA Corps will assist with logistics, support for responders, warehouse and facilities, and survivor outreach and assistance. In coordination with its local partner, the Puerto Rico Commission for Volunteerism and Community Service, CNCS has tapped locally-serving AmeriCorps programs to offer services to citizens impacted by the storm.
The agency has also provided more than $2.8 million in new, one-time, additional funding to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps organizations in impacted areas to support long-term recovery efforts. This includes $225,000 to the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, a grantee in Houston that sponsors more than 750 Senior Corps volunteers and has been an active part of the Hurricane Harvey response.
Also included is $1.8 million that supports approximately 175 new AmeriCorps positions through awards to existing AmeriCorps programs: Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, SBP, and the Utah Conservation Corps. This package of funding also included nearly $800,000 in resources for Governor-appointed state service commissions in impacted areas and was awarded to the One Star Foundation, Puerto Rico Commission for Volunteerism & Community Service, United Way Association of South Carolina, Volunteer Florida, and the Volunteer Louisiana Commission.
To date, more than 1,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps volunteers have responded to Hurricane Harvey, providing volunteer and donations management, disaster survivor assistance, damage assessments, and muck and gut operations. Approximately 200 additional AmeriCorps members serving with AmeriCorps disaster teams from around the country will join the effort in the coming weeks.
In response to Hurricane Irma, more than 800 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members have provided disaster survivor assistance, support for logistics, and implemented child-friendly spaces in shelter environments across impacted areas in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. AmeriCorps disaster teams have been deployed to provide manpower for blue roof tarping, debris removal, chainsaw destruction of hazardous tress, and muck and gut operations. AmeriCorps members serving with FEMA Corps are supporting FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance efforts throughout Florida.
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; and tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Moore, Okla.
To learn more about the agency’s work in response to Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria, visit NationalService.gov/2017Disasters.