NEW YORK, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has awarded the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) nearly $2.2 million to support 240 LISC AmeriCorps members who will help revitalize disadvantaged communities across the country.
The 2010-11 LISC AmeriCorps grant represents a 76 percent increase over LISC's 2009 award. That award was paired with stimulus funds to help expand the number of volunteers in the LISC program over the last year and boost their local impact.
This is LISC's 17th year as an AmeriCorps sponsor. The new grant will fund LISC AmeriCorps members in 16 urban areas and support some of LISC's national work as well, particularly as relates to youth recreational programs and facilities.
"We're thrilled that the Corporation for National and Community Service has again recognized the value that LISC AmeriCorps members offer to low-income communities, and we're even more excited about the focus on national service under the Obama Administration," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO.
Unlike most AmeriCorps programs, LISC AmeriCorps draws the majority of its members from the low-income communities in which it works. Members are placed in community-based organizations and pursue projects that are part of LISC's Building Sustainable Communities strategy to transform distressed neighborhoods into good places to live, work, do business and raise families.
"AmeriCorps members are invaluable assets to neighborhood nonprofits and the communities where they operate," Rubinger noted. "But they also represent the future of community development. Through their LISC AmeriCorps experience, they create a pipeline of professionals who can continue this important work long after their national service is concluded," he said.
The work of LISC AmeriCorps is connected to the priorities of the communities in which it operates. "That includes helping develop high-quality affordable housing," noted Stacey Rapp, LISC AmeriCorps program director. "But it also goes well beyond that. Our members work on programs to help families develop stable incomes and build assets. They support education programs by developing after-school curriculum and service learning opportunities. They help connect neighbors to police departments, business organizations, tenant associations and crime watch groups to improve the safety of their neighborhoods. And they spearhead efforts to clean up neighborhood green space and plant neighborhood gardens that have broad health and recreational benefits for communities," she said. "Their work is as diverse as the places in which they operate."
In 2010-2011, LISC AmeriCorps members will be deployed through LISC programs in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Detroit, Duluth, Houston, Jacksonville, Michigan (statewide), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Rhode Island (statewide), San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Toledo, and Virginia (statewide). LISC AmeriCorps also helps support one of LISC's national programs, Youth Development and Recreation.
About LISC: LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $9.7 billion to build or rehab more than 271,000 affordable homes and develop 40 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged $31.1 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service: The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.
SOURCE National Equity Fund