Every neighborhood needs more local problem solvers. And, for some, new arrivals are anticipated soon.
Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) is making a national push to lift 13 urban communities through an AmeriCorps program hoped to develop and deploy neighborhood change agents.
A $3 million investment has been devoted to dispatching 165 AmeriCorps members, including 14 in Detroit.
“Since 2010, Detroit LISC has placed 79 AmeriCorps members in community organizations throughout the city to address neighborhood concerns related to safety, affordable housing, engaging residents and other important issues,” says Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit LISC.
AmeriCorps, is a federal program that promotes national service for people of all ages in urban and rural communities, to address housing, jobs, health, safety, and education for low-income citizens. Targeted for support in Detroit are the Jefferson East and southwest areas.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, is providing $1.44 million in funding for the 165 neighborhood advocates, with LISC providing $1.6 million.
Detroit-based AmeriCorps members will assist organizations in programs ranging from crime prevention to LISC’s 0% City of Detroit Home Repair Loan program.
“Our focus is on helping create economic opportunity for people who are struggling and to improve the quality of life in their communities,” Zeigler says. “Our AmeriCorps members are passionate about supporting that kind of change, and deeply motivated to give back to their communities.”
LISC has operated a national AmeriCorps program for more 20 years, placing more than 3,000 members in neighborhoods. Many members have moved into long careers working with nonprofits, social services agencies and government.
“For us,” says Stacey Rapp, LISC AmeriCorps’ national program director, “AmeriCorps is about giving low-income residents the skills they need to build careers in community-focused sectors, just as it is about lifting the prospects of the struggling neighborhoods where they live.”
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Detroit LISC visit: www.lisc.org/detroit
Lead photo courtesy of State of Michigan.