Meeting Needs in California
Last year more than 18,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds united to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and expand opportunity through national service in California. AmeriCorps invested more than $100.5 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions, working hand in hand with local partners to empower individuals to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.
AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs, helping communities and families impacted by COVID-19, connecting veterans to services, fighting the opioid epidemic, helping seniors live independently, rebuilding communities after disasters, and leading conservation and climate change efforts.
AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers served at more than 2,800 locations across California, including schools, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, youth centers, veterans facilities, and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations. Through a unique public-private partnership, AmeriCorps and its partners generated more than $63.1 million in outside resources from businesses, foundations, public agencies, and other sources in California last year. This local support strengthened community impact and increased the return on taxpayer dollars.
Our Programs and Initiatives
AmeriCorps State and National awards grants to organizations to engage individuals in sustained service to address local, regional, and national challenges. Thousands of opportunities exist in locations across the country to serve with nonprofits, schools, public agencies, tribes, and community and faith-based groups. Most AmeriCorps grant funding goes to California Volunteers, the Governor-appointed State Service Commission, which in turn awards grants to organizations to respond to local needs.
AmeriCorps VISTA places individuals with nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments to expand reach and deepen impact in making sustainable change that alleviates the impact of poverty. Through fundraising, volunteer recruitment, program development, and more, AmeriCorps members gain experience and leadership skills that put them on track for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based, residential program for 18–26-year-olds. Whether building homes for families in need or accelerating our nation’s capacity to respond to a crisis, AmeriCorps NCCC members engage in a variety of community identified projects during their service term, while developing leadership, teamwork, and professional skills. AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps serves communities, in coordination with FEMA, through disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparents provides grants to organizations to engage low-income Americans aged 55 and older in providing one-on-one mentoring and academic support to children with special or exceptional needs. In 2020, Foster Grandparents in California served more than 5790 young people with special needs.
AmeriCorps Seniors Senior Companions provides grants to organizations to engage low-income Americans aged 55 and older in providing supportive, individualized services to help homebound seniors and other adults maintain their dignity and independence. In 2020, Seniors Companions in California provided independent living support to more than 1610 individuals.
AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP provides grants to organizations to engage Americans aged 55 and older in tutoring and mentoring youth, responding to natural disasters, supporting veterans and their families, and meeting other critical needs.
Volunteer Generation Fund supports voluntary organizations and state service commissions in boosting the impact of volunteers in addressing critical community needs.
MLK Day of Service is observed each year on the third Monday in January. It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to deepen ties to communities, expand racial equity, and solidify service to others as a national commitment.
9/11 Day of Service calls Americans across the country to volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, first responders, and the many who have risen in service to defend freedom since Sept. 11, 2001.
To see other reports about national service in California, email CA@cns.gov.