AmeriCorps Members Assist Thousands of Families with COVID-19 Relief in Colorado
COVID-19 Containment Response Corps show AmeriCorps’ strength in addressing nation’s most pressing challenges
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, released the COVID-19 Containment Response Corps Implementation Report, which details the extensive work of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers in Colorado. The COVID-19 Containment Response Corps initially formed in 2020 as a partnership between AmeriCorps, the Colorado Department of Public Health and EnvironmentServe Colorado, and COVID Check Colorado, a program run by Gary Community Investments.
AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving through the COVID-19 Containment Response Corps completed more than 17,000 case investigations, 7,000 contact traces and delivered more than 32,000 test results to Colorado residents.
“From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps has remained at the ready with people on the ground in communities nationwide,” said AmeriCorps CEO, Michael D. Smith. “In many places, we were already trusted partners and were able to pivot quickly and respond to needs right away. Not only was the COVID-19 Containment Response Corps partnership very successful for pandemic response in Colorado, it also provided a career pathway for many of the program's AmeriCorps members and demonstrated our program’s abilities to get things done across the nation.”
National service through AmeriCorps provides members access to education awards and on-the-job practical training for critical workforce needs. Of the nearly 1,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers who served with the COVID-19 Containment Response Corps, more than 10 percent were offered permanent positions at their service sites directly following their service commitment.
The COVID-19 Containment Response Corps agreement created a model for similar partnerships to address other AmeriCorps focus areas like economic mobility, climate conservation and education access, among other priorities. Earlier this year, Governor Jared Polis, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, Senator Michael Bennet, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith, Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and other service community leaders announced the creation of a new Economic Mobility Partnership, designed to save Coloradans money.
Under this new partnership, AmeriCorps, the Polis-Primavera Administration, Serve Colorado, and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment work collaboratively to increase enrollment in the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The partnership also supports financial literacy training, tax filing assistance, unified benefit enrollment, education assistance and increasing affordable housing options, among other strategies. AmeriCorps members generated more than $7 million in tax returns for Colorado filers between March and May of 2022.
In addition to addressing direct COVID-19 response, AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve at more than 700 locations across Colorado, 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 $7.5 million in outside resources from businesses, foundations, public agencies, and other sources in Colorado last year. This local support from partners strengthens community impact and increases the return on taxpayer dollars.
AmeriCorps continues to invest in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery. With existing programs in more than 40,000 locations across the country, AmeriCorps is uniquely positioned to bolster community response efforts. For the past two years, thousands of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic and have provided vital support, community response, and recovery efforts, providing support to more than 12 million Americans, including 2.5 million people at vaccination sites.