Emergency Response Initiative – Summer 2021
Last spring, ServeMinnesota’s Emergency Response Initiative made an immediate impact on those whose lives were completely upended by COVID-19. We heard from organizations that had to quadruple the amount of meals they were serving in a matter of weeks in response to the pandemic. More than 300 people, including many who had lost jobs or internships as a result of the pandemic, stepped up to deliver critically needed support to individuals and families. AmeriCorps members served in 37 communities, tackling food insecurity, homelessness, distance learning, and more. Because of these AmeriCorps members, residents at senior living facilities saw loved ones via Zoom after weeks in isolation, engaged in fun activities and enjoyed the community garden, also managed by AmeriCorps members. In just ten weeks at one site, members packed and distributed food for 269,817 meals.
Due to the success of the program last year, and in an effort to do all we can for our state during this pandemic, ServeMinnesota is building on its successful Emergency Response Initiative to continue helping Minnesotans affected by COVID-19 in the summer of 2021.
The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the inequalities in our communities. Beginning in June, AmeriCorps members will be deployed to help organizations and schools that need more help to serve Minnesota communities.
There will be more than 700 AmeriCorps positions available in sites across the state, more than double the number from last year. AmeriCorps members will serve in organizations and schools to help students PreK-grade 12 and will also provide support to individuals and families facing food insecurity, homelessness, and isolation.
AmeriCorps, often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, is a national service program. AmeriCorps members receive a modest living stipend, a scholarship, and other benefits during their service. People who choose to join AmeriCorps are typically passionate, committed individuals who are dedicated to serving the needs of their communities. Emergency Response Initiative AmeriCorps members typically serve 300 hours (approximately 35 hours per week for 10 weeks).
Become a Site
AmeriCorps members bring added capacity to organizations at no cost to the site. These new AmeriCorps positions are intended for nonprofit, school district or governmental entities that need more help than ever to serve Minnesota communities.
This summer, AmeriCorps members will be trained to provide tutoring and enrichment to students in PreK-12th grade. Other emergency response-related service could include a combination of several response tasks such as addressing education needs of students in school or community-based settings, along with mentoring, food insecurity, housing insecurity/homelessness, rental assistance, volunteer coordination, connecting people to community resources, resource distribution, assisting with community needs assessments, navigating and connecting people to community resources, social isolation mitigation, and/or communications and marketing support.
Emergency Response AmeriCorps members will serve from June 7th to August 14th.
The application for host sites has closed.
Things to consider:
AmeriCorps members serve 35 hours per week for 10 weeks. How many AmeriCorps members could your organization utilize? How will your site ensure they are able to serve a minimum of 35 hours weekly?
What kinds of activities do you need your AmeriCorps members to support? Members can support a variety of needs, including:
- Education Support and Youth Enrichment
- Housing and Homelessness
- Food Security
- Health and Wellness
Selected sites must be able to provide ongoing supervision to AmeriCorps members, including verifying the service hours of AmeriCorps members. How will you ensure that the site supervisor is able to support the members your site requests?
We are committed to providing a safe service environment for all AmeriCorps members. Sites must adhere to federal, state, and local guidance for safety, including but not limited to, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing. What COVID-19 safety policies does your organization have in place?
Become a Member
As an AmeriCorps Emergency Response Member, you will help organizations respond to significant needs in their community related to COVID–19. Service could include a combination of several response tasks such as emergency food distribution, academic support and youth enrichment, rental and housing assistance, and more.
Emergency Response AmeriCorps members will serve in a full-time capacity (35 hours per week) beginning June 6th and ending service on August 14th. AmeriCorps members receive a modest living stipend ($3,750), health insurance and a post-service education award ($1,311) they may use to pay down student debt, further their schooling or pass it to a child or grandchild for their higher education costs. They also receive valuable job experience in high-needs areas.
As an AmeriCorps member, you will join an amazing group of members, determined to help our communities.
Applications will open March 8 and will be accepted until May 19.
Frequently Asked Questions
ServeMinnesota’s Emergency Response Initiative was created to help Minnesota communities affected by COVID-19. In partnership with Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Reading & Math, Inc., and True North AmeriCorps in Duluth, nearly 700 AmeriCorps members will assist organizations across the state this summer, especially in the areas of math and reading tutoring, food insecurity, homelessness, and more.
AmeriCorps is a national service program often referred to as the “Domestic Peace Corps.” Here in Minnesota, more than 2,000 individuals serve in more than 200 communities annually. People who join AmeriCorps (called “members'') commit to a year of service in exchange for a modest living stipend and an education award to help pay for tuition or student loans. Members are typically passionate, committed individuals who are dedicated to serving the needs of their communities. Members gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits, and the experience has a lasting impact on the members and the communities they serve. AmeriCorps is a real-life education and work experience wrapped into one.
Yes. Applications will be reviewed and assessed on criteria such as organizational and community need, thoroughness and completeness of the application, ability to support AmeriCorps members and experience with AmeriCorps, activities to engage members in serving 35 hours/week, and clarity of proposed member activities.
Organizations that are eligible to apply for the Emergency Response Initiative include: Public entities (local, regional, state, tribal), nonprofit organizations, and schools (including institutions of higher education). For-profit entities are not eligible.
The program will provide every member with an AmeriCorps Orientation. Members working with youth will receive additional training and support in youth engagement and educational support strategies. The partner organization is responsible for providing specific training for their member(s). Site Supervisors are also required to participate in Site Supervisor Orientation.
Members will begin their service on June 7 and end on August 14, serving approximately 35 hours per week.
Minimum requirements to serve in AmeriCorps: 18 years of age or older, minimum high school diploma or equivalent, US Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident. People from all backgrounds and many stages of life can apply – from recent high school or college grads to career changers, parents and retirees.
Emergency response-related service could include a combination of tasks that address education needs of students; food insecurity; housing insecurity/homelessness; volunteer coordination; connecting people to community resources; resource distribution; assisting with community needs assessments; supporting resource navigation for adults; social isolation mitigation; and/or communications and marketing support.
We anticipate that the majority of member service opportunities will be done in-person.
We are committed to providing a safe service environment for all AmeriCorps members. In order for an AmeriCorps member to be placed at a service site, that service site must adhere to federal, state, and local guidance for safe work, including, but not limited to, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing procedures. AmeriCorps members must follow safety standards and guidance provided by the program and their service site. We ask that all sites submit their COVID-19 safety practices as part of the site application process.
Members are not allowed to serve in COVID-positive sites (such as hotels for quarantine) at this time.
There are some activities that cannot be included in AmeriCorps member service such as support of for-profit businesses, political activities, and religious activities. AmeriCorps members cannot replace or duplicate the efforts of a paid staff member at a site. Click here for a complete list of AmeriCorps prohibited activities.
There is no cost, however your organization will dedicate staff time and resources to train and support the member(s) in their service.
Organizations that host an AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative member(s) must dedicate an employee to be an on-site supervisor to provide training, daily supervision and support to the members. The supervisor is required to participate in training provided by the program, and must approve member time sheets.
No, the interview and selection of members will be done by the program. However, we encourage host organizations to alert us to the qualities that you're seeking in members. We ask that your organization post the opportunity and share with your networks.
If you submitted an application by March 26, you’ll be notified by April 9. Applications received after March 26 will be considered if we have not awarded all member positions to first round applicants. These sites will be notified on a rolling basis after April 9. As of April 9, we are no longer accepting new site applications.
ServeMinnesota is the Minnesota state service commission, and as such administers AmeriCorps state programs to address critical community needs. The Emergency Response Initiative is a strategic investment of AmeriCorps resources across multiple AmeriCorps programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.
Yes. The ERI member(s) and any additional AmeriCorps members serving on site for the summer would need to have separate roles and responsibilities at your organization.
Members must have the opportunity to serve 35 hours per week through your site from June 6 to August 14. Members activities can include, but are not limited to, supporting summer school/programming, providing tutoring services, meal distribution, family resource support, and building/facilities projects related to the pandemic (i.e. setting up classrooms for distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols). These activities can vary throughout their service term based on the structure of your summer programming for students. An ERI member could count in ratio for summer school/programming if the members' role at the school is clearly distinguished from classroom teachers or other professional staff roles.