As I wrote in our last newsletter, ServeMinnesota has a unique responsibility to help Minnesota communities respond to the crisis created by COVID-19. With support and guidance from the Corporation for National and Community Service (the federal agency that provides AmeriCorps funding) and help from our partner programs, we’ve determined that we have the flexibility to create 200+ positions for AmeriCorps members in what we are calling the Minnesota AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative. These new positions can be deployed to help organizations that need more help than ever to serve Minnesota communities, especially in the areas of food insecurity, distance learning, help for older adults, support to help the health care system, and more. (Here is a list of all of the sites where AmeriCorps members will be serving.)
Individuals who join the AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative will serve 300 hours over the summer and will receive a living stipend, health benefits and an education award that can be used for tuition or student loan repayment. Importantly, we are working with Minnesota state unemployment officials to assure these modest stipends will not count against unemployment benefits. We hope this service may also provide a bridge to a career – or even additional service – for the thousands of Minnesotans who already have lost their jobs or upcoming summer internships.
We are moving quickly to establish the AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative with the goal of having members start service on June 8. If you are a nonprofit, school district or governmental entity in need of help as you continue to serve your community in these unprecedented times, this may be a valuable resource for you to consider.
If you would like to serve as an AmeriCorps member in the Emergency Response Initiative, apply here (by May 20, 2020). Please share this opportunity with your networks, too!
Thank you for your ongoing support, stay safe and healthy and let us know if you have questions or advice.