$234 million in Government Grants for Communities across America
The federal government confirmed Monday its plans to award $234 million in government grants to non profits and organizations who are active members of the AmeriCorps program and helping to improve national services.
The grant awards will put 57,000 Americorps members to work in communities across the country where they will mentor children, clean up parks or buildings and weatherize homes for the poor, among other activities.
This grant money is the first of a seemingly strong effort by the Obama administration who recently passed a new law aimed at tripling the national service program by 2017. The funds are being distributed by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. States and territories will also get an additional $129 million for AmeriCorps slots, which will see Americorps participation rise to 85,000 people, with the long-term goal being to reach 250,000.
Americorps participants complete their work on a predominantly volunteer basis. This means that participants do not receive a wage, but are rather just given a living stipend to cover their living costs throughout their participation. Most participants, who are predominantly 18 to 26, get about $11,800.
All Americorps initiatives fall into one of five categories: helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to healthcare and assisting veterans. The $234 million being awarded will be divided between 329 national and local organizations, state service commissions, and religious groups.
AmeriCorps Programs Receiving Money
Teach for America will receive the largest grant, being awarded $11.4 million for 6,621 Americorps members performing its services. Teach for America is a non-profit organization that works to eliminate education inequality across the nation by placing recently graduated teachers to teach in low income areas.
Operation Welcome Home is another important program receiving almost $560,000 in grants to run their service. This program is run by the California Department of Veterans Affairs and employs 80 AmeriCorps who help returning service members in California with the transition back to civilian life.
Other big winners in the grant awards include: $400,000 for the Northern Mariana Islands; $650,000 to learn and Earn Alaska; $702,000 to the National AIDS Fund and $1,600,000 for Harlem Children’s Zone Peacemaker Program; $1,096,000 for National Association of Service & Conservation Corps amongst so many others.