AmeriCorp shooting for 16,000 volunteers in Joplin

Jun 14, 2012

The city of Joplin will be getting more AmeriCorps volunteers to help with recovery and rebuilding following the tornado in May 2011. Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, says Rebuild Joplin will receive $2,800,000 in AmeriCorps funding. 

The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $1 million in cash and in-kind donations from businesses and foundations as required by all AmeriCorps grants. The grant will provide a modest living stipend for AmeriCorps members to work full-time in the Joplin area and will also provide them college scholarships.

AmeriCorps members will remain in Joplin for three years. Spencer says they’ll add an additional 50 workers for the next three years.  "Not only will they be doing the actual work themselves," says Spender, "rebuilding homes, and working on homes and some of the continued clean up.  But they will also coordinate volunteers.  The goal is for our AmeriCorps members to coordinate at least 16,000 additional volunteers over the next three years."

AmeriCorps members supported by the grant are projected to manage more than 16,000 volunteers to serve more than 300,000 hours over the next three years, helping hundreds of families transition into permanent housing.

Spencer says one of the best features of the grant is how it builds capacity to coordinate volunteers, so she encourages faith and community groups from all over the country to help rebuild Joplin.

Rebuild Joplin will recruit Joplin residents to serve in the new positions. New AmeriCorps members will also come from across the country.

They’re expected to start work in Joplin sometime in September.