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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, September 12, 2016

Info Sessions For The New SBC AmeriCorps Program Sept 13-15

Santa Barbara County AmeriCorps Info Sessions September 13-15.

Applications for New Santa Barbara County AmeriCorps Partnership
For Veterans and People Experiencing Homelessness Now Being Accepted.

AmeriCorps is a national network of programs that engage more than 80,000 volunteers each year in intensive community service work with the goal of “helping others and meeting critical needs.” The United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County and a partnership of public and nonprofit agencies have established a new AmeriCorps program.

The AmeriCorps program has been designed to assist veterans, individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara County with supports needed to attain and/or retain housing, and become self-sufficient. In Santa Barbara County In the most recent Point In Time Count in 2015, 1,454 individuals were surveyed. A high percentage of individuals are considered vulnerable with 64% reporting some mental illness and 48% supporting serious and persistent mental illness. People experiencing homelessness continue to face a high risk of violence and trauma, serious injury and chronic disease and mental illness. In the same survey, approximately 15% of survey respondents self-­identified as veterans, with an 8.3 year average length homeless. Many of these veterans reported having a mental health diagnosis (66.4%) and specifically a PTSD diagnosis. AmeriCorps resources are also focused on building capacity of partner agencies to provide services through the use of volunteers.

Nationwide AmeriCorps members’ activities address critical unmet human needs. In return for their service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest cash living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their service, members receive an Education Award that can be used to pay off existing student loans or to pay continuing education costs. AmeriCorps grants are awarded annually to organizations to operate an AmeriCorps program through a competitive application process.

“I’m very excited about the potential this new AmeriCorps program has to help meet our County’s goal to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness, as well as minimize the impacts of homelessness.” Eddie Taylor, Executive Director of the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, said. “This program will also support the good work of public agencies and non-profits across the county.”
AmeriCorps Info Sessions will be held across Santa Barbara County in September:
Tuesday, September 13 (Lompoc and Santa Maria)
12:15pm Lompoc, Trinity Church at 500 E. North Ave or 5:15pm Santa Maria, United Way at 1660 S Broadway # 101
Wednesday, September 14 (Santa Barbara)
12:15pm Santa Barbara: SBC AmeriCorps Office at 26 W Anapamu St., #102
Thursday, September 15 (Santa Barbara)
5:15pm Santa Barbara: SBC AmeriCorps Office at 26 W Anapamu St., #102
Interested applicants may attend any of the info sessions.

To learn more about the Santa Barbara County AmeriCorps Partnership For Veterans and People Experiencing Homelessness or to apply visit: www.sbcamericorps.org.

The Santa Barbara County Partnership For Veterans And People Experiencing Homelessness is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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