Since the birth of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, communities across the nation have been awaiting the arrival of much-needed funds. For some in Santa Barbara County this wait has ended thanks to the County Education Office’s prompt collaboration with AmeriCorps, whose newly established NonprofitCorps will support local youth programs.
Any local nonprofit organization hiring NonprofitCorps workers-and the organizations are encouraged to hire locally–splits the cost of their salaries with NonprofitCorps. Six full-time positions, six part-time positions, twenty quarter-time positions, and 20 minimum-time positions are being offered, for a grand total of $121,000 in countywide aid. The goal is to help local organizations that rely heavily on donations and grants streams of funding that have waned in the recent economic downturn. Lynn Karlson, executive director of the Santa Barbara YMCA Youth and Family Services, called this “an extraordinary opportunity: when many [nonprofits] are being forced to reduce staffing costs.” Members of other agencies that have applied for volunteers, such as Isla Vista Youth Projects, Village Apartments, and Pacific Pride Foundation, said they hope to use them to coordinate other volunteers, replace budget-crunched positions, or work with children and youth as mentors and educators.
NonprofitCorps stipulates that the work of its members needs to benefit children and youth, and local nonprofits couldn’t be more eager to achieve these goals. “[The County Education Office] had their tennis shoes on and hit the ground running,” says CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) Youth Service Program Director Shereen Khatapoush. “Our community owes them tremendous thanks.”