Inspired by the national call to make a year of full-time national service a cultural expectation, common opportunity, and civic rite of passage for every young American, Flint, Michigan has committed to being a demonstration site for what that looks like at the local level. Local leaders outlined a commitment to have 200 AmeriCorps members in Flint, a ten-fold increase, by 2019. They surpassed that goal by 2018 with over 457 AmeriCorps members serving throughout the city. These members serve as the boots-on-the-ground to meet the community-identified vision outlined in the City of Flint Master Plan.
The community’s strategy to increase the number and effectiveness of national service members is led by the Flint National Service Accelerator, housed at the United Way of Genesee County. This model supports organizations and members, provides coordination for recruitment, and helps organizations offset the costs of hosting members. This unique model has led to tremendous results and is being looked upon as a model for other communities. Flint was named in the first cohort of Service Year Impact Communities through Service Year Alliance.
This year, three AmeriCorps programs connected to the Accelerator (two VISTA and one State*National) are beginning to use the AmeriCorps Impact Suite to monitor, scale, and bring much-needed efficiencies to the processes of member files, timesheets, and impact tracking.