AARP and Cities of Service announced St. Paul as a winner of its Cities of Service Experience Matters competition. With support from AARP, Cities of Service will work with St. Paul and five other cities to develop volunteering initiatives that address public problems related to the drivers of poverty. In St. Paul, this program will be working with volunteers of all ages, but especially people age 50 and older, to help fellow residents with minor home and property repairs to address code violations and reduce water use, decreasing fines and housing instability as a result.
St. Paul will receive $25,000, technical assistance and is recruiting two AmeriCorps VISTA members who will work out of city hall and build capacity and awareness for the programs. VISTA members will work alongside senior level city staff and nonprofits, build community and organizational capacity, and be a part of a nationwide network of Cities of Service AmeriCorps VISTA members. Members will begin their year of service in early September. Cities of Service is seeking members that are enthusiastic, organized, and have a passion for community interaction.
We are thrilled to expand our partnership with AARP through the launch of this new Experience Matters program. Our expertise helping cities engage volunteers combined with AARP’s experience working with adults age 50 and older will allow St. Paul to have a significant impact on some of the issues it is facing related to poverty.
In addition to funding and technical assistance throughout the duration of the program, Cities of Service and AARP will provide support in recruitment and selection of AmeriCorps VISTA members, pre-program training to ensure fidelity to Cities of Service’s proven citizen engagement model, project design assistance customized to each city, expert and peer learning opportunities through site visits and convenings, and promotion of projects to encourage replication of best practices.
AARP Minnesota is pleased to work with the city of St. Paul to help achieve the goals laid out in the Experience Matters program. We know how much experience, expertise and commitment that 50+ volunteers bring to the table and think this program presents a great opportunity to engage older adults to make an impact in St. Paul.
The other winning cities are Albuquerque, N.M; Birmingham, Ala.; Columbia, S.C.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Tulsa, Okla.
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