In November 2021, The Polis-Primavera Administration, AmeriCorps, Serve Colorado, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the economic mobility of Coloradans. As of November 2022, after the initial success of this collaboration, the Economic Mobility MOU was extended for two additional years.
Partners are working to increase enrollment in the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). The partnership also supports financial literacy training, tax filing assistance, unified benefit enrollment, education assistance, increasing affordable housing options, and other strategies. Working together, all streams of AmeriCorps service are looking for ways to prioritize the economic mobility of Coloradans.
AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Region members have been serving with Mile High United Way’s Tax Help Colorado’s VITA sites, United Way of Pueblo County’s VITA program, and Denver Asset Building Coalition to provide tax preparation services and financial literacy training. They have also continued to have teams partner with Habitat for Humanity to increase the availability of affordable housing.
AmeriCorps will prioritize economic mobility projects for AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Region members and engage AmeriCorps VISTA members and AmeriCorps Seniors grantees in supporting economic mobility priorities. AmeriCorps NCCC had two teams of members serving at VITA sites in Program Year 21-22 and three teams in Program Year 22-23. There are also several AmeriCorps VISTAs serving various tax projects, including one with CDPHE. AmeriCorps Senior RSVP volunteers are supporting tax preparation efforts at several different sites.
Serve Colorado will give priority consideration to economic mobility programs through its AmeriCorps State grant competitions. CDPHE’s Title V Maternal and Child Health Program will work with partners to identify priority needs for economic mobility programming for AmeriCorps consideration.
Serve Colorado's Programs
Serve Colorado currently has one operational program focused on this initiative, and five planning grants working to develop programs.
Rural Alliance for Dignity (RAD) is a program of La Puente which empowers rural nonprofits in the San Luis Valley and Southern Colorado to meet their mission by utilizing AmeriCorps members. Members facilitate direct-service programs that address economic insecurity, homelessness, hunger, health, education, and more. Activities include: case management and development training to support clients achieving self-sustainability, community education and engagement to increase involvement, benefit navigation and resources to supply quality care and financial assistance, and food distribution to expand the capacity of food banks throughout the valley. Learn more about RAD here: http://www.lapuentehome.org/
Programs in Development
Parent Possible is developing an AmeriCorps program to increase access to tax credits and other public benefits. The program will look to provide tax assistance and financial education services, and is exploring other needs in the communities they serve.
Colorado Nonprofit Development Center is exploring an AmeriCorps program that would help High School Seniors, who are at the highest risk of dropping, embrace their potential and set them up for post-graduation success.
Easterseals Colorado works to ensure that those the agency serves have the rights and resources to thrive, creating a more equitable and inclusive Colorado. They envision engaging AmeriCorps members within their Employment Services, Neurological Rehabilitation Adult Day program, Disability Benefit Services, and other program areas.
Kids at Their Best has been working with their partners to develop plans to address the economic, racial, and cultural divides in their communities. During their planning period, they will explore developing an intermediary AmeriCorps program which expands mobile food distribution, and supports youth training and employment.
Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in four areas: Education, Employment, Housing, and Day Habilitation. Laradon foresees AmeriCorps members leveraging and expanding the training programs in their Career Center and upgrading the offerings of the Laradon School to ease the transition into adulthood.
Additional Tax Resources
Get Ahead Colorado connects Coloradans to resources for remote filing, tax filing assistance, and tax credit information. Individuals can also sign up for IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax appointments.
Volunteers are needed at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the state to answer questions related to tax enrollment and tax credit assistance, prepare tax returns, and greet individuals seeking services. Volunteers will be trained on how to assist individuals. To learn more and sign up visit Spark the Change Colorado.
Spark the Change Colorado is a leading resource, strategist and partner that inspires, engages, mobilizes and empowers individuals, communities and organizations to become a driving force for good through the power of volunteerism, service and engagement.
For additional information on volunteering at VITA sites and opportunities not yet listed on Spark the Change Colorado, visit the IRS VITA page.