Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Reason to Invest in CitySquare!

The work at CitySquare continues to remain challenging...and satisfying!

Because most of our staff are 'in the weeds' so to speak...with their heads down, doing great work...we all often lose sight of the great work and great people we are involved with.

For instance, Keven Vicknair who heads up our administration of the AmeriCorp program and Sonia White, who gives leadership to all of our food service initiatives, not only make us all proud, they also help us touch lives, literally by the tens of thousands.

The partnered work of AmeriCorp and Food Services was recently recognized by a visit from Robert Velasco II who is CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. What follows in an article outlining the evaluation of that visit and a snapshot of the impact it is making. The video is about Chris Oliver and how CitySquare provided him an opportunity to not only turn his life around, but also an opportunity to help others. An update on Chris' journey: he now in school to become a teacher, while working with our Homeless Outreach Team, to get some of the most hard to reach homeless citizens of the street.


Congress is proposing cuts in funding to the AmeriCorp program. Why not share this blog post with your Senator of Congress member?

"Many Americans struggle with poverty issues. According to the Census Bureau, 1 out of 6 Americans are living in poverty. In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area, more than 14.6% of individuals live below the poverty line and statewide, 4.6 million Texans live in poverty, putting Texas 3% higher than the national average."
"In the face of unemployment and poverty, one Dallas resident found a pathway to opportunity throughAmeriCorps in his search for food and shelter."
"Employed his entire life, a three year stretch without a job left Chris Oliver evicted from his apartment with no food or shelter. Oliver turned to CitySquare, a local nonprofit that provides vital services to neighbors in search of food and housing. It was there he discovered AmeriCorps."
"“Before leaving, I filled an application out to become an AmeriCorps member and was accepted that day,” said Oliver. He started work the next day, helping those who were in his shoes one the day before."
"At CitySquare, there are currently more than 70 AmeriCorps members who work every day to help feed the hungry and tutor at-risk youth. Since 2006, CitySquare has placed and managed more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members. Over a five-year period, AmeriCorps members and CitySquare have partnered with 39 community agencies in afterschool and summer programming and served more than 14,000 youth throughout Dallas and San Antonio."
"As the issues of hunger and poverty affect more Americans each day, the number of Dallas residents who have turned to City Square has steadily increased. In 2011, AmeriCorps members with CitySquare's Hunger Programs have fed more than 18,500 neighbors and are on track to surpass last year's totals."
"“The food pantry has seen longer lines of people waiting for food assistance and more neighbors repeatedly having to turn to the pantry for help,” said Amanda O'Neill of CitySquare..."

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