Minnesota AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative (ERI) announced that 272 sites throughout Minnesota need help in dealing with COVID-19 related issues, including hunger, homelessness and educational challenges. In Bemidji, four local sites have been identified for support.
To serve the increased need, five members are being sought locally and approximately 860 individuals are being recruited throughout the state. According to ServeMinnesota, this is nearly triple the size of last year’s effort, when approximately 300 AmeriCorps members served 37 Minnesota communities in ERI’s first year of operation. The local organizations that will be served include:
- Bemidji Community Food Shelf
- St. Philips
- Bemidji Community Education
- Northwoods Caregivers
As part of this summer-long program, members serve in schools to help pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students whose learning was disrupted by the pandemic. They also serve in organizations to support individuals and families facing food insecurity, homelessness, and isolation.
Anyone interested in serving in the ERI is asked to apply at www.serveminnesota.org/emergency-response-member by May 19th. Members will serve June 7 through August 14, 2021, and can earn a total of $5,000 this summer while giving back to their communities. They will receive a modest living stipend, a scholarship, and other benefits during their service. ERI AmeriCorps members typically serve 300 hours (approximately 35 hours per week for 10 weeks).
A virtual information session via Zoom, in which program representatives and AmeriCorps members who served last summer will talk about these summer service opportunities, is planned for Wednesday, April 28th from 5-6 p.m. For more information or to apply, please go to www.serveminnesota.org/emergency-response-member.
AmeriCorps, often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, is a national service program. ERI was established by ServeMinnesota, the state’s commission on national and community service, and administered with help from Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Truth North AmeriCorps in Duluth and Reading & Math, Inc., which oversees Reading Corps, Math Corps, Recovery Corps and Opportunity Corps.