In early March, the President laid out a list of potential agencies that could face budget cuts. AmeriCorps and Serve Illinois were among those that were facing major cuts. Housing Forward relies upon this funding to staff 12 positions in our programs. This morning, we received news that Congress has released their omnibus funding bill that would fund the federal government for the rest of FY17 (until September 30). That bill fully funds AmeriCorps and Serve Illinois. This means that as long as Congress approves the bill and the President signs it, we can expect to have a 2017-18 funding notification soon after.
In 2016, AmeriCorps provided $47,765,748 value in service hours to Illinois communities. We’ve seen the program’s impact firsthand through Housing Forward, but here are the statistics for what AmeriCorps serves:
- 298,334 – Illinoisans
- 4,018 – Homeless individuals
- 2,822 – People in job training programs
- 80,469 – Youth services
- 16,729 – People with food services
The President still has recommend that in FY18 (starting October 1) AmeriCorps and the whole of the Corporation for National and Community Service be eliminated. That budget would determine program year 2018-19. Congress has shown their support of our programming with this omnibus bill, and that support will continue into the FY18 negotiations, but we will not know for some time what the outcome of these negotiations will be.
AmeriCorps volunteers allow many organizations, including Housing Forward, to have a greater impact on our community and leverages other funding. We encourage you to continue to stay informed about the budget negotiations and support the continuation of this critical funding.