Catholic Charities Service Corps
Affiliation:Catholic Charities of Buffalo, New York
Goal of Program:The CCSC invites members to discover their light and ignite it in others, instilling a responsibility to advocate for social justice through their service experience. By living in an intentional community, the volunteers have the opportunity to increase self-awareness, refine their communication skills, and offer support and companionship to others. Members develop skills, interests, and talents to serve others. Many former volunteers believe this year to be life-changing as they become more intentional in their actions and choices. Members also benefit from the CCSC's commitment to matching their skill sets with a placement's need, thereby creating an outstanding opportunity for professional development. Catholic Charities Service Corps encompasses both the Refugee Resettlement Corps and the Traditional Service Corps. Traditional Service Corps members receive housing and utilities, a transportation stipend, and a monthly stipend, while Refugee Resettlement Corps members receive an AmeriCorps living allowance and Segal education award. All CCSC members focus their experiences on the four values of simplicity, social justice, spirituality, and community. For more information about Traditional Service Corps, please visit www.ccservicecorps.com/service-in-buffalo. For more information about Refugee Resettlement Corps, please visit www.ccservicecorps.com/refugee-corps.
Type of Placement:In order to bring issues of social justice to the members' lives and to find fulfilling work opportunities, we work with our local community to find impactful placements that respond to immediate needs in the Buffalo community. Young adults commit to working with people who are vulnerable and/or marginalized in various agencies throughout the area. Service sites for 2016-2017 Traditional Service Corps include: Nativity Miguel Middle School (Teaching Assistant); Matt Urban Human Services Center (Outreach Assistant or Shelter Assistant); Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (Community Organizer); Western New York Law Center (Paralegal); Catholic Charities of Buffalo Parish Outreach and Advocacy (Pantry Assistant and Community Nutrition Educator). Service sites for Refugee Resettlement Corps members include four AmeriCorps positions in Catholic Charities of Buffalo's Immigrant and Refugee Assistance Programs. Members will serve in one of the following program areas: Financial Literacy and Educational Tutoring; Resettlement Assistance and Volunteer Management; Immigration and Legal Services; or Medical / Dental Clinic Outreach and Operations Support.
Service Area:Buffalo, New York, is known as the City of Good Neighbors. Buffalo is often described by its beauty in terms of architecture, natural surroundings, and people; however, the beauty is sometimes overshadowed by the poverty. According to the U.S. Census, Buffalo continues to be one of the poorest cities in the nation. We believe this creates an opportunity for our volunteers to serve as catalysts for change and improvement in our community.
Service Length:Traditional Service Corps members serve 11 months (September to August), with the option to serve a second year of service. Refugee Resettlement Corps members serve 1700 hours, with the option to serve a second term of service.
Requirements:Traditional Service Corps members must be 21 years of age with some college experience, preferably a four-year degree, which is required for some placements. Refugee Resettlement Corps members must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and be a U.S. citizen or naturalized U.S. resident. All members must display a demonstrated and desired commitment and openness to service and social justice, community, simple living, and spirituality; as well as a commitment to honoring the program's expectations and deadlines.
Financial Arrangement:Traditional Service Corps members receive community housing, including utilities; a transportation stipend; health insurance (if needed); program retreat costs; a monthly stipend to cover food and personal expenses; and a relocation stipend. Refugee Resettlement Corps members receive an AmeriCorps living allowance and will be eligible for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards upon the completion of their term of service.
Living Arrangements:Traditional Service Corps members live in community housing provided by the program. Refugee Resettlement Corps members are responsible for their own housing costs. Members may choose to live in the community housing available to all Catholic Charities Service Corps members or may choose to locate housing on their own. However, Catholic Charities Service Corps encourages Refugee Resettlement Corps members to live in the community housing.
Program Size:Catholic Charities Service Corps encompasses both the Traditional Service Corps and the Refugee Resettlement Corps. Catholic Charities Service Corps will accept 6 to 10 members total; up to 4 of these will be part of the Refugee Resettlement Corps and 2 to 6 will be part of Traditional Service Corps.
Training:All CCSC members participate in a four-day program orientation plus placement orientation, on-going site training, and retreats throughout the year. Volunteers also meet with Program Director regularly for supervision and to evaluate and facilitate the attainment of the member's stated goals for the year. Professional development is offered through a variety of workshops, activities, and events throughout the year. Additionally, Refugee Resettlement Corps members attend national AmeriCorps pre-service training.
Application Deadline:Traditional Service Corps applications are accepted from January 15 through July 15, based on placement availability. Refugee Resettlement Corps applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The service year starts between August 1 and November 1, with the option to renew for a second term at the completion of 1700 hours.