Flint, Mich. – An AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) team is serving with the City of Flint- Blight Elimination Division from May 8 to June 29. They are helping to decrease urban blight, which is the process of when city buildings are abandoned and fall to disrepair.
The AmeriCorps NCCC team of nine from the North Central Region campus of Vinton, Iowa is clearing several tons of debris and garbage from the vacant houses needing to be boarded up. The team is measuring the boards, cutting them to the size of the doors and windows, then they screw them into place and paint them. The team has a goal of boarding up at least 300 houses and mowing at least 300 lawns before the leave.
Through their service, AmeriCorps NCCC members are helping Flint by aiding in public safety through the boarding of the houses. Flint lost about half of their population after a period of job loss and a foreclosure crisis, which left a lot of vacant or burned down structures yet the remaining residents of Flint are resilient towards their hometown. Through boarding up abandoned homes and cleaning out vacant lots, the community will look nicer, more stable and overall safer.
“I am happy that we are serving with the City of Flint! We are directly helping the communities in the area by making them safer and more clean which will help provide a brighter future,” says member Hydeia from Los Angeles, California.
The City of Flint’s Blight Elimination Division, a division of Planning and Development, exists to address the Blight challenge faced by the City of Flint. The city’s five year plan known as ‘Imagine Flint’ it is the City’s Master Plan. The plan includes neighborhood stabilization, future growth, and revitalization efforts towards becoming a green and healthy 21st Century Sustainable Community. The residents of Flint have repeatedly identified blight as a priority concern of theirs. In order to eliminate blight in Flint it will take 71,000 tons of garbage removal, 5,000 vacant structures to be boarded, 20,000 lawns mowed annually, and many other tasks. It’s estimated to be five years until blight is eliminated from Flint.
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and its FEMA Corps unit engages up to 2,800 young Americans in a full-time, 10-month commitment to service each year. AmeriCorps NCCC members address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, and urban and rural development; FEMA Corps members are solely dedicated to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery work. The programs are administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is the federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.