Written by Jillian Lopez, Volunteer Engagement Manager

The Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service (MOCEVS) is proud to celebrate its first ever Community Resource Corps (CRC) cohort as they complete their term of service! In fall 2021, MOCEVS launched the CRC to engage community leaders as AmeriCorps members. These members focused on connecting residents with anti-poverty resources. One year later we are celebrating the successful completion of a term of service and all their achievements.

Something unique about the Community Resource Corps is how diverse its members are. Members range in age from people in their early 20’s entering the workforce to people in their 60’s who have retired. This wide range of lived and professional experiences led to collaboration and learning among members. It also meant that the professional development for members had to go beyond the typical topics to be beneficial for all.

Unique professional development for members

As an AmeriCorps program, the CRC serves as a workforce development opportunity. Over the past year, members completed 18 professional development trainings, including:

  • Mental Health First Aid Training through the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
  • Narcan Training
  • Expungement intake training through a partnership with the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity
  • Data Analysis, and more.

It’s worth noting that members applied lessons learned in impactful ways. A couple of examples:

  • Shortly after completing training on the use of Narcan, one member successfully revived a resident experiencing an overdose.
  • Members completed 104 expungement intakes in West Philadelphia across 6 community events.

Members’ impact across Philadelphia

Community Resource Corps members also supported larger city-wide resource connections. At the beginning of 2022, the CRC partnered with PHLConnectEd. In a little over a month, the CRC directly connected over 80 Philadelphia households with free internet This summer, the CRC partnered with the Philadelphia Water Department to prevent water shutoffs. In the first month, the CRC helped 440 residents connect with a Water Department customer assistance option.

This first cohort laid a strong foundation for the CRC as a strong resource connector for Philadelphia. We are confident that the CRC will be able to sustain and expand upon this work with the second cohort. It’s exciting to note that 13 out of 21 members from the first cohort are returning for a second term of service.

We’re also proud of the members who are moving on to full-time jobs. A couple of outgoing members are now employed at the City of Philadelphia. One special job placement is within our own office; one member has joined MOCEVS as a new CRC Coordinator!

You, too, can make a positive impact on Philadelphia. Consider joining the CRC’s next cohort!

If you are a City department or program looking to expand your outreach capacity, contact the Community Resource Corps at crc@phila.gov.