CFA AmeriCorps Blog

Communities First Association (CFA) is a national direct AmeriCorps grantee. For several years CFA has been using AmeriCorps volunteers to introduce Asset Based Community Development principles and practices in a growing number of communities. Each AmeriCorps volunteer is placed with a church, a faith-based, or a community partner organization and introduces community listening, asset mapping, and neighborhood convening activities in a specific neighborhood.

In this program an AmeriCorps volunteer is hired by a CFA partner organization– most are hired from within the target community. AmeriCorps members spend 50% of their time in their neighborhood meeting residents, convening residents in fun and creative venues to meet each other and build community, discovering gifts (assets), identifying things residents want to see improved in their neighborhood and organizing residents to act on what they care about.

When residents work together, it is amazing what begins to improve in these communities. First, it is things like a cleaner neighborhood, an after school program, fixing up a neighborhood park, starting a community garden and many more improvements. Within two years, neighbors are naming and working together on things they want improved: crime reduction and community safety, street lighting, improved education, zoning changes, reducing homelessness, and much more.

CFA wants to see stronger communities where residents work together on the things they care about. Citizen empowerment and participation are the bedrock of democratic systems and when residents work together, they make power – enough to change just about anything. AmeriCorps is bringing participatory development practices to more neighborhoods.

CFA has members in: California, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and could have members in your state.

For further information on CFA’s AmeriCorps program please contact Brianna Menning, Director of Community Based Learning, at

Click Here to Visit the CFA AmeriCorps Blog


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