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 Phillip Rollfing  

CHUD Colonias Program expanded

For 10th year CNCS commits volunteers to aid residents of poor Texas communities



The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently renewed and expanded its volunteer aid to the residents of the impoverished Texas communities near the Texas-Mexico border known as colonias. For the tenth year, CNCS will provide volunteers, through its AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program, to assist the Texas’ Colonias Program, which is managed by the Center for Housing and Urban Development (CHUD) at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture.

The basic aim of the Colonias Program is to place colonia residents on the road to self-sufficiency and prosperity. The AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers will participate in CHUD’s promotoras program, which trains colonia residents to provide advice to their neighbors about social services, employment and healthcare resources. The CMCS commitment will provide the Colonias Program with 35 AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers plus eight “degreed” AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers.

The volunteers will work with CHUD and area promotoras in the lower, central and western Rio Grande regions to implement projects for small business development; emergency preparedness training; volunteerism; and home remodeling, weatherization and construction. The volunteers help colonia residents access state health care resources and develop community ambassador programs. They also assist the Colonias Program with developing academic curriculums and implementing research.


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