May 4, 2022
“Serve Washington is thrilled to be selected for this pilot,” said Amber Martin-Jahn, executive director for Serve Washington.” AmeriCorps members and program directors have told us the inability to find affordable rental housing can be a barrier to volunteering to serve. We recognize this barrier and it’s our hope that through this partnership we can create more affordable rental housing options for AmeriCorps members serving in our state and ease that burden.”
Silvernest, an online homesharing platform, made the pilot possible through a partnership with America’s Service Commissions. The platform matches AmeriCorps members with hosts who are renting space in their homes. Often, people who rent space in their homes through Silvernest opt to do so at below-market rate rents. The goal is to provide AmeriCorps members with safe, affordable housing near their service placements. Meanwhile, hosts can benefit from the extra income while supporting the success of local community programs.
The cost of rental housing in Washington has soared in recent years, making it difficult for AmeriCorps members to live comfortably in the areas where they serve.
AmeriCorps members in Washington provide volunteer service to non-profits, schools, public agencies and community- and faith-based groups. Last year, more than 5,900 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers served at more than 1,025 locations statewide. Their 10-12 month positions are typically in high-need areas, which sometimes requires AmeriCorps members to relocate.
“This homesharing program is a win-win-win,” said Amy Ford, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development for Silvernest. “Hosts have a way to meaningfully contribute to the success of local programs. AmeriCorps members can live where they’re serving and make an even bigger impact on local issues and the broader community grows stronger by supporting the people making a difference in their backyard.”
Hosts can create a profile on the Silvernest platform and list details about their available space. AmeriCorps members can use the platform to find matches based on location, compatibility and other factors. Silvernest also has a secure messaging feature for users to communicate with each other to determine if they are a good match for homesharing and request background checks.
The Silvernest Homesharing Resource Center pilot for AmeriCorps members is also available in Oregon and Colorado.
AmeriCorps members in search of housing, as well as anyone interested in becoming a homesharing host, can sign up at: https://info.silvernest.com/americorps
About Serve Washington
Established in 1994, Serve Washington believes national service, volunteerism and civic engagement are the foundation for caring communities and a thriving Washington. Its mission is to advance national service and volunteerism and civic engagement to improve lives; expand opportunity to meet local critical needs of Washingtonians and help communities build capacity to become healthy and resilient. Serve Washington is a division of the Office of Financial Management and administers federal AmeriCorps programs throughout the state. It also partners with local agencies and groups to coordinate Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings. Learn more at https://servewashington.wa.gov/ and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Silvernest is pioneering a new era in homesharing with an online service that pairs hosts with qualified homeseekers, giving baby boomers, empty nesters and others a modern-day housing alternative. Through its roommate-matching and localized support services, Silvernest combines the tools, expertise and commitment to help people confidently participate in the homesharing movement. This hassle-free service takes care of the details, providing peace of mind by enabling people to stay in their homes, while benefiting from extra income and shared experiences. Learn more at www.silvernest.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About America’s Service Commissions
America’s Service Commissions is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,000 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering more than 75% of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs. Learn more at statecommissions.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.