Supervisors approve additional funds for ‘Youth Community Corps


RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Sept. 29 approved an additional $2 million for the Riverside County Youth Community Corps, allowing the program to expand in the face of overwhelming demand.
The Youth Corps was established by the board on Aug. 4 at the request of Supervisors Jeff Hewitt and Chuck Washington. It is modeled after AmeriCorps, the federally supported civil organization that promotes public
service work, mostly among college-age citizens.
The county program is geared to residents who are 16 to 24 years old, with the goal of placing them in paid internships to receive income and work experience amid the ongoing public health lockdowns keeping many businesses that might otherwise provide employment opportunities closed.
The program was originally intended to serve 100 individuals from each of the five supervisorial districts, for a total of 500 applicants.
However, according to the county Department of Housing, Homelessness Prevention & Workforce Solutions, 669 applications were received by Aug. 30, and the number of nonprofits and municipalities that have either partnered with the county or have requested to provide opportunities for the youths reached 120.
“Based on this level of activity, staff expects that the initial $2 million in funding will soon be exhausted,” according to an agency statement. With the board-approved additional $2 million allocation of Coronavirus, Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act money, more worksite agreements can be secured, officials said. The county has been allotted more than $450 million in federal CARES grants.
Between now and Nov. 30, youth participants are being assigned to work with nonprofits and government agencies, distributing edibles at food banks and engaging in various public outreach campaigns, according to HHPWS.
Youth Corps interns receive a stipend of $2,150 for a six-week obligation, while those who enter 12-week internships receive $4,550. They receive job training and are partnered with mentors to acquire “skills they can take with them to future jobs,” according to an HHPWS statement.
“The Corps will act as a mechanism for social support and channel for constructive activity,” the agency said. “The closure of schools, sports programs and other traditional structures have left many youth with few alternatives.”
Information about the program is available via each supervisorial district office.