AmeriCorps Upstate helps create access to services for people in need. Our members navigate resources that help community members thrive, such as financial classes and tools, educational programs food, and social service applications for SNAP benefits and Medicaid. Our members provide financial education opportunities through classes and one-on-one sessions, and free tax preparation through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. By placing our members at local nonprofits and other services locations, we are able to support opportunities that create vibrant communities for all in Greenville County.
AmeriCorps Upstate serves to create access to programs and services across the Upstate of South Carolina by working with the unique United Way system and regional partners. United Way of Greenville County, United Way of Pickens County, United Way of Laurens County and United Way of Anderson work in collaboration and alongside area nonprofits to partner, share best practices, leverage resources, and gather measurable results to find sustainable outcomes for our local communities. United Way of Greenville County serves as the grantee and administrator for this effort.
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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free income tax preparation and filing services to individuals and families with a household income of $63,000 or less. The program's IRS-trained and certified volunteers help low and middle income families identify qualifying tax credits, maximizing returns and saving the community thousands of dollars each year in tax preparation fees.
Team members will use case management techniques and tools such as Thrive Hub to connect individuals to resources in the community in a time of need. This may be housing assistance, food banks, or homeless shelters. The Benefit Bank is0a web-based screening tool that simplifies and centralizes the process of applying for many state and federal benefits for low and moderate income individuals and families. The Benefit Bank is a part of a community-wide response to poverty and can be utilized by a wide range of community service providers.
Through a basic intake, members will be able to assess an individual's strengths and needs, recommend and implement a sequence for accessing services and provide case management and referrals to help the individual achieve long-term financial stability. Team members provide financial literacy both in one-on-one and classroom settings.