Organize renters to lead systems change work and improve community health. Leverage the resources of local government and tap into community partnerships to make systems work for all.
The City of Bloomington, MN Division of Public Health is an innovative local public health department that serves the three first-ring Minneapolis, MN suburbs of Bloomington, Edina and Richfield. Come help us to achieve our vision of a healthy community empowered through locally-based support and services; by growing capacity in our outreach and inclusion of renters in our forward-thinking community health work.
Local data shows that renters—who make up about a third of our service area—have worse general health and higher rates of chronic illness like diabetes, asthma, and obesity. More renters than owners smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and fewer renters get enough exercise. They also have worse mental health; renters have more bad mental health days, mental health diagnoses, and stress levels. With the help of the AmeriCorps VISTA, we want to understand why, and take steps to address these poor health outcomes by working hand-in- hand with renters to build healthier communities where they live.
The AmeriCorps VISTA will help us to build out a substantial capacity building initiative in low income multiunit housing in Bloomington. The AmeriCorps VISTA will build relationships with renters and other community partners, bring renters into established city- and community- work groups that are already working on issues impacting renters, and build capacity and leadership among renters so that they can drive and lead initiatives about issues impacting their health and well-being, both where they live and in the community at large. This will be achieved through the creation of renter-led associations focused on improving health and building civic leadership, that will feed into a city-led coalition of institutional stakeholders that are committed to shifting resources and redesigning systems to better reflect the reality of people that rent in Bloomington.
· Contribute to the exploration and development of renter associations focused on addressing and uplifting community health and wellbeing, and building renter leadership in local decision making that impacts community health.
· Assist the Public Health Division in building out a robust renter engagement plan, including development of a leadership program that will promote advocacy and agency among renters.
· Refine and implement a community health minigrant program available to renter communities in Bloomington including project selection and implementation.
· Facilitate deep connections in the renter community and support residents at multiunit housing properties to form renter associations to sustainably address community health needs into the future and provide a platform for working with the City.
*Position is part of the HOME Line-Twin Cities Renter Organizing Project cohort.
· Legally able to work in the U.S.
· 18+ years old
· H.S. graduate/GED
· Passionate about community building
· Looking to launch or pivot your career
· Interested in health or wellbeing
· Able to use basic computer programs and web apps such as Microsoft Word and Google Drive
· Able to get around to various apartment buildings in Bloomington (car not required, but recommended)
· Able to commit to serve 40 hours per week for one year (January-December 2021) with paid vacation, personal time and holidays.
· Living allowance ($513.94 bi-weekly)
· $400 monthly housing stipend paid directly to your landlord
· Health insurance, including dental and vision
· Education award ($6,095) or cash award ($1,800) at end of service
· Relocation assistance
· Preference for federal hiring for one year post-service
· Professional development, leadership training, and on-the-job skill building
· You may qualify for other benefits to offset your cost of living during your year of service, such as childcare assistance or SNAP
· Additional benefits and details at: https://www.vistacampus.gov/members/benefits-of-service