growSouth AmeriCorps VISTAs
In 2014, the City of Dallas Mayor's Office applied for and received a grant to bring an Americorps VISTA team on under Mayor Rawlings’ GrowSouth initiative. The team was to work with formal and informal southern Dallas neighborhood associations, towards building their internal capacity, and towards the first goal of GrowSouth: strengthening neighborhoods. In April of 2015 the Mayor’s Office launched our first team of four Americorps VISTA members, partnering with about 20 neighborhoods across southern Dallas. Now in year two of the program, we are proud to announce that our team has expanded to include 10 Americorps VISTA members working with around 32 neighborhoods
"At the YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with organizations like the UNT Dallas SERCH Institute to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The SERCH Institute gives us the ability to acquire the true needs of the community. Through the support of the SERCH Institute, we are helping the Ys in south and west Dallas make programs and services accessible to all. Working with the SERCH Institute to complete a community needs assessment survey gives us true data directly from residents regarding their wants and needs. This information allows us to set our future priorities for programs and services. The SERCH Institute is truly inspiring collaboration."
-Keith Vinson, Vice President of Operations YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas
Community Basket Mobile Farmers Market is a fresh produce donation space on wheels based in southern Dallas, Texas and hosted by the SERCH Institute at UNT Dallas. Our goal is to provide access to fresh, locally sourced produce within the southern Dallas community where such is not readily available. We are here for those who love fresh fruits and vegetables but struggle to purchase them due to inaccessibility or pricing barriers from external grocers. We offer fresh produce at convenient locations alongside vital nutritional education. We are represented by a partnership between Toyota Motors of North America (TMNA), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas College: Cedar Valley, and UNT Dallas’ Urban SERCH Institute that highlights and supports the growth, revitalization, and entrepreneurship of our local communities by way of education, research, and outreach. We do this because when you and your family eat healthier, you are not only helping to enrich your own lives, but your community.
Suds of Hope
When it was discovered that families of students at OM Roberts were without access to washers and dryers at home, strategies were developed that set in motion the solution to provide washers and dryers on campus for providing clean uniforms for the children.
Mill City Urban Farm
The UNT Dallas mission is to help serve the surrounding communities. The Mill City Urban Farm in the Fair Park area provides an educational tool that includes live animals, growing food, and helping residents in the poorest neighborhoods develop a sense of self sufficiency.