Service resource kit


So you’ve decided to serve in AmeriCorps – now what? Our best word of advice: plan, plan and plan some more!

Know the location you want to serve in

Affordable Connectivity Program

Here is a link to the Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP) that you may be eligible for during your AmeriCorps term: Most eligible families can receive up to $30 per month applied to the cost of their internet service. 


Looking to relocate before or during your service term? Check out our list of affordable housing resources for ideas related to reducing housing costs, and links to affordable housing organizations and directories serving Washington state.

The Silvernest platform lets people who have a room to rent to list it on Silvernest. AmeriCorps members will be able to use Silvernest to search for rental housing options near their service placements.

Find or share housing on Silvernest


Many local housing authorities have apartment complexes, and offer lower rent costs for low-income individuals. Contact the one for the county you plan on serving in to see if they have availability. Be prepared for wait lists!

Will you be serving in King County? Check out the Seattle AmeriCorps Collaborative Facebook group for housing leads from current AmeriCorps members in the area.


Here are two links to free training that our members can use for their personal & professional development. 


Depending on the area in which you’re serving, public transportation options can vary. See below for those most commonly used.

Purchase an ORCA card or Smart card – you can pre-load funds for individual trips or a monthly pass (note: not all transit systems accept these cards; confirm in advance).

Bus transit system

Click here to view route maps and schedules by county and major city.

Sound Transit also has the “ST Express” bus routes serving Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

Trains and light rail

The Sounder train runs between Pierce and Snohomish counties and is a popular mode of transportation between the major cities of Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett.

Link light rail lines run through downtown Tacoma and between downtown Seattle and SeaTac airport.

The Amtrak Cascades line runs from Vancouver B.C. to Eugene, OR with 16 stops in between, including major cities like Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Portland (and it’s not as expensive as you might think).

Maximizing the stipend


Estimate your potential cost of living by searching for specific cities on Numbeo.

Use free mobile budgeting apps like Mint.comto keep track of income and expenses, or Microsoft’s Excel budget templates.

Food & Nutrition

Be prepared to sign up for SNAP (known as “Basic Food” in Washington) as soon as you start service, and have your site staff fill out the income verification letter you may need to present to DSHS. You can apply online or at a local Community Services Office. If you have questions about DSHS programs, you can read their FAQ or call 1-877-501-2233.

Know where the local farmers market is and if it offers a SNAP-matching program (in Seattle, it’s called Fresh Bucks). Here is a link to Farmers Markets in Seattle that participate: Neighborhood Farmers Markets (

Find local food banks and co-ops.

Scour online cookbooks and food blogs written especially for those on a tight budget.

More tips from alumni

Service Year Alliance resources

Service Year Alliance maintains a repository of helpful resources on a variety of topics to help make the best of your service term.
Click the links below for more info.

The information on this page is provided as a courtesy, only. The Washington Service Corps has not vetted and cannot vouch for services offered and/or facilitated by other organizations or individuals listed on this page. We strongly encourage you to do your own thorough research.