Lutheran Volunteer Corps discontinues Jubilee program
In February, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) announced plans for Jubilee, a non-residential version of its popular national program placing volunteers, usually recent college graduates, in urban areas working with social justice agencies while living together in community settings. The Jubilee program was to require participants to commit similarly to a year-long placement match to offer stipended staff capacity to a social justice organization serving its community. The initial launch was planned for the Twin Cities.
In early August, LVC President Sam Collins announced that plans for the Jubilee program had been suspended.
“There has been a lot of excitement about the prospect of launching the Jubilee Project in the Twin Cities this fall,” explained Laurie Beckman Yetzer, a rostered diaconal minister in the ELCA and Jubilee project manager. “Unfortunately, as we are evaluating where we are at this point, we are dissatisfied with the overall number of volunteer applicants we were able to attract and match.” LVC had just two Jubilee volunteers matched for this fall.
With LVC facing financial challenges, an additional commitment to recruiting additional volunteers did not seem possible.
“While we intend to keep the door open for the Jubilee model as a tool, we will not be conducting a full pilot this fall as planned,” said Beckman Yetzer. “Instead, we will integrate the Jubilee volunteers more fully with the residential model and they will participate with them in regular LVC workshops and programming.”
Under the financial constraints, three LVC staff members were recently laid off, and the Detroit program has been discontinued.