SERCH Projects

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

Fresh Food

Helping alleviate the lack of fresh food while providing education about the impact of a healthy diet. It’s hard to believe that in Dallas County there are neighborhoods where fresh food is not available and people aren’t privilege to basic information connecting fresh fruits and vegetables with good health. The UNT Dallas Urban SERCH Institute is working with local vendors to field a fresh food bus that will be a mobile market to sell fresh fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs to residents deprived of nearby grocery stores in southern Dallas. The food bus will also provide education on healthy living, professional development workshops, and other social mobility-driven opportunities impacting the 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.