Government-Backed Corporation Sponsors First Domestic Corps

The Kennedy administration is financing a social work project in Harlem as the experimental first venture of the proposed National Service Corps.

Since Congress has not yet made appropriations for the Corps, the project is officially being sponsored, as "The Domestic Peace Corps" by Associated Community Teams, Inc., of New York City.

ACT was created by the President's Committee on Youth and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for the purpose of testing "the feasibility of a domestic service corps." A grant of $200,000 was given ACT for the project.

The trial program will send 35 volunteers to Harlem for work on employment, education, housing, voter registration, mental health, and recreation projects.

Ultimately, we will become the nation-wide domestic service corps," said George W. Broadfield, special assistant to the director of ACT. He could not specify whether ACT would be in charge of the national program or whether the Harlem project would simply come under government control.


Michael Shinagel, Peace Corps adviser, who is handling applications for the domestic corps at the University, said interest here in the project has been high, especially among Radcliffe girls.

About a dozen students have applied for the corps, and many more have expressed interest, according to Shinagel. It is not known yet whether any students at the University will be selected to take part in the program.

The volunteers for the Harlem project, all high school graduates over 18, will receive living conditions, daily expenses, and a stipend of $75 per month. Training will begin on Jan. 20 and the actual work will get underway about three months later.

Phillips Brooks House has helped plan the mental health phase of the overall Peace Corps Program; John Clifton, President of PBH, plans to go to Harlem in February to inspect the project.

Clifton plans to report on his Harlem trip to the University's Committee on Domestic and Foreign Service Programs, which would help decide whether Harvard is to become affliated with the domestic corps plan.