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What is the AmeriCorps VISTA Program?

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a federally-funded program of the Corporation for National & Community Service. VISTA members commit to full-time service in non-profits and government agencies to increase their ability to fight poverty in low-income communities.

Members serve in project areas of:

  • Education (school readiness, K-12 success, post-secondary success) 
  • Economic opportunity (financial literacy, housing, employment) 
  • Healthy futures, (access to health care, food security)
  • Veterans and military families (a variety of different supports that enhance the quality of life of low-income veterans, military members, and their families)

What can an AmeriCorps VISTA do for my organization?

VISTA members do not provide direct services such as tutoring children or building homes. Instead, they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

 Currently Recruiting for These Local AmeriCorps VISTA Positions:

You may search for other AmeriCorps positions throughout the United States HERE

See this AmeriCorps VISTA Application Guide for information about applying.

For more information contact:

Marcia Hale, VISTA Program Coordinator, (360) 735-3693, marciah@hsc-wa.org

What are the recent accomplishments of AmeriCorps VISTA members?

The accomplishments of AmeriCorps VISTA members are many and varied. Here's a sampling of contributions from recent VISTA Members:

  • Developed a partnership between Vancouver Housing Authority and the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council to support 60 high-school dropouts in the YouthBuild Program.
  • Conducted a regional transportation needs assessment for Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties to locate transportation resources for senior, disabled, veteran, and low-income people
  • Sheltered and fed 245 homeless people, including 27 children, through the Winter Hospitality Overflow Program at the Council for the Homeless.
  • Under the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisor program, one individual saved $15,430 for the year on their prescriptions.
  • Coordinated the donation of a record amount of fresh produce (over 153,000 pounds) to feed hungry people in Clark County

What is the cost of a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member?

Project year:

Cost per year:

Cost to your organization, per hour

Year 1

$4,950

$2.38

Year 2

$5,850

$2.81

Year 3

$6,800

$3.27

 

What are the next steps if our agency is interested in hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA project?

Please contact Marcia Hale, Program Coordinator, at (360) 735-3693 or marciah@hsc-wa.org, to discuss the process for engaging a VISTA at your organization.  We will help you match your organizations' needs to the National Priority Measures and develop a project that fits your mission.

Which organizations host AmeriCorps VISTA members?

AmeriCorps VISTA members have served our 5 county area with projects including: 

  • Council for the Homeless
  • Daybreak Youth Services
  • Free Clinic of Southwest Washington
  • Human Services Council
  • Innovative Services
  • Washington Gorge Action Planning
  • Clark County Food Bank
  • Vancouver Public Schools

What services are provided by the Human Services Council, Volunteer Connections Program?

The Human Services Council (HSC) is the primary liaison between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the local project site. HSC assists with project coordination, recruitment and placement of VISTA members. HSC monitors the VISTA members and provides technical assistance and consultation throughout the VISTA's year of service. HSC coordinates training and community service events with ample notice for full team participation.

What are the other requirements that my organization must agree to in order to host an AmeriCorps VISTA member?

The organization and the site supervisor must:

  • Provide a designated workspace for the VISTA member with adequate resources including telephone, computer, internet access, and any necessary computer programs.
  • Meet with the VISTA member for a minimum of one hour per week to communicate clear expectations, provide direction, assist with problem solving, and recognize achievements.
  • Discuss any changes necessary in the project work plan with the VISTA member.
  • Review and sign monthly timesheets.
  • Review and sign quarterly project progress reports.
  • Communicate with the VISTA Program Coordinator regarding the performance and acclimation of the VISTA member.
  • Allow VISTA member to fulfill AmeriCorps VISTA obligations (i.e. training and community service events.)
  • Hold a $500 emergency fund for your members in case of payroll error or family emergency.

An organization can contribute to the success of their AmeriCorps VISTA project by fostering an open and supportive learning environment, and by welcoming the VISTA member as a part of the work team.

Who is the typical AmeriCorps VISTA member?

AmeriCorps VISTA is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens age 18 and older. Members may be recent college graduates, have years of work experience, or may be considering a career change. VISTA members typically have college degrees, and many have significant experience serving their communities. Whatever their individual journeys, AmeriCorps VISTA members are generally people interested in helping to make their community a better place to live.

What are the benefits that AmeriCorps VISTA members receive for one year of service?

  • Pre-service orientation training for new members, at the expense of AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Relocation & settling-in assistance for members relocating more than 50 miles to serve
  • Professional work experience that may include volunteer management and program development.
  • Access to ongoing professional development
  • A monthly subsistence stipend of about $973 (Clark County, pre-tax)
  • Basic health coverage
  • Access to childcare assistance for eligible children under age 13
  • Elective life insurance
  • Leaves of absence: Ten (10) personal/vacation days; Ten (10) sick days.
  • Forbearance or deferment for eligible student loans
  • Upon successful completion of a service year, a choice of $1,500 cash stipend awarded or $5,815 Eli Segal Education Award.
  • Upon successful completion of a service year, one year of Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) for federal employment
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