2020 Cohort applications are now open! Check back frequently for more listings.
Interested in becoming a VISTA?
AmeriCorps VISTA is an amazing experience, but it is also a year-long commitment. Make sure you check out the AmeriCorps website as you decide if VISTA is the right thing for you.
Capital Clubhouse helps adults with serious mental illnesses (SMIs) achieve their full potential and rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, meaningful work, employment and education, in the process gaining access to all the services and support they need. Members work in an empowering partnership with staff to operate the clubhouse, gain access to competitive employment and to education. The VISTA will first engage in the clubhouse and come to an understanding of the clubhouse model. They will contact and build relationships with likely community employment partners and education partners including, for example, the Chamber of Commerce, business associations and area universities.
Community Solutions deploys the best problem solving tools from multiple sectors to help communities end homelessness and the conditions that create it. Community Solutions co-developed the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence (JJKC), a 124-unit affordable housing development with 77 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) for formerly homeless individuals. At the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence, Community Solutions is dedicated to helping formerly homeless residents thrive in their permanent home by coordinating wraparound supportive services and providing on-site social programming. JJKC residents are predominantly veterans (59%), 50+ (81%), male (84%) and Black (92%). At the JJKC residence, the VISTA will empower residents to strengthen existing peer-led initiatives and implement new ones that will bolster resident and staff capacity and increase resident satisfaction, health, and well-being.
DC Credit Union
DC Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission of financial inclusion. We create access to, and offer, affordable banking products, savings and credit to the most vulnerable and underserved populations that include financial education to build more resilient families and stronger communities. Youth, particularly youth of color and from low income families, lack access, information and generational experience using the banking industry to leverage savings, access credit, and build wealth. The VISTA member will assist the Credit Union document practices on its existing programs and activities surrounding the banking of MBSYEP participants. The Volunteer will assist the Credit Union document and perfect practices that work well, will recommend improvements where they may be gaps in service, education and communications.
Douglass Community Land Trust
Overseen by City First Homes, the Douglass Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-based initiative to preserve and increase affordable housing and prevent displacement, initially focused on DC’s wards 7 and 8. The key results for the Douglass CLT will be to preserve long-term affordability, creating community-held assets, and to build assets for individuals and families, particularly for long-term residents of Anacostia and other neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. The Douglass CLT has a racial equity outcome as well, given that the residents of Wards 7 and 8 are predominantly poor and African-American. Within 10 years, the Douglass CLT aims to acquire land under 750 homes, providing excellent stewardship of the properties and ensuring that the residents not only benefit from stable affordable housing (rental and homeownership), but are part of the decision-making about what happens in their own communities. The Douglass CLT Resiliency & Affordability VISTA will, by assisting in recruiting and activating Douglass Community Land Trust members, work to ensure that residents of the District of Columbia are able to strengthen the existing community and resist displacement that follows patterns of divestment and subsequent redevelopment.
HELP Development Corporation
HELP Development Corporation, a project of HELP USA, works to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. We provide shelter to meet people’s immediate needs, as well as the support they need to succeed for themselves, their families, and their communities. We envision a world where safe and stable housing is a starting point for everyone, because housing is the foundation upon which people can build better lives. At HELP Walter Reed Veteran Apartments, HELP USA is dedicated to helping residents who have experienced homelessness thrive in their permanent home by coordinating wraparound supportive services and providing on-site social programming. The VISTA will be required to complete the following tasks over the course of their service: 1) engage and build trust with residents, 2) research peer-leadership best practices and their relevance at HELP Walter Reed, 3) collaborate with residents and staff to determine which initiatives to pursue, 4) identify, engage, and train resident peer-leaders, 5) aid peer-leaders in creating, implementing, and monitoring initiatives, 6) create a sustainability plan for each initiative and processes for implementing new initiatives in the future.
The mission of MANNA, Inc. is to help low and moderate income persons acquire quality housing, build assets for families through homeownership, revitalize distressed neighborhoods, and preserve racial and ethnic diversity. This project will allow MANNA to gain a better understanding of its impact along with developing a strategy to generate awareness of MANNA’s program and presence in Prince George’s County, MD, thereby generating more clients to participate in MANNA’s free programs for those who need them. The primary responsibilities of this position will include conducting a research study to evaluate number of clients served along with actual impact; assist to develop a marketing plan to generate awareness of MANNA’s free programs along with executing in person and online outreach; lastly, this position will develop asset management skills to grow a system for sustainability of information for reporting and tracking data as MANNA’s rental portfolio expands.
Mi Casa, Inc.
Mi Casa Inc., a 26-year-old affordable housing developer based in Washington, DC, integrates capacity-building, resident education and engagement into many aspects of our work with low-income communities, including co-operative development and running a unique intergenerational housing program. While the project will focus on all of Mi Casa’s affordable housing development work (including home-ownership, rental, cooperatives, and intergenerational housing), the project will highlight the effectiveness of two of Mi Casa’s major programs–the Tenant Purchase Program, that engages low-income residents in building their capacity to become effective cooperative owners of their affordable homes, and the Genesis Intergenerational Program, that works to build a network of neighborly support across all ages to improve the quality of life of residents, ages 2 to 82. This project involves developing a database plan, analyzing data, developing a communications toolkit, and conducting resident surveys. The VISTA will also work closely with the Genesis Program Manager to capture data around and increase resident engagement.
The National Alliance of Community Development Associations (NACEDA) has a mission is to lead the community development field and its partners in shaping and influencing strategies that advance community prosperity. NACEDA achieves this mission by strengthening its members through trainings, convenings, and cross-sector partnerships. NACEDA’s members are 40 state and regional associations for community development in 25 states and DC. NACEDA’s Thriving Networks program builds the capacity of state and regional community development associations to better provide support to their members – community-based organizations that serve low- and moderate-income communities. Thriving Networks programmatic work primarily includes professional and peer trainings, consultations, and conferences (examples include: strategic communications trainings, facilitating board retreats, sharing members’ expertise in hosting their own AmeriCorps VISTA programs, and more). The Thriving Networks VISTA project will build the capacity of NACEDA’s Thriving Networks program by working closely with staff to: develop an efficient analysis and use for results from NACEDA’s member capacity survey, systematize NACEDA’s brokering of capacity building and technical assistance for members, and explore business models for service delivery.
National Housing Trust
National Housing Trust, or NHT-Enterprise, was formed in 1999 to meet the need for a capable, mission driven organization focused on providing affordable housing that shelters low-income families and children. The VISTA will support the Resident Services Director (RSD) in the management of programs that empower families living in NHT affordable housing communities. For NHT, resident empowerment means not only limiting the barriers that obstruct success, but ensuring our residents are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and opportunities to be successful. They believe that they must make investments in the personal capacity of residents to help move their communities and families forward. VISTA responsibilities include data management and analysis; evaluation of resident needs; and program planning, development, and management.
So Others Might Eat
So Others Might Eat‘s Center for Employment Training, SOME CET, offers national certifications in the healthcare and building trade pathways upon completion of the course, as well as assistance with full-time job placement. CET’s mission is to empower individuals into living wage careers through hard and soft skills training, adult basic education and career development. CET provides training to prepare individuals for careers in the Healthcare and Building Trade Field. The VISTA volunteer will assess and improve recruitment efforts in order to have our resources reach further within the community. The VISTA will conduct research to identify organizations and opportunities to promote the Center for Employment training and cultivate relationships with these organizations. They will then develop and monitor implementation of recruitment strategy.
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, or Wacif, has a mission to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, DC area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. Wacif measures its success by loans deployed, assessment of quality advisory services provided to small business owners, and data assessment focused on overall impact such as increased household income, credit scoring, and asset building such as increase business revenues, jobs, and taxes. Taking into account the experience of the VISTA, the proposed project will build Wacif’s capacity to communicate its impact, address issues facing Washington area entrepreneurs,and engage new partners in advancing its mission of inclusive entrepreneurship, equitable economic development, and community wealth building.
Walker’s Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business. The Program Impact VISTA will have the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a national organization, community engagement, program development and implementation, access to entrepreneurship resources for women of color, social event development and curation, participant engagement, and trends in entrepreneurship and innovation. They will work directly with the Walker’s Legacy Leadership Team to assist with research, event participant follow-up, impact reporting, event and administrative support for city directors, and entrepreneur programming. The VISTA will conduct stakeholder focus groups, best practice research, updating organizational program guides, tool kits, and guidebooks, as well as programming and events support, public relations, content development, social media management, and more.