Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Become an AmeriCorps VISTA Service Site

 

Strong City Baltimore is no longer accepting project proposals for the 2017-2018 AmeriCorps VISTA Cohort.  The 2018-2019 Strong City VISTA Request for Project Proposals will open in November 2017.  Please complete this form below to be notified when the RFP is released.

What does it mean to be a VISTA Service Site?

  • A VISTA member will focus their efforts on sustainably building the organizational and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and overall assist low-income communities to rise out of poverty. VISTAs develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers.
  • Service Site VISTA Supervisor
    • Plays an important role in the VISTA member’s year of service, providing supervision and mentorship
  • Sponsor Site Support
    • VISTA Leader: A seasoned VISTA member will provide support through professional development, recruitment, and assist with communication with State office. Essentially, the VISTA Leader is a coach, mentor, advocate, liaison, ambassador and facilitator.
    • Director of VISTA Programming: A Strong City staff member provides leadership, coordination, and training for VISTA service sites as well as administers the VISTA Program, including managing grant reporting, special event planning, and supervision of the VISTA Leaders.

What is it like to work with a VISTA member?

  • A VISTA member is not an employee.
  • A VISTA member fulfills a one-year, full-time volunteer position.
  • VISTAs are passionate about social justice and that is why they sacrifice a year of their live to work on an assignment that will strengthen low-income communities.
  • She/he is hired and trained to uniquely focus on successfully completing a project that will sustainably combat poverty in the United States
  • VISTA members live modestly and qualify for food stamps.

VISTA members should:

  • Perform and facilitate indirect service to build your organizations capacity (for examples, please refer to the following chart).
  • Focus on building project sustainability.
  • Follow their VISTA Assignment Description (VAD).
  • Be provided with a clear outline of what is expected of them during their year of service.

VISTA members should not:

  • Be utilized to work on direct service projects.
  • Be asked to deviate drastically from their VAD and Performance Measures, without consultation with Strong City VISTA staff.
  • Be intended to replace, or perform the duties of, permanent staff.

 

Indirect Service Direct Service
Recruit and coordinate volunteers to repaint walls in community center Paint walls in community center
Organize a phone tree to recruit volunteer street clean up Answer phones in the front desk
Evaluate a financial literacy course and provide recommendations Teach a financial literacy course
Create policies and procedures for a volunteer training program Lead a volunteer training
Create promotional materials for community outreach Lead a community meeting
Research business resources and update organization’s website with new resource information Provide business counseling to a small business owner.

 

Should my organization develop a VISTA Project?

 

You might be a good fit if you can answer yes to all or most of the following questions.

  • Do we have clear work for a VISTA to do, that will build the capacity of our organization and that is not “direct service”?
  • Can we provide a VISTA with a phone, computer, email/internet access, desk space and other aspects of a basic work environment?
  • Can we provide the on-site orientation and job training a VISA will need to be successful? Can we designate one supervisor who can provide support for a full time volunteer?
  • Are we willing to give the time needed to make the program work – supporting the VISTA member and reporting?
  • Is our organization able to meet the financial requirement associated with sponsoring a VISTA, including living allowance?