Strong City Baltimore’s AmeriCorps VISTA Program Set to Close
Strong City Baltimore’s AmeriCorps VISTA program will be closing on July 20, 2019. AmeriCorps VISTA projects are contingent on the availability and allocation of federal funds. Following a significant decrease in funding put forth by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Strong City is unable to continue administering the program. Current VISTA members will complete their year of service under another Maryland sponsor.
This announcement is a difficult one, as VISTA has been a part of Strong City almost since our beginning. We hosted our first five VISTA service members in 1973 and have been operating a VISTA program grant since 2013.
Over the years, hundreds of Strong City VISTA members have spent a year in service building the capacity of organizations to fight poverty. They have served thousands of low-income youth in Baltimore City and beyond, and leveraged tens of thousands of volunteer hours.
In the 1970s, members helped desegregate schools in Charles Village, and more recently helped pilot afterschool programming with Esperanza Educational Center. Members serving our Healthy Futures projects worked on a variety of issues ranging from addressing food deserts with the city’s Baltimarket program to connecting residents with nutritional food and recipes at The Baltimore Station. Strong City VISTA members also worked with the YES Drop-In Center, a fiscally sponsored project of Strong City, by expanding and supporting its volunteer base, facilitating sustained partnerships in the community, and developing resources that bolstered its capacity to serve more youth.
Strong City is proud to have been an intermediary sponsor of the AmeriCorps VISTA program and contributor to its core values of anti-poverty, community empowerment, capacity building, and sustainability.