What is AmeriCorps VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in 1965 and incorporated into the Corporation of National and Community Service’s (CNCS) AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.

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AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time volunteers to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members live and serve in some of our nation’s poorest urban and rural areas.

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Empowering Communities
An AmeriCorps VISTA project engages residents of low-income communities in planning, development, and implementation of the project.

Creating Sustainable Solutions
AmeriCorps VISTA members build capacity for organizations to address poverty long after the AmeriCorps VISTAs are gone. AmeriCorps VISTAs develop systems, relationships, and knowledge which they transfer to the organization and the community to sustain over the long-term.

AmeriCorps VISTA members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of an organization so it can continue to serve the needs of the community once AmeriCorps VISTA’s support has ended.

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Building Capacity
AmeriCorps VISTA members strengthen, expand, and increase the reach of anti-poverty organizations and programs by working on projects with staff and volunteers, rather than directly with people in need.

Ending Poverty
An AmeriCorps VISTA project’s goal addresses helping individuals and communities move out of poverty, rather than making poverty more tolerable through short-term services.

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