AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America)
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the 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.
AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers serve in nonprofit organizations or local government agencies around the country that focus on addressing the issue of poverty in America. VISTAs dedicate at least one year of service to a nonprofit organization in many different capacities: implementing literacy programs and tutoring for underserved children; coordinating volunteers; creating businesses; organizing employment training programs; and many more. Many VISTAs serve directly in homeless services and help build the capacity of organizations that operate shelters, distribute food, mentor children, and provide outreach. VISTAs are vital resources that nonprofit organizations can utilize to build capacity and services for individuals and families living in poverty and experiencing homelessness.
Individuals 18-years-old and above can apply to be VISTA volunteers. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, visit the AmeriCorps website. Nonprofit social service organizations or public agencies involved in alleviating poverty can apply to sponsor a VISTA project and host a VISTA volunteer at their organization for a full year. To learn how to sponsor a VISTA project, click here.
Nonprofit social service organizations and local government agencies are the direct beneficiaries of the VISTA program.The secondary beneficiaries of the VISTA program are individuals and families—including many people experience homelessness—served by the increased capacity of the nonprofit organization.
The AmeriCorps VISTA is an anti-poverty program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages Americans in volunteer service.