BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
- President Lyndon B Johnson in his remarks to the first VISTA class in 1964.
- To strengthen local agencies and organizations to carry out the purpose of the program
- To encourage volunteer service at the local level
- To generate the commitment of private sector resources
- Private citizens can contribute on a voluntary basis to meet the challenges confronting low-income communities.
- The skills and energies of AmeriCorps VISTA members are used most effectively when the members live and work in the low-income communities they serve.
- The full-time personal involvement of AmeriCorps VISTA members brings an added dimension to local public and private nonprofit organizations that work to develop lasting solutions to the problems facing low-income communities.
OVERVIEW OF ROLES
- 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.
- A VISTA project engages residents of low-income communities in planning, development, and implementation of the project.
- 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.
- VISTA members build capacity for organizations to address poverty long after the VISTA members are gone. VISTA members develop systems, relationships, and knowledge which they transfer to the organization and the community to sustain over the long-term.
ROLE OF SPONSORING ORGANIZATION
The sponsoring organization manages AmeriCorps VISTA resources, including the members and sometimes grant funds, and provides the support necessary to achieve project goals. In some cases, the sponsoring organization shares the cost of AmeriCorps VISTA members by committing to pay the living allowance of one or more of their members.
ROLE OF COMMUNITY
ROLE OF AMERICORPS VISTA MEMBER
AMERICORPS VISTA MEMBER ASSIGNMENT
ROLE OF AMERICORPS VISTA LEADER
ROLE OF THE VISTA MEMBER SUPPORT UNIT
ROLE OF THE CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE STATE OFFICE
ROLE OF AMERICORPS VISTA HEADQUARTERS OFFICE
- Monitors progress toward achieving national program goals and priorities
- Allocates AmeriCorps VISTA resources among the states
- Ensures CNCS staff and sponsoring organizations adhere to AmeriCorps VISTA policies and procedures
- Researches and shares effective program models
- Develops and implements training, professional development, and technical assistance for members, Leaders, and sponsors
- Administers member support services, such as health care, child care, payments and reimbursements for living allowances and travel, and enrollment for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or end-of-service stipend
- Oversees national recruitment, marketing, and outreach efforts to attract potential members and provides training and technical assistance to assist sponsors in local recruitment practices.