V is for Very Poor AmeriCorps

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Any input/comments/stories are welcomed!  I'll share mine when I can-can't afford internet so have to quickly check from the computer at my job.  Paige:)

Hi! My name is Paige and I'm nearly in my 7th month of service here in lovely Vancouver, WA.  I posted this discussion so as to see if there are others that feel the way I do.  I called it V is for Very Poor AmeriCorps becuase VISTAS typically get "paid" less than usual AmeriCorps members.  It's quite frustrating that the living allowance is unrealistic to live on plus the fact we are forbidden to seek other resources of revenue (part-time/occassional jobs).  Although I am used to being poor, it's a different "animal" in this case due to many contributing factors.  Having said this, the opportunity of being an AmeriCorps VISTA has been rich in opportunities of overcoming challenges.  I realize this is good but it is also so very difficult and I am growing weary.  Take care all!  Paige:)

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I'm exhausted of it. There are 3 vistas at my site and there is rarely more than a couple of hours of work for me to do in a week. I ask for more and my supervisor says she doesn't have time to show me how to do anything. So I spend 37 hours a week at work not working, and the rest at home having no money and waiting for it to be over. I think the system needs an overhaul.

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I completely agree with you!  Thank you for responding.  I feel obligated to post things of this nature so that if someone is interested in  being a part of AmeriCorps VISTA they won't be blindsided like I felt I was.  There for sure needs to be more transparency in certain matters such as the end of year benefits and health "coverage".  I realize that not everyone's experience is like ours.  There are some out there that I have termed "pseudo VISTAs"-those that have other resources of some sort at hand during their service.  It sounds like you are like me and a "pure VISTA" with our only resource being the unrealistic living allowance.  Hang in there and I will be in touch when I can!  Two questions if you want:  How much longer do have to go?                                  Where are you "stationed"?Take care!  Paige:) 

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I agree. I have just resigned after 3 years of service and did not even get a thank you from my site or state office. I know that VISTA is thankless but was not expecting that level of ingratitude. I also believe that there definitely needs to be more transparency and better utilization of programs. It almost feels as if programs are granted VISTAs so that there are numbers but that no real impact is expected. I have actually started my MPA and plan to do my capstone on the effectiveness of VISTA programs in my state as I feel as if we are false advertising to get members here and they are not utilized properly. It's such as waste as I sincerely believe that VISTA can really make an impact if given the resources and real opportunity to do so.Hope your year gets better.Del

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With the current media being used as a sounding point for all. It is truly sad that the few that have grievances can use this avenue to vent on bad experiences. Have any of the folks that had bad experiences thought about the damage control you do scaring potential new VISTA's? We all went to our PSO's what part of the vow of poverty did you not understand? This is my second term and I can not imagine not being a VISTA member! There are so many of us that have wonderful experiences, all-be-it not without the frustrations that just go with the territory of normal choatic times that all of society is facing. Time to belly up and see what you can do to truly try and fix your own situations and not get into the blame game.

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It was not my intention to be a part of the "blame game".  I take full responsibly for my choices and as it was stated in my original post, this opportunity has been rich in challenges which are, in fact, good for growth.  I started posting/reading these forums because no one seems to listen to valid issues/grievances or do anything about it.  These issues are real and effect us adversely with no recourse oftentimes.  I'm wondering if PSO's are consistent.  The one I attended did not spend sufficient time preparing us for the actual living experience during the term coming up.  Besides, once I went to PSO there was no turning back or options to change my mind.  I had already made all of the contractual/financial/logistical commitments to move.  Actually, I had most of my "household" with me on the road to PSO then my destination.  I realize not everyone's experience is the same but the facts do remain that critical issues need to be addressed within the program as a whole.  Del's post illustrates this well.  I do appreciate your post and am glad your experience is obviously not like mine or many others.  Take care!  Peace & Blessings-Paige:) 

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Yeah, I spent my first six months dealing with sexual harassment from a superior almost every day and when I reported it to my boss, he screamed at me for putting it in writing. My state office allowed me to transfer so that I could continue my service, but they still have a VISTA program over there. Now I'm at a new site where there is nothing for me to do. No, this is not what I signed up for. 
Oh, and a month after transferring to my new site and getting good reviews on the things I am doing, somehow VMSU lost me and stopped paying me for 2 consecutive pay periods. I was on the phone with them almost every day, and they were unable to do anything but confirm that I should have been paid, but for some reason had not been. On the positive side, my state office was extremely apologetic and helped me convince my local site to cover my check (twice in a row), but the entire situation was ridiculous, time-consuming and distressing.

I think VISTA is a great idea, I'm sure it is implemented well in certain cases, but I would be doing it a disservice to pretend the system is flawless. 
Also, please don't assume that because I am having issues with my service year, that I didn't "belly up" enough, or deal with it appropriately. I very much understood what I was signing up for, I am extremely committed to the causes of poverty, and I appreciate what my current financial hardship is teaching me-- I also think that the program could be executed a LOT better, and I don't think that because there are idiots in congress who don't think poverty is worth putting on the agenda, that I shouldn't speak my mind about the problems with this particular poverty-fighting program.

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Bless your heart!  I appreciate your courage in speaking your mind.  Freedom of speech, right?!  I am by no means trying to "scare off" potential VISTA members but stand true to my posts and the fact that there are definitely some major issues that need to be addressed.  It would be unethical in my mind to not share stories of what can and does happen...often!  I have to say here, that my local supervisor (not the site one) has tried to help me with some of the problems but their "hands are tied" as well.  I strongly feel that AmeriCorps needs to be much more thorough and honest in their presentation to potential members so that there isn't any misleading of what people "sign on for".  Also, I'm thinking that the program/project site had much to do with things and feel that AmeriCorps could be more involved in that as well.  I'm going to try to hang in there but know now with certainty that I will not compromise my health anymore (that's another story later) for this.  Take care!  Peace & Blessings-Paige:)  

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1) where exactly should we be allowed to vent our frustrations if not to other VISTAs? This is the exact reason the site was created, and the only people who have access are those who are currently serving or have before, so there is no danger of 'scaring' off anyone.

2) You get to go white water rafting, and take free helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon Linda. its no surprise youre more content than those of us who are stuck in hostile office settings.  My first term I just completed was at the Red Cross and I did 400 extra hours above what was asked of me in my contract because the management above my superior kept telling him to make the AmeriCorps do it since I wouldnt have to be compensated overtime. There were many times I was still working at 2am and I would have to call my boss 10x in a row to get an answer because they were sleeping while I still had a 3 hour drive left to even get home after my case, and then I would still need to be in at 830am later that day. There were times I would call to get a client card activated and my boss would answer and it would turn out he was having a party to celebrate all of his hard work recently. I did the equivalent of a quarter of a years work of overtime for free, and now that its over I didnt even get an invitation to the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner a few weeks ago they had.

At my new site I started at 4 weeks ago I wasnt invited to the holiday party. I didnt even know it was happening until I went to leave for lunch on my own, since Im never invited to go with anyone (not that I could afford to go, but no one knows that here since they dont speak to me) and I only found out when I walked past their party, and still wasnt spoken to. My office is across the street from a shopping complex and the other day I heard a few people complaining about the 'nerve' of someone parking their car in our parking lot instead of spending the money on the mall parking. They were going on and on about wanting to key the sides, slash the tires, and then get it towed to teach the person a lesson. It was only when they began making fun of it being an old peice of junk (an unblemished, but 2000 model sunfire) that I figured out they were planning on destroying my car. I make 4.95 PRE-tax here and the rest of the office makes anywhere from 15-35/hour so they all have new cars and there are even several Hummers to be seen, so my 12 year old car is apparently an eye sore. When I realized they meant to vandalize my car, I got up and said something and the only thing I got in response was that it was my fault for not using the required parking permit, which I was never informed I needed, let alone that it existed. A few hours later someone came and threw a pass on my desk and walked away without a word. I put 2 envelopes in the outgoing mail last week that had postage already attached and after a group of 3 women made fun of ME loudly for being inconsiderate, someone came by and threw my mail on my desk telling me it wasnt their responsibility to handle my mail.

Its fantastic that some people have a good experience with anything, or AmeriCorps specifically. However, its not fair to censor the people who are not having the time of their life either. The next person to enroll could roll the dice and get either one of our level of satisfaction and they should be aware of all of the possibilities prior to quitting their current job and relocating across the continent.

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Ugh. Hugs to you. I agree with everything you're saying about needing to vent. It's so important. Have you contacted the state office? I had a lot to complain about (see my last post), but my state office has never been anything but fantastic. 
Barring that, if nothing changes-- you're 4 weeks in. There's no reason not to ask for a transfer. After I reported sexual harassment to my manager and it blew up in my face (talk about a terrible guy to work with), the state office gave me a month of administrative leave to find a new placement. I highly recommend asking about this. You don't deserve the abuse you're enduring, and that place does not deserve VISTA funding. And if none of that works, resign if you need to. Better now than later (as the longer into the year you go, the more stuck you become). 
Good luck, and message me if you need a friend to vent. I know how frustrating and isolating this can be.

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State office? Well I am glad they helped you out. This was the response my supervisor got after I requested 5 days of additional sick after I used 7 while in the hospital.

Thank you for keeping us informed of Alana’s health needs. While we would like to support Alana’s successful completion of her service year, it appears to our office that Alana’s situation does not meet the requirements laid out in the VISTA Handbook around medical leave extensions. It seems that the medical treatment recommended by Alana’s physician could be implemented without requiring Alana to take time away from her service.  Therefore, at this time, Alana’s situation does not fit the guidelines laid out in the VISTA Handbook, which allow the state director to approve additional leave only in cases of “extended recuperation” or an “undue delay in obtaining a diagnosis.” I have included for your reference the relevant language from the VISTA Handbook:

 

The AmeriCorps VISTA sponsoring organization or supervisor must notify the Corporation State Office Director immediately if it appears that you will not be able to resume project duties within the maximum medical leave period of 10 workdays. The Corporation State Office Director may approve an extension of your medical leave for up to another five workdays in cases of extended recuperation in which you are likely to return to the project within the approved leave period or in the event of undue delay in obtaining a diagnosis of your medical condition. In exceptional circumstances and when warranted, the AmeriCorps VISTA headquarters may approve additional medical leave.

http://vistacampus.org/mod/book/view.php?id=2093&chapterid=2138

 

Again, we wish Alana the best in completing her service year. Please let us know if you have any questions about this determination.

 

Best,

Kara

 

Kara Garbe Balcerzak

State Program Specialist

Corporation for National and Community Service

431 South Seventh Street Suite 2405

Minneapolis, MN 55415

(612) 334-4082 Voice

(612) 334-4084 Fax

kbalcerzak@cns.gov

www.nationalservice.gov

Yeah, super f***ing supportive.

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I left for my VISTA post in a snow storm, upon arriving I found out that I was not only broke but homeless, as there was no housing available to me. I was supposed to be coming with my motorhome but the Highway Patrol wouldn't let me get through the storm. My two best buddies were and are my cats, we slept in my 1995 Nissan for the first six and a half weeks. Then the Lady that runs the Boys and Girls Club on the reservation found out that not only was I homeless and that welfare had nothing available for me. That a kerosene container had spilled all over my blankets and I had second degree burns all down one entire side of my backside. I stayed in a bedroom that had no heat for six weeks and saved every bit of my living stipend and made a down payment on a couple of worthless acres and a cowboy cabin. Only to find out that AZ has some really weird regulations for living on your own land. I read every Local paper and joined everything that was out there to become a participant in and participated to the fullest. Never once letting my situation become a downfall, nor set me back in anyway. From there I began to meet locals in the area and found a nice little trailer to rent that I could actually afford that wasn't next door to crack heads. Eventually when the people saw that I was a resilient person and did not let the pitfalls get to me Things got really good for me and they continue to do so today. I think it is a question of how you handle your load. I lost over 45 pounds within the first 4 months never looked so darned good. and I found that I had alot more intestinal fortitude than even I knew about. So yeah we can all tell our stories of wow, or we can learn from our experiences and still do what we do best, be Proud to be a VISTA and continue to try and make the best of all our situations.

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Well.... you are a better VISTA than me, but are you honestly arguing that that's what we should expect of VISTA's? Not only do they need to live below the poverty line, but--- also they need to be homeless and not complain about it? I'm not sure what you're saying. Couldn't you have been more effective at your site if you weren't hungry and sleeping in your car every night?

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Katherine, thanks for being so honest your post and replies are really helping me see the positives this week. The past 7 months have been extremely challenging and I wish you the best in the rest of your term of service. I need all the encouragement I can get! If you want to talk more about service you can email me at msteans@siena.edu BEST OF LUCK, on the rest of your term!

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Being a female, single, senior citizen, just my personal view, I have never found that complaining did anything to help your situation. When I am feeling the pressure of any given situation, I look for options and the exit sign. If I had not been at a food bank, I would not have met a Volunteer there that was the instructor for the NASA science lab from the University of Northern AZ. If I had not really been searching for alternative places to live, I would never have found some really good friends and a decent place to live. Sure you can allow your situation to get to you or you find that alternative route and start a new path. Trust me it is scary being along way from home, and completely on your own, and living in the below poverty range. But you can learn to become an exceptional horse trader and find alternate routes that take you on the scenic route to places you would not have had the chance to become a participant in some pretty exciting aspects of life.

As well, VISTA's are not the only ones that read these articles. Venting is a good thing and we all need a place that is safe to do so. But this site is monitored and there are some pretty powerful people in the organization who do the monitoring. Be careful of the toes you step on today, they may belong to someone's other body part that you kiss tomorrow.

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Is there something wrong with acknowledging that VISTA could be a better organization? With acknowledging how frustrating that can be? Also that a lot of the younger VISTA's who are doing this are doing so either because there aren't jobs for us elsewhere, or because we want to dedicate our lives to this kind of service? It is in everyone's interest to improve the system, I'm sorry you disagree.
And I know people read this. I got a call from my supervisor for more details-- again, as I've said, my state office is amazing. I don't think I've stepped on anyone's toes on here except for yours, which is odd to me when it seems like you have had more issues than the rest of us. If you don't want things to change, that is your prerogative, but it is absolutely silly to expect the average VISTA to endure the things you endured. The stipend we signed up for-- the other things discussed in this thread, not so much.

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I am so happy to see so many people posting. It is good to know that VISTAs do have a voice somewhere and that others see ways to improve the program. I love the VISTA program and really do believe that it can have a huge impact if given the right resources. VISTA can really be such a great resource if the program is used effectively which many times it is not. I hope that others that apply find successful placements where they feel as if they are addressing the VISTA mission and alleviating poverty. I wish the biggest issue VISTA have to deal with is seeing how the work that is done during the year fits into the big picture of alleviating poverty and not just fighting organizations just to be able to do something. I wish that State offices would be more of a resource to VISTAs serving in their states and not just rule monitors. I also wish that people do start to speak up about their service since issues cannot be addressed unless they are known. That being said, I hope people do not take advantage of the "venting" platform and raise petty grievances which can detract from real issues that can be resolved.

For those of you that have great state offices, remember to say thank you when you finish your year as many other state offices are not great...not even good. It's sad to say but it seems as if most state office employees are just there for the paycheck and not because of actual care for the effectiveness of the programs or to benefit members. My state office was NOT a resource and provided very little feedback for any issues or concerns. As a leader I sent so many emails that went unanswered (such as to find out protocols for asking universities to match the ed award, or when I tried to have a networking event to give members and alum in the state an opportunity to meet each other, no one from the state office came). One time I was able to get a response was when I sent an email about getting "I Support AmeriCorps" sticker pre-election and I quickly got a response about the Hatch act. I always thought it was interesting that that would get a response but ways to enhance the member experience were ignored. When I went to them about issues with members that were not being addressed by the site, I was told there was nothing that they could do. I often wonder what it is that they do do since my state has a very small VISTA program (less than 30 statewide). Our AmeriCorps program is amazing though and have events to bring their members together twice a year for networking and reflection, while our state office has never made the attempt for the VISTAs.

I do believe your personal living situation is something that you have to deal with. As a VISTA you know that you are entering a situation where you are living in poverty and that you will face hardships so you have to learn to make the best of your personal situation. I do hope though that your site or state office will be able to provide resources to you to help you during your year. In my first year I moved from FL to my service state and experienced snow for the first time. I was not given any assistance for housing or any practical help really (from both site and state office) and it took some adjusting. This is what I was expecting though. As a Leader in the same state (different site) I wanted to make sure that the experience was different for other members that moved to serve here. My site supervisor and I, helped everyone find housing before they came and we made sure they had info about SNAP and other resources before they came. It was not necessary for us to do but we figured that if they were in a comfortable situation it would be easier for them to serve. I hope that anyone who is serving has a support system out there that can help with resources.

VISTA service is already demanding so it is very helpful to have a support system. Keep in touch with VISTAs you meet at PSO...my VISTA buddies have been such my support system since I met them 3 years ago and I can still count on them to let me vent or let me know when I'm just being plain old whiny.

Good luck with the rest of your years and I hope that each VISTA after us has a better year than we did.

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I do think there is a difference between complaining and discussing your frustrations. Complainers are annoying especially because they often do not talk about how they can solve their frustrations. When you discuss your frustrations or "vent" you are often looking for a way to solve your dilemma. From what I have read, many haven't said how they fixed their frustrations or looked for the "silver lining", however, Del, I really like your post. I think many people, especially those stuck in poverty, forget how to find a silver lining. And I am not just thinking about "The Silver Linings Playbook". Many posters on here are acting like they didn't know what they were getting into, at least that is my interpretation.

I am viewing my upcoming VISTA assignment as a volunteering internship because I was fortunate enough to find a VISTA assignment that is related to the field I want a career in, a field that told me over 13 times (number of interviews I had in the last year) that I need more experience. Well, this is a way for me to get experience, even if I will be "poor" for a year. The living stipend is meant to provide you the ability to find a shelter, food, and pay for basic utilities. From my understanding, at least two of those things fall into the first level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Which is something many non-profits try to help meet for people that are living at or below the poverty level. Then, from there, they start trying to meet the other levels of the pyramid (safety, belonging, esteem, self-actualization).

So yeah, you have to sacrifice some things like maybe internet or cable. Do you think the poor and hungry have those luxuries? You don't absolutely NEED those things. Or you could search for somewhere to live that includes either all or some utilities so that you can budget for cable or internet. Or find a place and search for roommates. There is always some sort of solution to all of these complaints.

And before I agreed to take my VISTA position I weighed out all the pros and cons and read forums like this that almost influenced me the other way. So to say that these types of forums, while although they can be a source of expressing your negativity, could have potential to "scare" people away. That's the problem with the internet these days, it gives people the chance to be unprofessional and complain about the organization they serve instead of doing something about it. If you are upset with your organization not giving you enough work, find a solution. Create more work yourself, be proactive, take initiative, pretend this is your actual full-time "paying" job. What would you do if you were an actual salaried employee and were experiencing these problems? Complain about them at the watering hole or actually do something about it?

Don't like how VISTAs can't work a second job or think they deserve a higher living stipend? Lobby to your congressmen and women. But really, there's a reason why we can't do those things and AmeriCorps clearly defines that EVERYWHERE. So it's nothing new or information you didn't know when you VOLUNTEERED for this job. You didn't have to take the oath at your PSO. YOU, yeah YOU, made this choice. Maybe everyone should step back and reflect on WHY they signed up for AmeriCorps in the first place. For the education award? To help people? To make a difference? To gain experience? To serve your country? To gain a new life experience? Whatever it is, you should remember the reason no matter how much you hate the organization you serve, and also, AmeriCorps doesn't force anyone to stay in service. You can volunteer to quit and give up.

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Im working for "Big Brother" I have no doubt hes keeping an eye on me.

I wouldnt be terribly surprised to find out someone has the specific job duty of just reading all of our crap. However, I think that we should still be allowed to express ourselves, just like all of the other people who arent serving their country who get to take advantage of the right to the freedom of speech. Its really subjective opinion for how one wants to interpret the things I or anyone else has said here. I stated I worked an extra 400 hours for free because my company flat out said they didnt want to have pay someone else for the same work I could be made to do for nothing. Its entirely up to the reader to determine how that makes them feel, as the author my sole obligation is to tell the truth, from there the rest is on everyone else. For all I know a person might monitor my post, read my experience, and be sympathetic, ambivalent, or indignant, and I cant do anything to influence their emotions besides keep my mouth shut, and I dont have it in me to be that person, which is why I joined in the first place I suppose.

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This isn't complaining!!! This is pointing out the EXTREME short comings of a federally run program. Good for you that you can be stoic in certain situations. But not all of us have the mental and physical health capacities to be repeatedly abused by an organization we thought would help US. I have been in worse poverty before I joined up, and I would rather go back to cleaning houses and giving plasma then sign up for this again.Get over yourself and start collecting your social security and let us young people get some work!!

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okay, so have been sitting on the pity pot all month and now, having read your post, I guess I really have it good....sorry you went through all of that.!

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Outstanding post, Del!  Everything you say is so very true!  It truly does seem all about the numbers and image more than the actual impact which is, indeed, disappointing.  I wonder if the site (organization) also is a consistent factor regarding this.  Sadly, my site is also more about the numbers (quantity) than the impact (quality).  I am so grateful that you are doing your capstone on the effectiveness of VISTA programs.  I would really like to see that when it's finished.  Thank you for the response.  Take care!  Peace & Blessings-Paige:) 

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VISTA is a wonderful ideal but I agree there are some aspects that need a serious overhaul. The prohibition on outside income should be re-evaluated. Of course, the VISTA's service duties must take priority.

But government calculations about the poverty level are inadequate and unrealistic. I know many working poor, single mothers, elderly who work two or three jobs just to meet their basic survival needs. When you are poor, you will do whatever you have to put food on the table.

If a VISTA is a craft person or has some other skill or talent, they should be able to use it to supplement their income, the same way poor people do. I worked at a factory and other women used to make home cooked goodies and sell them to their co-workers to make extra money to make ends meet.

Also the government statistics fail to take into consideration that there is a lot of economic activity that occurs in the underground economy and many low-income people participate in that underground economy.

I think it is perfectly proper to use these forums to vent one's frustrations. VISTA is a wonderful IDEAL, and that is what potential VISTA's here from the VISTA leadership. They also need to know the "ugly" side, so to speak, the bumps in the roads, the reality of the hardships they may face. Only by getting the entire picture, not just the idealistic slogans, can people truly make an informed decision about VISTA.

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I can relate. I barely have anything to do at my site...and when I need to leave to do something off-site, I can't because I'm the only one in the office and someone has to be here. Mostly, I spend my day browsing the internet and waiting for the day to be over. I've asked for something to do as well--but my supervisor told me to come up with something. I'm not a creative person, so that's not something I'm good at. I'm a full-time student too, so all of my money goes toward school expenses--I honestly have $8 in my account right now. I definitely agree that the system needs an overhaul...I even tried to transfer sites to something a little busier--I was told that unless I was married and my spouse was moving, there was no luck! That is so ridiculous, I'm literally being "paid" to do absolutely nothing. I'm even trying to find something else...but so far no job offers to the dozens of applications I've submitted. 

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Hi Paige - While my VISTA service was a long time ago (early 70's), I do want to report that volunteers on our project (EOPI/Miami, FL) successfully lobbied for an increase in the living allowance.  It was argued that the cost of living in Miami was greater than average.  Fortunately someone listened.
Cheers,David

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That's wonderful to hear and know.  The varied cost of living does make a difference.  Compare to where I moved from (southern New Mexico), Vancouver, WA has about a 21% higher cost of living.  No small thing.  I appreciate your sharing.  Peace & Blessings-Paige:) 

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I have not started my PSO yet! But, when I served my "State and National" terms in AK. I learned to barter with people with my skills. I did computer repair one hour in exchange for a nice meal. Network with people! That was nearly ten years ago! Do extra voluneer work outside of the site for perks.  That all worked me. But, I suppose each place and site is different. 

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We're volunteers who have committed ourselves to fighting poverty by becoming part of it.  So become part of it.  Struggle, hate it, and by all means express that natural frustration here.  But then go back to work fueled by it.  I, personally, know that at some point in my life I'm going to look back on this time with jealous eyes. 

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Thank you SO much for your post.  I SO know what you are going through as far as the hostile and socially isolating work site...and the irony is that I am implementing/running a program that addresses social isolation.  Par for the course!  I will "post" again when I actually am able to and allowed to....probably when I make it to the library this week-end as that I am too poor to afford internet or even a phone right now.  Take care!  Peace & Blessings-Paige:) 

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It is 2016 and most of what has been discussed in 2012-2013 has not changed. I want to express the difficulty of doing the simple things. This allows me to understand that there are many people who feel the same way that you all do. These issuse should be a way to find solutions for thoses to come. I hope all is well in everyones situations and I too have felt the issues and delemas of a VISTA is more than a representation of the poor. It has already been a challege to do basic things in the last month. My service as just begun. The pressures of this world can really hurt a person for life if the resources can not be  found, given and used . it is important to see how people can actually  manage this life style and never tell a soul. I have been very frugle when it comes to spending however it is still difficult to get anything accomplished.  

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