The AmeriCorps VISTA program provides members opportunities to develop new and creative efforts that focus on permanent, long-range solutions to poverty, rather than short-term approaches for emergency needs. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates, AmeriCorps VISTA members develop systems, programs and procedures to enhance affiliate capacity-building efforts. Members focus on sustainability, clear project goals and accountability to alleviate poverty, generate resources and encourage volunteer service.
Types of Positions:
Here, the VISTA member is utilized for his or her knowledge of construction to develop a construction management system. This may include development of systems and processes related to inventory management, construction budgets and schedules, volunteer training, safety, or green building. The VISTA member may also participate in managing volunteers on a limited basis for the purposes of developing systems. VISTA members may not physically work on the construction of a house except for training and outreach purposes.
Family Services Development
A family services VISTA will focus on developing programs, systems and policies to support the work of the family selection and support committees, or family services department. Projects may include development of a process manual, development of an education or sweat-equity program, setting up homeowner associations, or development of relationships to support host site outreach efforts.
The VISTA member assists the affiliate in raising funds for home construction through increased community awareness and in identifying and recruiting additional community resources. A VISTA serving in resource development might create a speaker’s kit, write grants, network in the community to build more affiliate contacts or develop a donor recognition program.
VISTAs serving in ReStore development roles may serve in roles anywhere from the creation of a ReStore to the further development of processes and systems to improve the ReStore. VISTAs may develop a business plan, inventory management processes, donation processes, volunteer training programs, deconstruction programs, or donation solicitation programs. The VISTA member may not perform physical tasks such as driving the store truck to make pickups of materials or running the cash register except during training of volunteers or to gain knowledge needed to implement systems and procedures.
Volunteer development VISTAs will develop a volunteer program, including volunteer recruitment, training, coordination and recognition. The responsibilities may include creating a database to track volunteers and skills, coordinating with committee chairs to define volunteer needs, setting up training programs, documenting procedures for volunteer recruitment and utilization, and creating a follow-up appreciation program for recognizing volunteer service.
Project Development VISTAs may serve on projects that develop and implement plans to engage Veterans at the community level by developing a Veterans Build program; develop a plan to implement the ABWK program in your service area; develop the foundation for an affiliate’s NRI program. Activities may include: engaging community participation with project through presentations, materials and systems for recruitment of partners; research, develop and implement systems to accurately track and record project related data and the evaluation of those systems; develop the documentation of resources and directions for maintaining systems used in the research, development and execution of the project, and identify transition staff or volunteers to sustain the project.
AmeriCorps VISTA members receive benefits which include a living allowance of no less than $833 per month, personal and sick leave, health care coverage, workers compensation and child care assistance (if eligible). Members also receive federal loan forbearance on qualified student loans and payment of interest accrued on qualified loans. After completing 12 months of service, members may be eligible for an education award of $5,550 or a stipend of circa $1,500. At the end of service, members also receive noncompetitive status for federal employment.
• Age 18 or older
• A U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident
• Must possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency -- or agree to work towards one while serving
• Must have a valid driver's license (only required at some sites)
• One year of full-time service (35–40 hours per week). Members may serve up to three years.
• VISTA service is considered a “24/7” commitment. As such, members may not hold another job while serving. They, can, however take educational courses with approval.
To express interest in an AmeriCorps opportunity with Habitat for Humanity, please start by going to the following URL: http://www.americorps.gov/  (Please choose Housing in the area of interest field and then select the state in the field provided).