Building Capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA
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Building Capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA

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In these difficult economic times, social services agencies have experienced funding cuts and loss of staff. AmeriCorps VISTA offers a way to rebuild your agency's capacity at little cost to you. ...

In these difficult economic times, social services agencies have experienced funding cuts and loss of staff. AmeriCorps VISTA offers a way to rebuild your agency's capacity at little cost to you. AmeriCorps VISTA provides you with members ready to share their skills and passion to help others while providing them with valuable professional experience. Join us to learn more about this win-win partnership opportunity.

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  • 5
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  • 11 The main three PROGRAMS of the Corporation for National Service
  • 19 15
  • 20 15 serving America’s low-income communities since 1965 only component of AmeriCorps with stipend option versus the ed award focus is on impact programming and sustainability “ working yourself out of a job”
  • 23 “ While the mission of AmeriCorps is multi-faceted, the legislation of the VISTA program specifically gears our efforts to fight poverty.” Shouldn’t leave this slide up long, just to say that here’s the mission, it’s in your handouts.

Building Capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA Building Capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to the • Our Mission: Improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering
  • CNCS is an agency of the United States Government • Headquarters 1201 New York Ave, NW Washington, DC 20525 202-606-5000 202-606-3472 (TTY) • Kentucky 600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place Room 190, Mazzoli Federal Bldg. Louisville, KY 40202 502-582-6384
  • KY is part of the Southern Cluster
  • CNCS Programs • Senior Corps • Americorps • Learn and Serve
  • O • VISTA— Volunteers in Service to America
  • O • VISTA  Focus on Needs of Low-Income Persons and Communities since inception in 1965  Capacity Building, Sustainable Programs  Full Time 12 month service commitment
  • Our Mission "to strengthen and supplement efforts to eliminate and alleviate poverty...in the United States by encouraging and enabling persons from all walks of life and age groups..to perform meaningful and constructive volunteer service in agencies, institutions, and situations where the application of human talent and dedication may assist in the solution of poverty and poverty-related problems...to generate the commitment of private sector resources, to encourage volunteer service at the local level, and to strengthen local agencies and organizations to carry out the purpose (of the program)" [42 U.S.C. 4951]
  • Criteria for Sponsoring a VISTA Project • Be a public sector agency or a private nonprofit 501 (c) 3 status or have applied to IRS for same • Have capacity to recruit, orient, train, supervise and support local and nationally-recruited VISTA members in appropriate capacity-building roles • Have resources for VISTA members to perform their tasks (space, equipment, supplies, mileage reimbursement)
  • Criteria for VISTA project, cont. • Understand the concept of, and be committed to promoting national service • Focus on mobilizing resources to achieve defined goals directed towards alleviating problems of low income communities • Have capacity to build community partnerships and collaborative efforts to achieve project self- sufficiency in 3 - 5 years
  • Corporation Priorities • Mobilizing More Volunteers • Ensuring a Brighter Future for all of America’s Youth • Engaging Students in Communities • Harnessing Baby Boomer’s Experience • Responding to/Preparing for Disasters
  • Strategic Thinking ----- • Does this project meet a documented need? • Does it relate to a Corporation priority? • What about organizational capacity? • Are ―project beneficiaries‖ involved in planning? • Are goals well defined and attainable? • Does it reflect community collaboration? • Can this proposed project be sustainable?
  • What will it cost my agency? • Have a clear work plan, a good VISTA Assignment Description (VAD), a supervisor/mentor, and a work station for the VISTA • Have thorough orientation and ongoing learning opportunities • Make a reasonable attempt at accommodation for VISTAs with disabilities • Report on project progress—VISTA/supervisor report monthly; sponsor reports quarterly with all requested attachments • Have & follow a signed Memorandum of Agreement with Corporation and Memo of Understanding with sub-sites • Meet regularly with your VISTA—inspect what you expect • Send in the Sponsor Verification Form: Fax to State Office every two weeks, signed & annotated • Notify State Office within 24 hours of early terminations, arrests, auto accidents, serious member illness/injury/hospitalization, on job injuries or AWOL situations • Consider Cost Sharing
  • Cost-Sharing A Cost-Share Partner commits to reimbursing the Corporation for the VISTA member (s) living allowance -- about $9700 per member annually. It is hoped that projects with resources can have one or more of their VISTA volunteers as ―Cost Share‖ In Cost Share AmeriCorps*VISTA continues to provide: • $5350 education award or $1,500 post-service stipend for each member who completes 12 months of service • Health coverage and optional life insurance • Payroll services: members receive their support allowances via direct deposit from AmeriCorps*VISTA • Travel and per diem costs associated with supervisor and member training. • Moving allowances for members relocating to serve plus a $550 settling–in allowance. • Up to $400 in child care for income eligible VISTAs
  • Involvement in National Service • Seasons of Service with the Points of Light Foundation—On Martin Luther King Jr Day, January 17, 2011 • Governor’s Volunteerism Awards Ceremony in April (Volunteerism Month) • Global Youth Service Day--April 15-17, 2011 • National Volunteer Week- April 17-23, 2011 • Join Hands Day—May 2, 2009 • AmeriCorps Week— May 8-15, 2010 • Make a Difference Day October 23, 2010
  • AmeriCorps*VISTA Guiding Principles in 2010 1. Anti-Poverty Focus —Helping communities to get out of poverty 2. Community Empowerment—Low income people in community part of planning 3. Capacity Building—helping organizations that serve low-income communities 4. Sustainable Solutions—planning for VISTA phase out from Year 1
  • A Brighter Future for Youth • Youth Living in Poverty • Youth with below average reading skills • Children of Prisoners • Children & Youth affected by disasters
  • Legislated Program Areas 1. Health, education, welfare of American Indians 2. Care & Rehabilitation of mentally ill, developmentally disabled, other individuals with disabilities 3. Problems related to homelessness, unemployment, unemployed youth 4. Problems related to alcohol and drug abuse/prevention 5. Health care problems 6. Programs related to Community Service Block Grant, Titlex VIII and X of Economic Opportunity Act 1964, Head Start 7. Problems related to illiteracy
  • Serve America Act Additions 1. Assisting with reentry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated youth and adults 2. Financial literacy, financial planning, asset building 3. Supporting before and after school programs, mentoring, tutoring, life skills, service learning, physical/nutritional/health needs of children 4. Community economic development initiatives with priority in rural areas & other high need areas 5. Assisting veterans and family members 6. Health and wellness of individuals in low-income communities, including programs to increase access to preventive services, insurance and health services
  • More Opportunities to Serve • Increasing organizational capacity to serve as a volunteer connector organization for their community; • Building community networks of organizations needing and/or providing volunteers; and • Building staff capacity to effectively recruit and manage volunteers.
  • Asset Development Helping Low-income individuals save money, build equity, and start businesses through: • Financial literacy education • Micro-enterprise training and development • Overcoming Barriers to Long Term employment • Bridging the digital divide • Individual Development Accounts/Volunteer Income Tax Assistance projects (VITA)
  • Strengthening Children/Families • Empowering Local Grassroots Initiatives for Family Formation and Development • After School Programs and Child Care • Childhood Literacy • Families Affected by recent disasters
  • AmeriCorps*VISTA in KY • Americana Community Center—Louisville-Umbrella Americana Community Center,Adelante Hispanic Achievers, Youth Ventures, Backside Learning Center, Neighborhood House, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Jewish Family Vocational Service, Food Literacy Project. • Bellewood Presbyterian Home for Children, Umbrella Openings with Home of the Innocents & Maryhurst (both in Louisville) and Bellewood in Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green. Assignment: recruit mentors and foster parents for older foster youth. • Brighton Center, Covington—Asset building, Financial Education, homeless prevention • Bullitt County Board of Education—Mentoring, tutoring, after school programs
  • AmeriCorps*VISTAUmbrella in cont. • Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, in KY, Lexington, Kentucky Assignment: Promotion of Literacy in Lexington area—one opening • Catholic Charities (Louisville, Lexington & Owensboro) Assignment: Help develop financial literacy and asset building programs of three Catholic Charities Programs • Christian Appalachian Project Umbrella (Martin, Whitley City, David, Whitesburg, Pikeville, Hagerhill, Mt Vernon, Booneville, and Sandy Hook). Assignment: Building capacity of programs serving Eastern Kentucky • Kentucky Campus Compact—Assignment VISTAs will help create Service Learning opportunities for students in colleges/universities • Kentucky Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Assignment: Works with Family Courts to provide advocacy for abused, neglected, and dependent children
  • VISTA Programs Continued • Kentucky Domestic Violence Association—Assignment: Help build capacity of local shelter for abused women and children through fundraising, newsletter development AND develop Asset Building program for women in program. • McCreary County Historical Foundation—Umbrella in Sterns—Assignments in medical clinic, food bank, jobs training, counseling center, economic development, artisan center • National Safe Place—Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia Assignment: Help build the capacity of Safe Place Programs in various cities • Pine Mountain Settlement School Bledsoe, KentuckyAssignment: Expand energy conservation, food, nutrition and healthy family programs • United Way of Central Kentucky—--Umbrealla in Elizabethtown with Legal Aid Nursing Home Ombudsman Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Ft. Knox Volunteer Center, North Hardin Schools, Helping Hand. • United Way of NE Kentucky, Umbrella in Ashland area. Assignments: Openings with Two Hearts Pregnancy Center, Hillcrest Bruce Center, CARES Program
  • How do Projects Find VISTA members? • Local sponsors recruit them • Young adults—generally college grads apply for VISTA and select your program (online at www.americorps.org) or call 1-800-942-2677 and request application • They are referred to VISTA by friends, family, and present/past VISTAs • College placement officers suggest the program; CNCS staff recruit statewide
  • UofL Recruitment Fair
  • Why serve with VISTA? • Serve in an interesting place with projects that help vulnerable people and communities • Meet new people from different backgrounds • Have a rewarding / life changing experience • Receive a modest living allowance- of $858/mo in Kentucky, paid every other week- Eligible for Earned Income Credit/food stamps • Health insurance is provided • Child care provided if income eligible • Training and travel funds provided • Can attend college classes while a VISTA
  • Education Benefits •Education award of $5350 or $1500 stipend •If choose Education Award also can receive “forbearance” on repaying federal student loans •Some universities provide matching grants for former members spending Education Awards at their schools •If choose stipend can receive deferment on student loans while in VISTA
  • Corporation Web Pages www.nationalservice.gov www.americorps.gov Emails bwells@cns.gov dtucker@cns.gov