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CHP Announces Sponsorship of AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Christiansburg, Va. – Thanks to the one of the largest AmeriCorps VISTA programs to date, southwestern Virginia has just received a welcome infusion of young energy and talent who will work to create environmentally-responsible and economically-viable housing opportunities in the region.

Community Housing Partners (CHP) is excited to announce that Emily Albright of Jericho, VT; Charlie McFarland of Greensboro, NC; Mackenzie Stagg of Alabaster, AL; Dylan Stevens of Chaumont, NY; and Jackson Simmons of Blacksburg, VA will serve for 1 year as AmeriCorps VISTA members at the organization’s corporate office in Christiansburg.

As a NeighborWorks member organization, CHP is participating in the sponsorship of the volunteer program in which up to 168 VISTA members will be sponsored by 67 local NeighborWorks organizations in 35 states. The VISTA members will work in local communities
like Christiansburg to strengthen areas hard hit by the recession and bolster financial fitness and asset building among low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters.

Each of CHP’s VISTA members will work on a number of assignments designed to help revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods suffering the negative effects of a difficult economy. VISTA members will support our homebuyer education and counseling program and the
Resident Services department by creating and implementing programs that assist low- to moderate-income families with issues around money management and financial literacy. Other VISTAs will increase the capacity of our in-house architectural studio to design 20 new
affordable, sustainable single-family homes, and rehabilitate 4 low-income rental properties. All of their efforts will support NeighborWorks’ and CHP’s goal to increase community stabilization and revitalize communities that have been impacted by foreclosures and the downturned economy.


“The VISTA members are a valuable asset to our team,” said CHP President and CEO Janaka Casper. “They are bright and talented individuals who have already begun to help low-income individuals and households achieve and sustain self sufficiency and personal financial success.”

CHP’s participation in NeighborWorks’ VISTA program sponsorship is one strategy that the organization is employing to address an array of goals:

• Increase the capacity of local NeighborWorks organizations by adding full-time staff members at a time when they need it most;
• Attract and retain new and diverse talent to the community development field;
• Contribute to a growing sense of national service in the nation by supporting those who are interested in serving their communities.

“Our nation’s communities are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the foreclosure crisis and recession. NeighborWorks America strongly believes that national service and volunteer programs like the AmeriCorps VISTA program are a valuable resource that can play an important role in helping the community development field strengthen and revitalize communities. We are proud to sponsor one of the largest VISTA programs to date and look forward to welcoming the VISTA members through the doors of our local network organizations,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

For more information about NeighborWorks’ sponsorship of the AmeriCorps VISTA program, please contact Erin Angell Collins, 202-220-6317, ecollins@nw.org.