Since 2009, CHP has hosted over 30 AmeriCorps VISTA members through NeighborWorks America. The AmeriCorps VISTA program, commemorating 50 years in 2015, was founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs.
Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a public agency or nonprofit organization such as CHP. They focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and education award. About 8,000 VISTAs are placed each year in more than 1,100 projects in low-income communities around the country.
Some of the capacity-building activities provided by CHP’s VISTA members include green curriculum and programming for CHP residents, streamlined corporate reporting systems, grant writing support, architectural design, marketing materials and video, and coordination of service projects. During the course of their service year, CHP’s VISTA members are provided with hands-on experience, excellent training, guidance, and a sense of fulfillment that comes from helping to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods.