Welcome to the VISTA Strong Communities Program!

CNHED’s VISTA Strong Communities is a capacity-building partnership between CNHED and the AmeriCorps VISTA national service program.  CNHED identifies organizational members with high capacity building needs and then recruits VISTA members to volunteer full-time at these organizations. VISTA members work to make their host organizations’ programs sustainable, ensuring that benefits continue after they leave the program. VISTAs commit to a full year of service with an end goal of finding long-term solution to poverty.

VISTA Members mobilize local resources, build organizational capacity and empower communities in development. What this looks like varies by organization; some nonprofits need internal support, while others want to start a new outreach program. If you have a project that you’ve been hoping to turn into a reality, but haven’t had a dedicated person able to take it on for a prolonged period of time, a VISTA might be the perfect solution.

VISTA Members come from all different backgrounds, from recent graduates looking to gain meaningful work experience to recent retirees hoping to give back to their communities. Approximately 70% of VISTAs serve in their local communities. VISTAs have a variety of different skills and levels of experience which organizations can put to use to make a difference.

About AmeriCorps VISTA Service Program

VISTA is a subset of the AmeriCorps program, a subset funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). VISTAs are full-time volunteers who commit to a year of service combatting poverty by partnering with local government agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Specifically, they work to expand the capacity of the institution where they serve, creating sustainable solutions that endure after their term of service ends. VISTAs are distinct from employees in that the federal government pays them a stipend, and unlike interns, they volunteer full-time for a whole year. Instead of doing direct service, VISTAs set up systems and projects that empower the whole community. For example, instead of handing out food at a food bank, a VISTA might develop a system for cataloging food by expiration date to reduce waste.



VISTA News and Updates

Curious about what our VISTA members work on?

June 7, 2023

VISTA Spotlight: Josh Bloom

Josh Bloom is currently serving with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) as their Systems Change VISTA. His service is coming to an end this July, and NACEDA reached out to us with some praise for him that we would like to share.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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May 9, 2023

VISTA Spotlight: Sierra Meyer

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Sierra Meyer works with Capital Clubhouse Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers people whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness the opportunity to demonstrate that they can and do lead productive, happy lives.

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December 30, 2022

CNHED 2022 Impact Report

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is excited to share our 2022 Annual Report, which outlines not only our accomplishments throughout the year but also forecasts our future work in 2023.

Advocacy Capacity Building/Training CNHED Updates Community Engagement DC Community Anchor Partnership DC Landlord Partnership ELEVATE Events Housing Impact/Case Study Public Policy Small Business VISTA Strong Communities Program Workforce Development
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July 14, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Desmond Stuart

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Desmond Stuart works with the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), a nonprofit organization that advances equitable community economic development solutions in the District of Columbia.

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July 11, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Victoria Perez

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Victoria Perez works with MiCasa, Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer committed to providing quality affordable housing to low and moderate households in the Washington DC area.

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July 8, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Maggie Kentilitisca

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Maggie Kentilitisca works with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations NACEDA, an organization that works to develop a stronger, and more unified community development field.

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