Become a VISTA Member

Do you want to make a difference in your community?

Maybe you come from D.C., or maybe the thought of serving in the nation’s capital inspires you. Maybe you’re trying to gain real-world work experience, or you’re looking for something more meaningful than what you’re doing now. Whatever your story, VISTA Strong Communities can help you write the next chapter.

AmeriCorps VISTA has programs all across the US, placing committed individuals like yourself with non-profits, state and local governments, and educational institutions. The VISTA Strong Communities cohort focuses on housing and economic development for low- and moderate-income DC residents, with an end goal of fostering just and equitable communities.

"The AmeriCorps VISTA Program aligned with my personal and professional goals of mobilizing underserved communities...it was a perfect fit from the start."

Samara Bharath, VISTA Leader 2020 - 2021

VISTA members serve full-time, for a full year, on a specific project within one sponsoring organization. They earn a modest stipend that places them at the economic level of the people they serve, and at the end of their year they earn either a cash stipend or a Segal Education Award. Using their passion, commitment, and simple hard work, they create or expand programs that serve low-income individuals and communities.

Generally, VISTA members do not provide direct service – that is, they do not tutor children or weed community gardens. Instead, they design the tutoring or community garden program– completing projects that build the capacity of the organization they serve. VISTA members may develop volunteer programs, improve services based on best-practice research, or find funding to allow the organization to expand. Through their service, VISTA members gain hands-on experience and invaluable skills for future careers.

With VISTA Strong Communities, CNHED is committed to developing a strong cohort of VISTA members that will have wide-ranging impact. The VISTA members will attend regular group professional development events and spend time together, allowing the sharing of knowledge across organizations and the possibility of collaboration between projects.

VISTA members must be over the age of eighteen (18) and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Some sponsoring organizations require special skills or degrees, but others have no restrictions. Successful VISTA members are self-motivated, passionate, and committed to a year of service.

The VISTA experience is a full-year commitment. Some organizations may allow a VISTA member to work a part-time job or go to school while others may not. Before you commit to a program, be sure you’re okay with the time-frame and work hours that they will require.

All applications must be completed through the MyAmeriCorps portal in order to be considered. Read through the position descriptions first, then apply to the organizations that best fit your interests.

VISTA members receive a wide variety of benefits depending on their situation. All VISTA members receive:
  • Living stipend of $20,584 per year, distributed biweekly
  • Healthcare allowance and eligibility for Medicaid
  • Child care
  • A relocation and settling-in allowance (if relocating more than fifty miles)
  • Loan forbearance for the duration of the program
  • Cash stipend or education award Access to the AmeriCorps Alumni community
In addition, VISTA members who participate in VISTA Strong Communities will receive:
  • A housing allowance of $1,000 per month in rental assistance or in-kind housing
  • Monthly professional development, training, and networking events
Some organizations offer additional benefits, such as:
  • Transportation stipend
  • In-kind parking near the organization
  • Professional certification
  • Gym access
  • Rewards

At the end of the service year, VISTA members may choose either a $1,800 cash award or a $6,095 Segal Education Award. The education award may be used only for student loans or continuing education expenses, and some educational institutions match the education award to effectively double the amount. In addition, VISTA members who complete a year of service are eligible for Federal Non-Competitive Eligibility status.

The benefits of national service extend far beyond the year spent serving. The skills and connections gained during your year of service will make you more competitive when applying to jobs or schools. They will strengthen your bond with your VISTA community and the DC area. Many participants say their year doing VISTA changed their lives. What will VISTA do for you?

Meet our VISTA Cohort

CNHED is proud to welcome these amazing VISTA members to the fourth VISTA Strong Communities Cohort. We’re impressed by the skills and passion they all bring to their respective positions, and we look forward to their growth and acheivements!

Dez Stuart

VISTA Leader at CNHED
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Cameron Hub

Research and Development VISTA at CNHED
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Daniella Ukpabi

Stewardship & Engagement VISTA at WACIF
Read More

Maggie Kentilitisca

Thriving Networks VISTA at NACEDA
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Renée Cordio

Employment and Education Coordinator at Capital Clubhouse Inc.
Read More

Robert Lee

Resident Services VISTA at Wesley Housing
Read More

Victoria Perez

Community Impact Specialist VISTA at Mi Casa
Read More

Upcoming VISTA Positions

2022-2023 Cohort applications are now open.

Interested in becoming a VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA is an amazing experience, but it is also a year-long commitment. Make sure VISTA is the right thing for you.

Is VISTA for me?
  • VISTA Leader CNHED

    The VISTA Leader will lead and strengthen CNHED’s VISTA Strong Communities program; working to evaluate and improve current infrastructure, materials, and relationships with key stakeholders in order to build the capacity of the program and ensure the success of the roll-out to and implementation with CNHED members wishing to host a VISTA member.

  • Program Marketing VISTA WACIF

    The Washington Area Community Investment Fund’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, DC area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. Our mission is driven by three strategic pillars: inclusive entrepreneurship, community wealth building, and equitable economic development, and is fulfilled by providing access to capital products and services, and capacity building technical assistance to low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. By building Wacif’s capacity to increase the number of entrepreneurs the organization reaches with programming, our VISTA will increase wealth-building among underserved entrepreneurs and communities.

    The VISTA will help partner organizations in improving communication about community programs.

  • Asset Management VISTA National Housing Trust

    National Housing Trust creates and preserves affordable homes to provide opportunity, advance racial equity, reduce economic disparities and strengthen community resiliency through practice and policy. Our Asset Management VISTA will develop a policy and related procedures around facilities management for 12 NHT communities in the District of Columbia. This is a unique opportunity to develop the day-to-day operations and long-term sustainability plan for buildings that constitute 1,365 units of affordable housing and families.

  • Workforce Development VISTA Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO)

    Our goal at MHCDO is to grow Ward 7 into DCs most welcoming, prospering, livable community for everyone. Our VISTA will work to reduce poverty and improve workforce outcomes. Including, secured employment, increased financial knowledge, and improve job readiness skills by expanding opportunities, establishing job/career paths, and developing and implementing upward mobility strategies for low-income adults many of whom are underemployed returning citizens.

  • Engagement and Sustainability VISTA Douglass Community Land Trust (DCLT)

    The Douglass Community Land Trust (Douglass CLT) is a racial and economic equity membership nonprofit that creates and secures the lasting affordability of housing, local small businesses, and other public assets through community ownership of land and collective stewardship. Our goal is to prevent displacement, create community-held assets, and build capacity in individuals and families while ensuring that they have a say concerning their community. Within 10 years, the Douglass CLT aims to acquire land under 750 homes, providing excellent stewardship of the properties, and ensuring that the residents not only benefit from stable affordable housing (rental and home-ownership) but are part of the decision-making about what happens in their own communities. Our focus is on low-income, Black, and Brown residents in our community, who have not fully benefited from the economic prosperity of redevelopment in the city.

  • Section 3 Economic Opportunity VISTA Can I Live, Inc

    Can I live, Inc is a national public housing tenants association dedicated to reducing dependency on government subsidies. Remaining a growing concern in the public housing industry (monitored and enforced by HUD), it is important that residents know and understand opportunities available to lift and grow them out of poverty. With a mission to move One Million Moms OFF Welfare by 2030, CIL designs its programs around two central focuses: Education and Entrepreneurship. To this end, we have established two core programs to accomplish this. RADAR and ROBI. This project focuses on ROBI (the Resident Owned Business Incubator). ROBI exists to fulfill an unmet need in numerical quotas triggered by the Federal regulation titled Section 3. Our VISTAs project will be one of the organization’s most critical and long anticipating functions.

  • Recruitment and Outreach VISTA So Others Might Eat (SOME)

    In order to reach DC’s increasingly vulnerable, low-income residents, SOME CET will work with our VISTA Member to identify the “hot zones” in DC where potential SOME CET clients live, evaluate our partnerships and referral methods to determine which are the most effective, and communicate these results to our Recruitment and Outreach team. The VISTA member will help develop reports about the community clusters that SOME serves, the referral sources that are most effective, and will communicate these with the Recruitment and Outreach team. These efforts dovetail with citywide efforts to make job training more accessible to low-income residents.

  • Community Assessment Coordinator VISTA Mi Casa

    The mission of Mi Casa, Inc. is to provide, facilitate, and advocate for inclusive, affordable housing for underserved communities in order to promote equitable, thriving and diverse neighborhoods in the greater DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area. This project will assess the organizational strength and financial stability of limited-equity cooperatives (LECs), a unique affordable homeownership structure in the District of Columbia. This project will help inform program delivery and design for an expanded initiative that will strengthen the financial and organizational capacity of LECs.

  • Membership VISTA Walker's Legacy

    Walker’s Legacy has a goal to ensure 10K Black women business owners are bankable by 2025. Black women entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing demographic in the country. Additionally, these women face the greatest hurdles with accessing capital and have limited connections and networks which often close doors at a faster rate than their peers. Women particularly black women serve as heads of households and generally make less revenue and receive lower salaries which have a ripple effect across their communities. Women who have access to the accelerator and take advantage of the free course have made a commitment to serve as a change agent with their community. By ensuring we maintain engagement with alumni following the accelerator, we can continue to provide them with the necessary connections, access to coins and support their confidence at every stage of business.

    The Membership Vista will create a turnkey, cloud-based, record-keeping procedure for all accelerator participants.

Program Updates & VISTA Spotlight

Curious about what our VISTA members work on?

Each month, we’ll profile one of our VISTA members here, shining a spotlight on the amazing work that they do for the community. Check back regularly for more updates!

February 22, 2022

Now Accepting Applications for VISTA Members

CNHED is now accepting applications from young professionals interested in participating on our upcoming 2022-2023 VISTA cohort.

Capacity Building/Training VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

January 17, 2022

CNHED 2021 Annual Report

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is excited to share our 2021 Annual Report that outlines not only our accomplishments throughout the year but also forecasts our future work in 2022.

Advocacy CNHED Updates 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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June 3, 2021

Farewell to our 2020 VISTA Cohort

As CNHED wraps up our 3rd program year with AmeriCorps VISTA,  we say farewell to our current cohort of VISTA volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to serve at our member organizations, empowering communities in the District. We thank you for your service and wish you all success in your next endeavor!

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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March 16, 2021

VISTA Spotlight: Selena Duvivier

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Selena works with the Resident Services Team at the National Housing Trust, a nonprofit, affordable housing developer.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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January 5, 2021

CNHED 2020 Annual Report

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is excited to share our 2020 Annual Report that outlines not only our accomplishments throughout the year, but also forecasts our future work in 2021.

Advocacy CNHED Updates DC Community Anchor Partnership DC Landlord Partnership Events Housing Impact/Case Study Public Policy Small Business VISTA Strong Communities Program Workforce Development
Read More

November 17, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Erin Doolin

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Erin works with the Corporate Development Team at Manna, Inc, a nonprofit, affordable housing developer.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

Become a member of CNHED today

and join the fight for a District where all residents can live in thriving communities that are racially, economically and socially just!

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