AmeriCorps VISTA Program addresses poverty in rural Illinois

What is an AmeriCorps VISTA?

VISTA stands for Volunteers In Service To America. The mission of the AmeriCorps VISTA program is to “increase the capacity of low-income people to improve the condition of their lives.”

VISTA members serve others and support community residents and organizations to build their capacity to respond to problems within the community. VISTA is not considered to be paid employment. Since 1965, VISTA has helped bring communities and individuals out of poverty. Today, nearly 6,000 VISTA members serve each year in hundreds of nonprofit organizations and public agencies throughout the country—working to improve educational outcomes, fight food insecurity, improve health services, address homelessness and create paths to economic sufficiency. VISTA members leave behind lasting solutions to some of our country’s toughest problems.

AmeriCorps VISTA has three main focus areas in the fight to eliminate poverty:

Healthy Futures
Programs that address food insecurity, obesity, nutrition, opioid abuse/education
Programs that help low income youth do better in school – mentoring, afterschool programming
Economic Opportunities
Programs that help low income people gain employment or housing