VISTA Overview

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program that works to eliminate poverty and is one of the three main AmeriCorps programs in addition to AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps NCCC. The program brings together passionate, dedicated people age 18 and older, to make a 12 month commitment, and serve full-time in a non-profit organization or public service agency that is working to eradicate poverty.

Organizations can apply to become a host site in an existing AmeriCorps VISTA project or they can directly sponsor their own VISTA project.


More Details

AmeriCorps VISTA’s anti-poverty mission is based on four core principles that provide a guiding framework for all AmeriCorps VISTA projects:

  1. Anti-Poverty Focus: An AmeriCorps VISTA project’s goal addresses helping individuals and communities move out of poverty. Any nonprofit organization, educational institution, tribal or public agency with a program that is poverty-related in scope can apply to sponsor a VISTA project. Project goals should address long-term solutions, rather than simply providing short-term services.

  2. Creating Sustainable Solutions: VISTA members are a short-term resource working to help build capacity of organizations to continue addressing poverty long after the VISTA members are gone. VISTA members develop systems, relationships, and knowledge which they transfer to the organization and the community to sustain over time.

  3. Building Capacity: VISTA assigns members to organizations to expand the ability of those organizations to fight poverty through activities such as fundraising, volunteer recruitment and management, community outreach, and partnership development. VISTA members do not provide direct service.

  4. Empowering Communities: The proposed VISTA project must be responsive and relevant to the lives of the community residents, and should tap into inherent community strengths and resources. Residents should be engaged in the planning, development and implementation of the project.


Contact Info

Learn more about life as a VISTA Member or on how to sponsor a VISTA Member. The VISTA Campus is also an excellent resource to learn more about VISTA and how to get involved.

VISTA projects are managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service RI State Office. If organizations have additional questions, please contact:

CNCS RI State Office:

655 Broad Street, Suite 103 Providence, RI 02907

Phone: 401-528-5426 Email: RI@cns.gov