AmeriCorps VISTA members bring their passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. The most pressing challenges we face as a nation require the most courageous and creative people to address them. An AmeriCorps VISTA member serves as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions.
The AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources. A member’s commitment to serve includes:
- One year term of full-time (40 hours/week) volunteer service at a nonprofit agency in Texas
- A monthly living allowance of ~$1000 a month (depending on county)
- Eligibility for additional stipends and benefits to assist with relocation expenses and childcare
- Health and prescription drug benefits
- End-of-Service Benefits – members elect to receive either a cash stipend or the Segal Education Award (applicable to student loans or future tuition) upon fulfillment of their service commitment
THN’s statewide VISTA project works on a variety of projects helping areas build capacity to end homelessness. If your organization is interested in learning more about hosting a VISTA member, please contact the VISTA Project Manager.
Apply to Our VISTA Positions
- View the job description, responsibilities, and benefits for each position below. (You will be directed to the My AmeriCorps website to apply.)
- Create a profile and an application on the My AmeriCorps website (here are some tips for completing the application).
- Apply for one or more open positions with THN via the My AmeriCorps website.
- After applying on the AmeriCorps website, please complete this screening and send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an interview.
- Familiarize with current data collection, reporting, sharing, and databases used.
- Research current data and performance requirements for the TX BoS CoC (Balance of State Continuum of Care) in regards to PIT (Point In Time), HIC (Housing Inventory Count), System Performance Measures, CoC and ESG (Emergency Services Grant) project performance measures targeting implementation & evaluation.
- Work with initiative partners and community leaders to expand coordination efforts across CoC geography
- Produce and distribute templates for materials on the state of homelessness and CoC performance for the THN website, regional providers, grant administrators, and general audiences, which would be updated periodically.
This VISTA project will continue to raise awareness and help change conversations and perceptions around sexual assault/exploitation, child abuse and domestic/dating violence through community outreach and engagement, with a focus on Latinx communities.
- Research best practices around community engagement, housing and homelessness, and issues surrounding sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence
- Coordinate community-focused meetings and forums to generate culturally-specific dialogue and community-based solutions
- Establish new community contacts, build new relationships/partnerships with local groups, and continue to develop existing partnerships
- Engage multiple community members, organizations, and stakeholders in the organization’s services and outreach efforts
This project works to build capacity at the Taylor Housing Authority by enhancing and developing new processes which expand the homeownership program and also by creating and implementing an outreach plan to people experiencing homelessness.
- Prepare for development and implementation of the Homeownership Program by researching best practices in community-wide strategies to preventing and ending homelessness and assessing the organization’s needs and opportunities in community outreach efforts.
- Explore community resources and identify potential partners for the homeownership program.
- Research funding and grant opportunities for additional programs.
- Apply for possible funding opportunities.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures for programs.
- Educate community members about issues surrounding homelessness and the organization’s services.
- Evaluate programs and resources developed through project, and implement strategies for sustainability including identifying needs for communications plan sustainability, assisting in strategy for continuing community engagement and outreach, and developing plan for speaker’s bureau sustainability.
The VISTA member will primarily focus on supporting the Systems Change Coordinator by developing tracking and communication systems between the CEPEs (Coordinated Entry Planning Entities) and the BoS (Balance of State), strengthening partnerships and providing technical assistance
- Support Implementation of Coordinated Entry (CE) across the TX BoS CoC (Continuum of Care)
- Implement new processes and systems to address identified to increase the effectiveness of CE better serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness
Sponsor a THN VISTA Member
What does sponsoring a VISTA Member look like? VISTA Members receive a monthly stipend (around $972 per month) for their hard work, but as you can imagine, it doesn’t go very far. They live on a diet of ramen noodles, potatoes, and cable-free TV. You can improve their diet by adding more greens and mainstream entertainment with things like gift cards to a movie theater, or dinner out, or by making a monetary donation. As a thank you, your VISTA Member will send you updates on their project. Contact us to donate gift cards. Sponsor a VISTA Member with a donation today!
Thanks to our previous sponsors!
Meet the THN VISTA Team
VISTA Leader – Texas Homeless Network
Savannah Haney currently serves as the VISTA Leader at Texas Homeless Network. She conducts outreach to businesses, schools, and organizations to recruit members for our open positions. Savannah also provides valuable support to the other VISTAs in the THN program. Previous to her service here at THN, Savannah completed two other AmeriCorps service terms, one in California, and the other in Colorado.
Coalition and Coordinated Entry Coordinator VISTA – City of Texarkana
Brenda Larsosa began her AmeriCorps Vista career in 2004-2007 with the Senior in Poverty Program Texarkana TX. She has previously completed four years in VISTA programs and is currently working toward her fifth. As the Coalition and Coordinated Entry Coordinator VISTA, Brenda assesses, improves, and expands processes established by previous members, conduct any assessments necessary in identifying gaps or needs of the coalition.
Homeless Landlord Engagement Specialist VISTA – Tarrant County Homeless Coalition
Yolanda Bryant, a Veteran who served in the Army for 3 years and went on to retire after 20 years in the Navy, is serving her first year of VISTA service as a Landlord Engagement Specialist assisting in the establishment of a program focused on Landlord Engagement, recruitment, and retention. The program aims to enhance and develop new relationships with landlords of Tarrant County to increase the number of housing opportunities for people exiting homelessness.
Homeless Programs Associate VISTA – Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
India Miller graduated from the University of Washington with a double major in International Studies and French Language & Literature. She moved to Dallas from Seattle to complete her service year as the Homeless Programs Associate VISTA at Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. Through this position, she will be assisting the MDHA Continuum of Care in improving its current housing programs and developing new programs. She hopes that her VISTA project will enable the community to more effectively serve those experiencing homelessness in Dallas.
Communications and Development Associate VISTA – Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
Alexis Willis graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s in Public Health. She decided to move back to Dallas from San Antonio after graduating and joined AmeriCorps. Alexis serves as the Development and Communications VISTA for MDHA better known as Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. My role in this position is to enhance MDHA’s ability to fundraise, communicate and relationship build. Alexis serves to aid MDHA in communicating its message, securing resources, and raising funds with the end result of erasing homelessness in the Dallas area.
Statewide Data Sharing Initiatives Associate VISTA – Texas Homeless Network
Joe joined Texas Homeless Network in February 2020 in a Data Sharing Initiatives VISTA position. He is focused on THN’s effort to connect all of the HMIS databases throughout the state of Texas into one synchronized system. Joe is also focusing on grant writing and improving THN’s blog and social media presence.
Coalition and Coordinated Entry Coordinator VISTA – City of Longview
LaDelle serves as the THN VISTA Homeless Coalition and Coordinated Entry Coordinator. She works through the City of Longview grant to coordinate the Northeast Texas Homeless Consortium and also to enhance its status, membership and sustainability. LaDelle is also responsible to gain Coordinated Entry sites for the homeless population.
Youth Homeless Program VISTA – LifeWorks Austin
Lea Kokenes is currently serving a term as a THN VISTA at LifeWorks. LifeWorks serves youth and families seeking self-sufficiency, and Lea supports their Rapid Rehousing and Street Outreach teams as they ramp up their efforts to end youth homelessness in Austin in 2020.
Balance of State Continuum of Care Governance VISTA – Texas Homeless Network
As the Governance VISTA at THN, Margaret’s role involves improving engagement between THN as the lead agency of the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (BoS CoC), and homeless service providers within the BoS CoC. Her main duties involve assisting with the development of committees, researching ways in which other states have improved communication within their BoS CoCs, and assisting with maintaining communication between THN and local homeless coalitions in the BoS CoC.
Housing Stability Coordinator VISTA – Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, Texas
The Rapid Re-housing program at Opportunity Center for the Homeless is a Housing First-Program that provides permanent housing, with on-going case management and solution-focused services for the chronically homeless. Experience has shown that once the clients have stable housing, they begin to work on achieving other life goals and move forward to self-sufficiency. One benefit to our community by the implementation of the program is the reduction in demand on hospital emergency room services, jails, the court system, and other human service agencies.