AMERICORPS VISTA PROGRAM

Now accepting AmeriCorps VISTA Host Site Applications for the 2023/2024 service year!

Is your organization engaged in increasing housing opportunities and/or reducing homelessness in Virginia? Is your organization interested in hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA member to help expand your capacity? Download the application today to become one of VHA’s AmeriCorps VISTA Host Sites for the 2023/2024 year!

To read more about the program requirements, who can apply, terms and conditions, and how a VHA VISTA Member can impact your organization, please download the VHA VISTA Program Overview and the 2021/22 VHA VISTA Impact Report.

What Host Sites receive:
  • One full time VISTA to serve 35-40 hours/week for a full year
  • Capacity building services to help make your organization for efficient and effective
  • Additional volunteers, grant revenue, and/or in-kind donations that the VISTA member generates for your organization
  • 3 year VISTA cycle guarantee to work at your organization
  • VHA provides: supervisor and VISTA training, program oversight, grant reporting, assistance with recruitment and work plan development, and performance measures/data collection on VISTA impact
What Host Sites contribute:
  • An $8,000 Host Site fee (if selected) due in August of 2023 to help cover Cost Share living allowances, administrative, and recruitment costs
  • Become a member of the Virginia Housing Alliance
  • Daily supervision to their VISTA member during the service term
  • Position specific-training
  • Office space and equipment
  • Recruitment (split with VHA)

All applications are due via email to the VHA Program Manager by Friday, December 2, 2022. Applicants
must use the application format provided by VHA. It is highly recommended that all applicants review the Application Instructions prior to submitting their application. To apply, please download the application and the application instructions:

VHA will also be hosting a Host Site Information Session via Zoom on Wednesday, November 9th at 10am to discuss the benefits of hosting a VISTA, the site’s responsibilities, and to answer any questions regarding the program and/or application. To RSVP to this event, please fill out the Host Site RSVP form.

For any questions regarding the application or the VHA VISTA Program, please contact the VHA VISTA
Program Manager, Hannah Moore (hmoore@vahousingalliance.org).

About the AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) was founded in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). AmeriCorps VISTA Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight poverty in communities.

The VHA AmeriCorps VISTA Project provides the human capital necessary to support the transition to sustainable and more effective systems for VHA member organizations, while engaging VISTA Members in the causes of and solutions to homelessness and lack of affordable housing.

What our VISTAs do

VISTAs create systems that remain long after their term of service ends. VISTA projects expand the scale, impact, and resource-leveraging ability of specific anti-poverty programs. VISTA members strengthen sponsors’ efforts by expanding community partnerships, securing long term resources, and addressing specific local needs, with all activities focused on creating pathways out of poverty for low-income communities.

VISTA members must focus on building the capacity of specific anti-poverty programs and interventions and not on general capacity building for the sponsor or its sites. While VISTAs focus on capacity-building activities, they may, on occasion, perform limited direct service activities when deemed necessary to complete the VISTA’s overall capacity-building assignment. 

Basic requirements for the program include:

VHA VISTA membership benefits:

The VHA VISTA impact

Our project continues to grow to bring on more dedicated members to serve our communities with a focus on ending homelessness and expanding affordable housing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Due to the success of the project, VHA’s member organizations have expanded its capacity to serve some of the most vulnerable Virginians. 

Since the first VHA VISTA members began serving Virginia CoCs and housing agencies, our members have:
  • Prepared written PIT/HIC analysis and presented to CoC members
  • Established a triage assessment tool/process to effectively target rapid re-housing resources

  • Developed a comprehensive program guide of local homeless services and providers to assist in the development of the coordinated assessment system

  • Gathered information, assisted with CoC planning and composed narrative responses related to the state funding application

  • Profiled best practice programs and partnerships to highlight Virginia communities and providers

  • And much more!

We are currently accepting VISTA member applications

Applicants are encouraged to apply for multiple positions if they are interested. Once you’ve applied, the VHA VISTA Program Manager, Hannah Moore, will be in contact to set up a pre-screening interview. For more information on any of the sites or the application process, please email hmoore@vahousingalliance.org.

Available positions:
AHC Inc Fundraising & Communications VISTA, AHC Inc., Arlington, VA

AHC Inc. develops affordable housing while helping residents of their communities thrive. AHC offers a wide array of cradle to career educational programs and social services at their properties. These programs help residents build more stable and successful lives. AHC Inc. is looking for a motivated individual to serve as the Fundraising and Communications VISTA to fund the COVID and mission-related expansion of Resident Services programs while showcasing the evolving story, resources, and programs of AHC to funders, partners, and the community at a time of extraordinary organizational change. The VISTA member will work in a collaborative environment. They will focus on researching funders, writing proposals, writing funder reports, and standardizing practices in the GrantHub, a grants management system. The VISTA member will also develop targeted social media and communications campaigns that increase AHC Inc.’s visibility, showcase resident voices, and identify new community partnerships.

AHDC Resident Services Coordinator, Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), Alexandria, VA

Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), whose mission is to develop and preserve quality housing that is affordable while also supporting residents so they may thrive as members of the Alexandria community, is looking for a proactive and driven individual to serve as the Resident Services Coordinator VISTA. The AHDC VISTA will focus on expanding the capacity of the Ready-Stable-Own (RSO) initiative, designed to assist low-income Alexandrians in their journey to secure an affordable home from rental to ownership, by researching best practices, strengthening racial equity across all programs, creating targeted communication strategies, and identifying sources of funding. This vital work of the VISTA member will help identify the needs of the residents, allowing AHDC to provide more efficient and effective services to the community in which they serve.

APAH Community Analyst VISTA, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), Arlington, VA

APAH’s mission is to develop, preserve, and own quality, affordable places to live, to promote stability and opportunity for their residents, and to advocate with the people and communities they serve. APAH provides apartment homes to more than 2,000 low- and moderate- income households in the DC region. These stable homes are just the first step; low-income families face a multitude of challenges and barriers. APAH’s resident services program provides support and opportunity, in collaboration with community partners. To meet the goal of strengthening resident stability and economic opportunity, APAH’s resident services team proactively seeks to understand resident needs to offer appropriate support and programming. APAH is seeking a detail-oriented, organized self-starter, with strong skills in time management to serve as a Community Analyst VISTA. This individual will develop a community needs assessment framework, also known as a community scan, with the goal of enabling APAH to meet its residents’ needs more effectively and efficiently. By strategically assessing the environments for APAH’s upcoming real estate projects through a community scan, APAH believes it can increase partnerships in new and current jurisdictions, close gaps in service, advance advocacy work, and more effectively meet resident needs.

Bay Aging Community Housing Strategist, Bay Aging, Urbanna, VA

Bay Aging, through its comprehensive transportation, housing, community living and health services programs, is committed to ensuring every neighbor in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula region has a choice and ready access to a range of services to help them remain independent in their home and community as long as they choose. Bay Aging is looking for a motivated and creative individual to use their exceptional interpersonal skills in the role of Resource Coordinator VISTA. The Bay Aging VISTA will establish cohesive coordination across Bay Aging, mainstream public benefits, and local service providers by cultivating partnerships, developing standardized practices, strengthening communication, and sharing best practices that align with family-centered and housing first principles. By developing a strategic and coordinated plan of goals, services, and methods across the local network, the VISTA will ultimately streamline processes in order for Bay Aging and their partners to promote self-sufficiency and more efficiently connect clientele with long-term housing solutions.

DHCD Housing Program Coordinator, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Richmond, VA

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)  is committed to creating safe, affordable, and prosperous communities to live, work, and do business in Virginia. DHCD is looking for a motivated detail oriented individual to serve as the Housing Program Coordinator VISTA to help navigate and coordinate HOME American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, programs, and partnerships. The DHCD VISTA will reduce homelessness by coordinating HOME ARP resources to develop more capacity that helps move households from homelessness to permanent housing. The VISTA will strengthen partnerships between the Continuum of Cares (CoCs), local property managers, and the referral systems that link households experiencing homelessness to permanent housing, supportive services, and assistance. They will create needs assessments, an allocation plan, and design programs that maximize the overall impact of these HOME ARP funds for the Commonwealth.

GWRC Affordable Housing Liaison VISTA, George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC), Fredericksburg, VA

The George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC)  serves as the Lead Agency of the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care (CoC). GWRC is responsible for encouraging and facilitating local government cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems of greater than local significance, and provides a broad array of planning and support services for the benefit of the nearly 400,000 residents. In 2020, the George Washington Regional Commission partnered with Housing Virginia to complete a Housing Affordability Study and action Plan, which found that one in two renters in the region are cost-burdened, meaning that they spend over 30% of their gross household income on housing costs. GWRC is looking for a detail oriented individual to serve as the Affordable Housing Liaison VISTA to help develop a regional affordable housing planning program. The VISTA will formalize a regional affordable housing approach by hosting stakeholder engagement sessions, developing regional affordable housing action items, and preparing the region for securing the resources necessary to add additional units to the region’s currently limited affordable housing stock.

Habitat for Humanity VA Resource Development VISTA, Habitat for Humanity Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Habitat for Humanity Virginia is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat Virginia recognizes a dire need to help Habitat affiliates expand their capacity to address the lack of access to affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth; however, due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to shift their methods of delivering training, education, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to their affiliates.Habitat for Humanity VA is looking for a creative, collaborative minded, detail oriented and motivated individual to serve as the Resource Development VISTA, a role that will identify and develop tools for Habitat affiliates to increase both their capacity and funding, allowing them to serve more families. The VISTA will strengthen Habitat affiliate partnerships across the Commonwealth by leading in the design of a Capacity Building conference, identifying new avenues of funding for Habitat’s loan fund, and developing resources to help streamline services for affiliates. This project plays a vital role in building the capacity of Habitat affiliates so they can develop more quality affordable housing throughout Virginia.

HOPE Multifamily Portfolio Support Specialist, HOPE, Wytheville, VA

HOPE works to break generational poverty through enhanced food security and housing stability. Facing a dire housing shortage and increased need to house individuals experiencing homelessness throughout their region, HOPE is looking for a mission-driven individual comfortable with building and reading spreadsheets and analytical thinking to serve as the Multifamily Portfolio Support Specialist VISTA. The HOPE VISTA member will be critical in helping HOPE achieve their goal of doubling their multi-family housing portfolio while leading the effort to provide more workforce housing in response to 2,500 new jobs coming to Wythe County in 2022-23. The VISTA will support HOPE’s expanding housing portfolio into a possible acquisition of a motel that will act as a shelter with rapid re-housing units, implement new equitable systems and procedures that enhance homeless and rapid re-housing services, incorporate a review of social determinants of health, and research best practices and models for both housing and homeless services.

MWCLT Data Analyst VISTA, Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT), Richmond, VA

Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) seeks to develop and maintain permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households. Using the Community Land Trust (CLT) model, MWCLT creates single-family homes that are sold to qualified buyers while retaining ownership of the land beneath the houses. One of MWCLT’s goals is to strengthen their programs to address racial inequities in homeownership. To support this goal, they have developed and launched a number of pilot programs and creative partnerships with local Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and nonprofits to widen their reach. MWCLT is looking for a motivated individual to serve as the Data Analyst VISTA to analyze programmatic data, identify funding sources, and develop strategic outreach plans in order to create new programs and improve existing initiatives at their organization. The candidate need not have experience in data collection, and can expect to also partake in other types of work, such as research, outreach, and policy design as well. Data-centered activities include integrating the homeownership application, as well as other forms, with MWCLT’s front-facing website and their internal Salesforce software, improving their ability to streamline data. The VISTA will also research best practices for Community Land Trusts and improve public participation of the Richmond Land Bank, a program that expands affordable housing by inviting applicants to develop affordable housing on Land Bank-owned properties, through targeted outreach strategies.

Manufactured Home Project coordinator VISTA, Manufactured Home Community Coalition (MHCCV), Richmond, VA

The Manufactured Home Community Coalition (MHCCV) is a nonprofit coalition of housing practitioners, homelessness service providers, legal aid experts, and other advocates committed to improving financial, legal, and material conditions for residents in Virginia’s mobile home parks. MHCCV is looking for a driven individual to serve as the Education and Outreach VISTA in an effort to better prepare and equip MHCCV on their path to building the infrastructure needed for the acquisition and ownership of mobile home parks by nonprofit organizations and resident co-operatives. The VISTA member will help build substantial capacity for MHCCV to continue its evolution from a “start-up” entity to a fully-formed, sustainable organization by fulfilling the following five major goals: 1. Improve and preserve Virginia’s existing manufactured home communities 2. Position MHCCV as the statewide resource hub for mobile home park revitalization 3. Educate and empower residents in manufactured home communities 4. Advance a positive public image of manufactured housing 5. Build sustainability into MHCCV’s leadership, finances, programs, and services.

PHA Financial Opportunity Center & Housing Hub Engagement VISTA, Piedmont Housing Alliance, Charlottesville, VA

Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA) creates affordable housing opportunities and fosters community through education, lending, and equitable development. PHA is looking for a focused individual to serve as the PHA Financial Opportunity Center & Housing Hub Community Engagement VISTA. PHA has established the Charlottesville area’s first Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) & Housing Hub, which opened its doors in October 2021. The FOC & Housing Hub model is an integrated approach to offering services, including eviction prevention and crisis recovery, affordable housing navigation, financial counseling/coaching, employment services, and income support navigation — all aimed at building economic resilience and expanding affordable housing choices for families. The VISTA will build the capacity of PHA’s partner network to engage with and enroll community residents in the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) & Housing Hub, strengthen the mechanism by which community residents can play a constructive role in guiding the operations, and refine tools for assessing the impact of the hub, with a particular focus on evaluation measures centered on the lived experience of community residents.The VISTA will help deliver on PHA’s promise of engaging lower-income community residents, especially BIPOC households, in furthering financial and housing stability.

Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Training, Development, & Equity VISTA, Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission (RRRC), Culpeper, VA

RRRC acts as the lead agency for the Foothills Housing Network (FHN), a Local Planning Group of the Balance of State Continuum of Care. RRRC plays a vital role in supporting housing and homeless response organizations while providing a concerted approach to regional cooperation and planning assistance with program delivery. By analyzing feedback from service providers, community members, and local leaders, RRRC has determined that the region is in need of at least one location in which individuals experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis may complete the Coordinated Entry (CE) intake in-person. RRRC is looking for an organized, driven individual to serve as the Training, Development, & Equity Year 2 VISTA to help develop community partnerships, identify locations for in-person assessments, and seek methods for utilizing FHN data in decision-making and project management on a regional level. The VISTA will focus on enhanced data collection and tracking of Continuum of Care (CoC) projects focusing on disparities in referrals, services, and assistance among folks experiencing homelessness, and implementing Housing First best practices for FHN member organizations using a lens of racial equity. The VISTA will also support efforts by FHN partners to increase public knowledge regarding poverty and homelessness within the region through strategic outreach efforts with a particular focus on racial equity, faith-based, and healthcare organizations.

Renovation Alliance System Analyst VISTA, Renovation Alliance, Roanoke, VA

Renovation Alliance (RA) is a non-profit organization that brings together volunteers and communities to provide free, critical home repairs for low-income homeowners with a priority focus on households with people over 65, individuals with disabilities, veterans and surviving spouses, single-parent households, and homes with small children. One in three homeowners in the Roanoke Valley are housing cost burdened meaning that costly home repairs and maintenance are mostly out of reach. Renovation Alliance provides critical repair services and programs that help these individuals stabilize their home in order to create a living environment that improves their physical and mental health. However, RA does not have a robust system for tracking the impact of their programs on the homes and lives of their clients over time. Renovation Alliance is looking for a motivated, organized, detail-oriented individual to serve as the System Analyst VISTA on capacity building efforts to help establish new and review existing home review systems and data collection tools that quantify the impact of RA’s critical home repair program. These efforts will also include expanding community engagement, partnerships, and funding opportunities for their organization to increase and improve services.

SJV Data Analyst & Communications VISTA, St. Joseph’s Villa (SJV), Petersburg, VA

St. Joseph’s Villa serves as the lead agency within the Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC) for Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH), and has played an important role in stimulating and facilitating regional collaboration on addressing homelessness. SJV is looking for an organized, detail-oriented and motivated individual to serve as the Data Analyst and Communications Specialist VISTA to help expand the capacity of SJV in effectively and equitably serving individuals experiencing homelessness. The VISTA will work to increase the effectiveness and reach of CACH by enhancing communication strategies to identify and recruit new members while also expanding the community’s awareness regarding available homeless services resources. VISTA must be proficient at utilizing spreadsheets, Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets. The VISTA will also collaborate with local agencies, Built for Zero, and Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) board in developing and implementing a plan to end youth homelessness by aggregating critical data, researching similar programs, and conducting a youth Point in Time count.

SCDHC Affordable Housing Development VISTA, Southside Community Development & Housing Corporation (SCDHC), Richmond, VA

SCDHC creates viable, thriving, and sustainable communities while providing residential and commercial development, homeownership education, financial counseling, employment services, and supportive programs to predominantly low-income Black and Latinx families. As the oldest historically Black-led, affordable housing non-profit in Central Virginia, SCHDC has had significant success in advancing Black homeownership and rebuilding disinvested neighborhoods including the rehabilitation/development of 700+ units of affordable homeownership and rental housing for low-income families and seniors. However, considerable investment is needed to provide safeguards against displacement in Richmond’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and, as a response, SCHDC plans to grow its capacity as a nonprofit housing developer of affordable single- and multi-family units. SCDHC is looking for a passionate, detail-oriented individual to serve as the Affordable Housing Development VISTA to increase SCDHC’s single- and multi-family affordable housing development capacity and improve resident services at each of SCDHC’s rental properties by evaluating data management and collection methods, assisting with fund development, and strengthening community engagement in order to identify service gaps and resident needs.

VCDC Marketing & Communications VISTA, Vibrant Communities Drive Change (VCDC), Richmond, VA

VCDC works to connect communities with human and financial capital that supports locally driven revitalization and is committed to ensuring that everyone in their region not only has access to quality affordable housing, but also to services, programs, and amenities that enhance their quality of life. VCDC is looking for a creative, detail-oriented, collaborative individual with excellent verbal and written skills to serve as the Marketing & Communications Assistant VISTA to develop an internal culture of storytelling that raises VCDC’s profile in order to increase community support and awareness of their affordable housing programs and services, gain new strategic partnerships, and raise equity and other investment to direct to quality affordable housing development.

Homeless Response System Equitable Standards of Care VISTA, Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, Homeless Services Division, Virginia Beach, VA

The City of Virginia Beach Dept. of ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, Homeless Services Division is committed to help house the homeless and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless. They currently have 8 Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs totaling 270 beds operated by 5 different providers. 68% of households on this prioritization list score for PSH based on an evidence-based assessment tool. It is critical to establish standards of care to promote quality and equitable services across programs to enhance their system’s capacity to strategically allocate resources and effectively reduce the overall number of households experiencing homelessness. Refining standardized practices for service providers will ensure every client receives fair, consistent, and quality care across organizations and programs. The City of Virginia Beach Department of ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Housing and Neighborhood Preservation is looking for an analytical and research-proficient individual to serve as the Homeless Response System Equitable Standards of Care VISTA to develop and operationalize policies and procedures that contribute to a more efficient and client-centered system of service delivery. The VISTA will work to ensure that all standards of service are equitable to effectively identify and eliminate racial and ethnic bias.

VHA Communications & Outreach VISTA, Virginia Housing Alliance, Richmond, VA

The Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA) works to expand housing opportunities and ending homelessness in the Commonwealth through advocacy, education, and capacity building. The alliance encompasses a full spectrum of housing organizations and individuals, offers educational, professional development and networking opportunities for members, a collective advocacy presence, and resource and programmatic support. Every year, VHA hosts two statewide conferences and numerous educational forums to educate housing providers on emerging trends and best practices. VHA is looking for a driven and team oriented individual to serve as the VHA Communication and Outreach VISTA to develop targeted communications strategies that aim to increase membership engagement, identify new funders, and expand VHA’s statewide partnerships. By assessing VHA’s current outreach strategies and membership program, the VISTA will enhance the organization’s ability to share best practices in the affordable housing sector as well as strengthen the housing affordability community throughout the Commonwealth.

VISTA Cohort 2022-2023

Noah Dalbey

Project: MHCCV Education and Outreach VISTA
Host site: Manufactured Homes Community Coalition of Virginia

Noah Dalbey, hometown Silver Spring, MD, will be joining the MHCCV as their VISTA member from 2022 to 2023. Noah graduated from The College of William & Mary in May of 2022 with a Bachelors in Sociology where he cultivated interests in working in social justice, affordable housing, and community service.

From 2021 to 2022 Noah was a Research Affiliate for W&M’s Local Black Histories Project, and was a part of the team that worked collaboratively with The Village Initiative – a local nonprofit – to produce a educational website (“The Local Black Histories Project”) which seeks to increase the accessibility and comprehensiveness of Williamsburg’s local history. Prior to attending W&M, from 2017 to 2018, Noah served a 10 month term of service with AmeriCorps NCCC in the South West region of the US.

This year with NCCC initiated a desire to work with nonprofits in the future, and encouraged Noah to join the VISTA program after graduating in 2022. He is now very excited to be serving in AmeriCorps again, and to be working for the MHCCV and their crucial mission of improving the quality of life for mobile home residents across Virginia. Noah is especially looking forward to doing outreach and engaging in person with the residents of Virginia’s mobile home parks.

Tyler Howerton

Tyler Howerton

Project: SCDHC Affordable Housing Development VISTA
Host site: Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation

Tyler is the SCDHC Affordable Housing Development VISTA for 2022-2023. Tyler grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and quickly developed a passion for serving the community through volunteer work. She majored in psychology from Old Dominion University and worked for the Department of Social Services for a year before receiving a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, going to concerts, and playing with her dog, Leroy. Tyler was interested in the Americorp VISTA Program because of the numerous impactful and inspiring opportunities for public service. Specifically, she was drawn to Southside Community Development & Housing Corporation due to their commitment toward developing functional and prosperous communities through affordable housing and educational services. Working with SCDHC and the Americorp VISTA Program will allow Tyler to help increase accessibility and inclusivity, while simultaneously cultivating relationships within the community. 

Adam Harris

Project: Data Analyst and Communications Specialist VISTA
Host site: St. Joseph’s Villa

Adam Harris will be serving with St. Joseph’s Villa as their Data and Communications VISTA. He believes that every person should have a safe and orderly place to call home. Adam served on the leadership board for Silence Empowers Violence, a community organization that centers around awareness and advocacy for witnesses to violent crime. He has served the homeless through the community dinner program at his church, where he also manages their social media and web presence. Adams hopes to use his experience in asset and data management to serve his community in new ways.

Alyssa Parker

Project: APAH Community Analyst VISTA
Host site: Arlington Partnerships for Affordable Housing

 Alyssa has a Bachelor of Science in Soil and Crop Science from Colorado State University. She realized while attending she found that the causes and effects of food insecurity were of the utmost importance to her. This prompted her to serve as an AmeriCorps Vista with a food bank in Indianapolis, Indiana working to provide access in the rural counties with home delivery. While serving, Alyssa realized that many issues are connected including housing, so Alyssa applied to AmeriCorps Vista position at APAH in Arlington. Alyssa is also an incoming master’s candidate at American University in Global Environmental Policy. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys podcasts, working out, being outside, and trying new vegan foods.

Danielle Cantu

Project: Homeless Response System Equitable Standards of Care VISTA
Host site: City of Virginia Beach Homeless Services Division

Danielle Cantu is originally from Gainesville, Ga but currently lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband, Rodi, and her dog, Hugo. After graduating high school, she enlisted in the Navy and worked as an IT in Hawaii and Japan. After leaving active duty, she moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a degree in International Affairs at George Washington University. Danielle has always been interested in volunteering and serving others. Over the years, she has volunteered with local shelters, food banks, and local clean-up projects, because she is interested in helping animals and the people in her community. Her desire to serve her community and create meaningful and lasting change drew her to Americorps VISTA program. She hopes that her work with the Virginia Housing Alliance VISTA program will produce more equitable standards of service with the goal to reduce the amount of households experiencing homelessness in her community. 

Molly Dye

Project: VCDC Marketing & Communications Assistant VISTA
Host site: VCDC.

Molly is serving as the Marketing & Communications Assistant VISTA for Vibrant Communities Drive Change (VCDC). She is from Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2021 with a bachelor’s in Communication. In November 2021, Molly spent a month in Rwanda on a study abroad program and worked with a local nonprofit with the goal of serving a lively community through sustainable development and relationship building.

This opportunity ignited her interest in continuing to serve in her home country, which led her to the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Molly found interest in serving for VCDC after learning about how the organization has connected communities to financial and developmental partners to support local revitalization. She believes that every human being has a right to affordable housing and access to a community where residents can flourish. Molly is excited to serve with VCDC and contribute to the organization’s internal and external engagement and outreach. She hopes to translate her VISTA experience into a future career dedicated to community development.

In her free time, Molly enjoys scoping out the local art scene, painting, long walks, and brunch. 

Satya Fisher

Project:HOPE Multifamily Portfolio Support Specialist
Host site: HOPE

 Satya Fisher grew up on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Growing up in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States, Fisher quickly saw the need for affordable housing. Wanting to be a part of the solution, fisher applied to the real estate program at Virginia Tech. Wanting to specialize in affordable housing, Fisher was eager to apply to the VISTA program at HOPE. Through his year at HOPE Fisher hopes to learn about the development and financing of real estate projects. In his free time Fisher enjoys surfing, beekeeping, and being outdoors.

Maddie Harris

Project: GWRC Affordable Housing Liaison VISTA
Host site: George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC)

Maddie Harris (they/she) graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s in Psychology in 2020. Before VISTA they did a variety of things including working as a research assistant in a child development lab, a behavior technician in autism services, and a teacher in South Korea. They have also volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Maddie’s future goals include getting their master’s in social work specializing in macro social work and working further in affordable housing and with homeless populations. They became interested in this work with VHA VISTA through having their own and watching others’ personal hardships concerning poverty and housing. They wanted to do more to help their community and provide better resources to others on a macro scale. In their free time, they enjoy listening to true crime and other documentaries, cooking food for their friends and family, and following world news.

Kenna Campfield

Project: PHA Financial Opportunity Center & Housing Hub Community Engagement VISTA
Host site: Piedmont Housing Alliance

 Kenna Campfield was born and raised in Fairfax County, Virginia. She recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in both Government and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. During her VISTA tenure, Kenna will be serving in Charlottesville for the Piedmont Housing Alliance. As someone who has spent her whole life in Virginia, she is passionate about aiding lower-income members of her community who have struggled with the rise of gentrification and housing prices. In the future, Kenna is interested in pursuing a career that focuses on helping marginalized communities. She feels as though AmeriCorps is the perfect first step to achieving this goal. In her free time, Kenna enjoys spending time with her cat and two dogs, playing softball, and attending Washington Nationals games. 

Leah Coltrane

Project: MWCLT Data Analyst VISTA
Host site: Maggie Walker Community Land Trust

 Leah successfully obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Film with an accompanying Minor in Social Justice from Hollins University in May of 2022. During their time studying, they gained significant experience in outreach and mentorship through a variety of roles. Some of those roles include the following: Hollins Activity Board Member, Hollins Film Department Equipment co-Coordinator, Hollins Summer Programming Community Assistant, and Committee Member for Hollins University’s 13th Presidential Inauguration. Leah has coordinated events and outreach, designed education and action campaigns, reported to administrative professionals and diverse constituencies, and led new community member orientations. MWCLT attracted Leah’s enthusiasm due to the organization’s efforts to create more housing opportunities for families in Virginia. In their time off, Leah hopes to explore Richmond’s diverse restaurants, enjoy exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and spend time at local theaters.

Matthew Tobias

Project: Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Training, Development, & Equity AmeriCorps VISTA
Host site: Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Comission

Matt is a huge Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fan, history buff, and “bug whisperer.” He’s lived in Northern Virginia almost his entire life and is proud to call Loudoun County home. Matt graduated with a BA in history from BYU and enjoys talking with others about the impact of historical and current events. When he isn’t busy volunteering with his church, he likes to watch movies and episodes of Alias, spend time with family, read, listen to music, play strategy games, share links to funny YouTube videos, eat out at restaurants, and catch up with friends.

At his core, Matt is passionate about human and civil rights. He cares deeply about the welfare of the LGBTQ community, which motivated him to volunteer with the Trevor Project to assist LGBTQ youth. Utilizing this experience, he desires to better understand and aid other marginalized groups who are struggling. One of the aspects of the RRRC VISTA project that stood out to him was the chance to help address racial and other inequities that exist in finding affordable housing. Matt strongly believes all people should have access to basic needs like housing and medical care, and he is excited to be part of a team that seeks to make this a reality. 

Mike West

Project: Habitat Resource Development VISTA
Host site: Habitat for Humanity of Virginia

Michael West is a retired academic researcher and policy/program analyst, focused primarily in disability services for youth and adults. He has assisted non-profit organizations with pursuing grant funds and conducting project evaluations as either a consultant or as a volunteer. He and his family have resided in Virginia since 1987. In his free time, he enjoys spoiling his granddaughter and participating in online gaming communities.

Michael was attracted to the Virginia Housing Alliance’s AmeriCorps VISTA program for several reasons. First, he was seeking opportunities to apply his skills to help address community needs in his adopted home state. Secondly, he has had satisfying experiences when working/volunteering with housing and employment services for homeless veterans. Finally, he is a wheelchair user, and the VHA program and H4HVA listing has specific project descriptions in evaluation and monitoring that could be performed with accommodations. Mike is a 2nd year VHA AmeriCorps VISTA, having previously served at the George Washington Regional Commission in Fredericksburg.

Chris Concepcion

Christopher Concepcion

Project: Fundraising and Communications VISTA
Host site: AHC Inc.

Christopher Concepcion is ambitious and excited to join the VISTA program with AHC. He is from a small town called Carbondale in Illinois. He is a recent graduate from George Mason University with a background in Business Management. Christopher is excited to be serving as a VISTA to help give back to the community in a more profound way. He has through the past years taken an interest in the housing affordability initiatives and making sure everyone feels like they have a stable home they can always go to. In his free time, some of Chris’s hobbies include volunteering, mentoring, and creating workshops to help advanced marginalized communities. He also enjoys hanging out with friends and touring the national memorials and parks with his favorite being the Lincoln Memorial. 

hi res todd

Todd Faltin

Project: DHCD Housing Program Coordinator VISTA
Host site: Dept. of Housing & Community Development (DHCD)

Todd Faltin (he/they) will serve as DHCD’s VISTA Housing Program Coordinator for 2022-23. Todd grew up in Western Pa and spent the past 15 years in Pittsburgh working as a grocer, prep cook, and member of Pgh’s local food community. They studied journalism and dietetics in undergrad and completed an MS in Resilient and Sustainable Communities in the middle of the pandemic.

Todd just moved to Richmond to support their partner’s quest for a Ph.D. in research psychology at VCU and is excited to expand their professional and personal network in a new town. Todd has been a bicycle commuter and explorer for the duration of their adult life and enjoys unfamiliar culinary adventures, wandering the woods with their partner and dogs, and playing (but not watching) baseball.

Todd is also a second-year VISTA member, having spent the prior year with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania (no relation). They hope to make small contributions toward eradicating housing instability in their time here on earth, while never forgetting that market failures, systemic racism, and hyper individualism are the main mechanisms that reproduce these wicked problems.

Our VISTA host sites

Homelessness Services Cohort

VISTA members promote permanent housing solutions to end homelessness by building strategic partnerships that advance efforts to end homelessness, improving data quality and use in decision-making, and engaging in special initiatives to end homelessness. 

Locations:

Affordable Housing Cohort

VISTA members develop resources to increase development capacity and enhance organization stability by promoting the best practices in affordable housing development, improving data quality used for decision making, and enhancing community engagement.

Locations:

FAQ

VISTA Members are placed and work on-site to build capacity at VHA VISTA host agencies. Prospective VISTA host sites must be Virginia Housing Alliance members (or become members if accepted to the program). Examples of eligible agencies include community action agencies, Continuum of Care/Local Planning Group, nonprofit housing developers, planning district commissions, homeless service providers.

The VISTA is a volunteer receiving a living stipend through a federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The VISTA is regarded as a federal employee for limited purposes. The VISTA is affiliated with Virginia Housing Alliance, the host site, and the AmeriCorps VISTA Program. This VISTA will carry the title of VHA AmeriCorps VISTA Member and indicate that they are serving with your agency.

The VISTA program is focused on providing support for organizations by placing VISTA Members to create, expand, and strengthen systems, and build structure and collaboration that will allow the host site agency/community to partner with regional stakeholders and better expand affordable housing opportunities in their communities. The VISTA host site organization is making a commitment to improving its effectiveness and sustainability and to stand behind the VISTA’s capacity-building role.

VISTA Members will be recruited in a collaborative fashion. Host sites will recruit locally for VISTA applicants through their own networks. VHA will recruit through statewide networks. VHA works with CNCS to post the official AmeriCorps position listing for nationwide recruitment. All VISTA applicants must fill out an official online AmeriCorps application to be considered for the position.

For any questions related to the VISTA program, please contact: Hannah Moore / AmeriCorps VISTA Program Manager

Awardees

The Virginia Housing Alliance wants to congratulate two of our VISTA members, Sophie Schectman, currently serving at Maggie Walker Community Land Trust, and Jordan O’Hanlon, formally a VHA VISTA that served at Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, for winning 2021 Virginia National Service awards for their dedication to service and impact on their communities!

Virginia AmeriCorps VISTA Member of the Year

Sophie Schectman

Maggie Walker Community Land Trust 2019-2021

Sophie is in her second year of the VISTA program with Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT). Her interests in affordable housing and social justice developed while growing up in Charlottesville, VA and attending The University of Virginia. At UVa, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning and spent much of her time participating in student-run social justice organizations. She was a part of various campaigns including those fighting fossil fuel extraction in Virginia and protesting the white supremacist activity at UVa and in Charlottesville. Additionally, she co-founded the School of Architecture’s Wellness Committee to promote mental health wellness through interdisciplinary collaboration and design thinking workshops. Sophie was excited to join AmeriCorps VISTA to gain experience in affordable housing development with an emphasis on alternative community-driven models.

As a VISTA, Sophie has primarily worked with homebuyer applicants, helping numerous individuals and families complete their applications for homeownership. She has fleshed out the Salesforce data system, and produced reports and analyses to assist in organization decision making. She aided in research and development of MWCLT’s pilot lease-to-own program, which provides a bridge to homeownership for applicants facing credit and savings barriers. She was proud to see the first 3 participants sign leases last fall. Her other work includes the development and implementation of MWCLT’s inaugural strategic plan, facilitation of internal racial equity dialogues, the design and creation of Richmond Land Bank (RLB) and MWCLT yard signs, as well as outreach to RLB lot neighbors. Sophie hopes to build on the experience she’s gained with MWCLT as she pursues a career in the affordable housing field.

AmeriCorps Alum Award

Jordan O’Hanlon

Alexandria Housing Development Corporation

Jordan began her role as a Resident Services Coordinator after her AmeriCorps VISTA service was completed at Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC). In this current role, she has coordinated the distribution of more than $700,000 in rent assistance, managed the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, and assisted in raising more than $100,000 for the organization’s COVID Resident Assistance program. Her efforts have ensured that Virginia residents are able to remain in their homes, bringing some peace and security to hundreds of our residents that have suffered a number of losses due to the pandemic. Not only did she tackle these projects with success, she has also created multiple key partnerships. These partnerships have resulted in free child car seats, extensive food distribution, and a free bike share program in the community. Additionally, her involvement in the organization’s strategic plan, pushed them to go further in their racial equity goals and strategies. Through her tenure as VISTA, Jordan sharpened her professional skills but also learned how other organizations work and how we can improve and adapt so we can work more efficiently together.