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Capacity Building

AmeriCorp VISTA

Our mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps VISTA combats poverty through capacity-building service, creating thriving communities that allow for everyone to have the opportunity to succeed.

AmeriCorp vista volunteers

Partnered with 70+ local agencies
to enhance local services.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program at United Way of Spokane County partners with local organizations to develop 3-year service projects that create measurable outcomes that address poverty by strengthening community programs and initiatives. 

 

Social and economic disparities persist throughout our community, leaving many individuals and families struggling to meet their basic needs. The VISTA program addresses these gaps by enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, and scale of local organizations that provide direct service to low-income communities.

Our Approach to Solving the Problem

1. Identifying Impactful Projects: We select initiatives that align with our vision for community well-being. Each of our VISTA projects addresses inequities in the areas of education, financial literacy, and healthy futures. 

2. Providing Support: United Way of Spokane Country provides ongoing support to both VISTA members and host sites throughout the 3-year project cycle. We work closely with host sites to develop projects that meet the needs of the communities that they serve, while ensuring the service that is provided is measurable and effective. We work alongside VISTA members throughout their service term to help them navigate both the national service model and their service site, be open- minded and culturally competent learners, and grow personally and professionally to work towards their goals. 

 

3.  Ensuring Long-Term Impact: VISTA projects are intentionally designed to lead to long-term, sustainable impact within anti-poverty organizations. Each project contains a research element which allows for sites to understand the best practices in their field, and create structures and systems which will exist far beyond the completion of the project. VISTA members provide irreplaceable service which leads to sustainable change. 

  • For the past decade, United Way of Spokane County’s VISTA program has partnered with over 70 local agencies to significantly improve services in multiple areas, such as affordable housing, financial literacy training, and access to education. In 2023, VISTA members recruited and managed 194 volunteers who then went on to perform 1160 hours of community service. VISTA members also contributed to securing $991, 160 in cash resources and $545 of in-kind resources for their host organizations. Furthermore, as a result of each VISTA project, 560 individuals were served in Spokane County.

By building organizational capacities, the VISTA program fosters long-term economic stability and resilience within Spokane County, ensuring sustainable community development.

Investment Strategy\Capacity Building Grants

The AmeriCorps VISTA program provides the full-time service of one VISTA member for 3 years to our partnering agencies. This service is a resource that empowers local agencies to expand their services, enhance their effectiveness, and provide sustainable services throughout the community. 

 

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a cornerstone of United Way of Spokane County’s efforts to fight poverty. Through strategic partnerships and capacity-building, we aim dismantle the structures that perpetuate inequality and economic disparity to create a more equitable and prosperous community for all.

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