Overview of NYC VISTA Program for Host Sites:

NYC VISTA, an AmeriCorps program administered by NYC Service since 2015, places NYC VISTA members at City agencies focused on lifting New Yorkers out of poverty for a year service term. NYC VISTA members expand the ability of City agency host sites to fight poverty by building infrastructure, expanding community partnerships, and securing long-term resources.

NYC VISTA Mission: NYC VISTA partners with City agencies to increase the agencies' capacity through innovating projects that are designed to serve New Yorkers experiencing poverty. 

NYC VISTA Vision: New York City residents experiencing poverty are able to more easily access critical city services to help their economic condition.


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Host Site Application Process:

Step 1: Apply

Step 2: Review all supplemental materials and attachments, prior to submitting your application. Including the financial commitment information listed below, NYC VISTA program one-pager, AmeriCorps Prohibited and Unallowable Activities, VISTA Limitations, VISTA assignment description and service opportunity listing creation materials and templates, direct supervisor expectations, and the AmeriCorps Diversity Chart. (All materials are posted under related links and documents)

Step 3: Complete the online application and upload the VADs and corresponding service opportunity listings for all requested positions and the completed AmeriCorps Diversity Chart.

Step 4: Once the application is submitted, NYC Service will review the project based on a rubric. NYC Service will either: a) reject the application or b) select the application to move forward to supervisor interviews. 

Step 5: If selected to move forward, supervisor interviews will be held on a rolling basis as applications are reviewed. Each supervisor interview will take approximately 30 minutes and is a time for NYC Service to learn more about your supervision experience and plan, go over expectations for the upcoming program year, and discuss your proposed position description(s) including any potential changes.

Step 6: Once all supervisor interviews have been completed, NYC Service will take into consideration all application materials including the host site application, submitted position description(s), and supervisor interviews to evaluate the project based on a rubric. NYC Service will either a) accept the overall host site application and all positions, b) accept the overall host site application and a partial number of positions, or c) deny the overall host site application. If you applied after March 15th you can expect to be notified of this decision by Friday, April 29, 2022.

  • If selected, each host site will sign an MOU agreeing to the terms of having an AmeriCorps member placed at your host site. This will include agreeing to the financial commitment. The MOU as well as a partial amount of the financial commitment is due before members will be able to start at the host site.


Returning host sites/member positions: Past performance as a host site will be discussed during the supervisor interview and taken into consideration when evaluating the overall application.


Financial Commitment for Host Sites:

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program at the federal level requires that programs of a certain size provide cost share to cover the living stipends for the additional member slots. If your agency is requesting more than one NYC VISTA member, you will be required to cost share 1 or more NYC VISTA member. Current cost share/ member is $23,000 (Note: VISTA typically increases the living stipend each July to keep pace with the cost of living. This amount may increase slightly and NYC Service will inform host sites when more information is provided) Cost share codes will be shared with NYC Service and money will be transferred from your agency’s budget.

Each city agency is required to provide a monthly unlimited MetroCard for each member for the duration of service. ($127/month/per member; $1,524 total) Use the chart to calculate your cost share:


NYC VISTA Members:

  • Serve full time from August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2023
  • Member benefits include:
    • Living stipend - $21,622.60
    • $750 settling-in allowance, if relocating more than 50 miles
    • Education award – approx. $6,345 or end-of-service cash stipend of $1,800
    • Monthly unlimited MetroCard
    • Limited healthcare benefits
    • Childcare
    • Student loan forbearance
    • Non-competitive eligibility for a federal government position, if qualified


Criteria for hosting an NYC VISTA member:

  • Must be a NYC government agency.
  • Must have a poverty-focused project for the duration of 365 days that is composed of solely capacity building activities and not direct service (please see more information below).
  • Host Site must be able to provide space and access to technology systems for each NYC VISTA member.
  • Host site must provide a supervisor for their NYC VISTA member(s) who will be able to provide guidance, management, and coaching support.
  • Supervisor must be able to attend a full-day orientation prior to the start of the NYC VISTA program.
  • Supervisor must be able to attend three two-hour training sessions throughout the program year.


What does "Capacity-Building" mean?

As a general rule, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) considers capacity building activities to be indirect services that enable CNCS-supported organizations to provide more, better and sustained direct service. Capacity building activities must:

  • Be intended to support or enhance the program delivery model;
  • Respond to the organization’s goal of increasing, expanding or enhancing services in order to address the pressing needs identified in the community; and
  • Enable the organization to provide a sustained level of more or better direct services after the VISTA member’s term of service has ended.


What does "Direct Service" mean?

Within the context of CNCS’s framework, direct service refers to any form of assistance provided directly by the individuals, targeted groups and communities that make up the beneficiary population. For example, direct service may entail face-to-face housing assistance, tutoring, or disaster response service. Direct service may also entail hands-on environmental improvements performed by the VISTA member.


Direct Supervisor Expectations:

  • Provide member(s) with direct supervision which includes leading on-site orientation sessions, proving adequate on-site training for the position, holding weekly check-ins with each member assigned, and leading mid- and end-of-term evaluations
  • Provide member(s) with technology and full time workstation access for the duration of the service term
  • Attend mandatory Supervisor Orientation and three Supervisor Trainings throughout the service term Uphold the rules and policies as outlined in the partnership agreement and the supervisor handbook including, but not limited to, AmeriCorps Prohibited and Unallowable Activities
  • Ensure members are fulfilling the responsibilities listed on their VAD and inform NYC Service staff if there are any proposed changes to their core responsibilities
  • Coach members throughout the year to promote their personal and professional development
  • Proactively communicate and document member performance issues that may lead to the creation of a Performance Development Plan
  • Follow procedures around the creation and implementation of Member Performance Development Plans, if required to create one
  • Provide member(s) with any additional rules, standards and resources of the host site
  • Approve America Learns member timesheets each Monday by 5pm 
  • Verify member reported data each month by 5pm on the Friday after members submit
  • Maintain data records for all performance measure data throughout program year and for at least three years after
  • Allow members to attend each month’s mandatory NYC VISTA Learning and Development Day
  • Approve any member pre-planned absences in the time frame established by the host site supervisor (at least one week is standard in the AmeriCorps Member Handbook)
  • Set site-specific policy for member communication in cases of illness, tardiness or emergencies
  • Respond in a timely fashion to all NYC Service requests


NYC Service Support:

  • Recruitment of NYC VISTA members
  • Supervisor orientation and training
  • Ongoing staff support and resources


Learn more about the NYC VISTA program before applying, contact Shonni Velasquez to schedule an informational phone call at servicerecruitment@cityhall.nyc.gov.