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: Request an application

Step 2: After requesting an application, host sites will receive an email with applications materials within 24-48 hours, including detailed instructions on how to create a VISTA assignment description (VAD) and service opportunity listing for their requested position(s). Read through all application materials prior to completing your application.

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

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, b) provide suggestions for improvement with a resubmission, or c) accept the application. Returning host sites/projects: past performance as a host site will be taken into consideration when evaluating your 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 $22,000 (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 2020 – August 2021
  • 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.


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.