We are so excited you’d like to join SVHC VISTA or are interested in hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA member at your organization! Our positions for the 2015-2016 year are filled. Please visit back in April 2016 for more information on open positions.
Please note that most partners do continue to stay with the program from year to year. If you are interested in applying, please contact Misha Taherbhai at MishaT@healthtrust.org. Partner selection will be confirmed in the Spring.
Benefits of Being a Partner
To become a partner site, you must be a non-profit organization or public agency. You can host one or more full-time, year-long VISTA members to help further the mission of your site. These members are knowledgeable, trained, and dedicated individuals who can help provide a stable core staff to your organization. The members will work within your organization to leverage resources, expand volunteer networks, and/or create sustainable systems to help increase availability of fresh healthy food among the low income communities you serve. VISTAs provide capacity building support to your organization, as opposed to direct service.
Your site is responsible for providing the member with an on-site work space, reimbursing the member for travel costs, and contributing a housing subsidy of $3,636 per year per member. Based on how many sites and members we have in a given program year, a site may need to cost-share their member living allowance of $18,180 per year. Your site must also designate a sub-site supervisor at your project site to serve as a direct supervisor to the VISTA(s). To be eligible to host SVHC VISTA member(s), the site must be able to meet the following requirements:
- The site must demonstrate an evidence-based need in its target community based on poverty levels, immigrant populations, and limited access to fresh produce.
- The site must demonstrate expertise, experience, and capacity to successfully participate in, and adhere to, the goals and objectives of SVHC VISTA, which are to improve the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity through VISTA resources to increase healthy food access and healthy food production for low income communities in Santa Clara County and/or Northern San Benito County.
- The site must be able to provide adequate member supervision, training, supplies, and development opportunities to ensure that members have the proper orientation and support necessary to successfully complete their tasks.
- The site must be willing to complete all required grant evaluation and grant management responsibilities, including the timely submission of performance measures data and member service days.
- The site must maintain regular communication with The Health Trust and other partner sites.
- Please see the AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor Manual for additional information regarding being an AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor.
How to Apply
Please contact Misha Taherbhai, Healthy Eating Program Associate/VISTA Supervisor, at MishaT@healthtrust.org, to be added to our list of potential VISTA sites.
How much does it cost to host a member?
Your site is responsible for providing office space, equipment, and mileage reimbursement for members, which costs approximately $100 per year per member. Additionally, your site should be able to contribute a housing subsidy of $3,636 per year per member. Based on how many sites and members we have in a given program year, the site may need to cost-share their member living allowance of $18,180 per year.
Are there specific types of sites are you looking for?
We are looking for community-based organizations (non-profit organizations or public agencies) that serve high-need communities and share our mission of increasing healthy food access and reducing food insecurity among undeserved communities. Partner sites must demonstrate an evidence-based need in their target communities based on high levels of poverty, immigrant populations, and limited access to fresh produce. Partner sites must be able to clearly communicate the types of capacity building activities their VISTA(s) will be responsible for.
Is training required for partner sites?
Yes. Each sub-site supervisor will be required to attend a Supervisor Orientation at The Health Trust before their VISTAs start on site. Sub-site supervisors will also attend bi-monthly meetings throughout the year with The Health Trust.
How are members chosen for sites?
Members are placed at partner sites through a mutual selection process. Applicants apply to the site specific positions they find the most interesting. Each site can then choose to follow up and interview applicants that are the best fit for their position. After an interview and background check process, a candidate will be enrolled as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Before beginning on site, the member will go through a four day CNCS sponsored Pre Service Orientation and begin on site within a week of completing orientation. If applicants apply to multiple sites, it is possible that they will have multiple interviews and even a few different offers from which they can choose from.
Is there a contact for additional questions?
To answer any additional questions about becoming a partner site, please contact Healthy Eating Program Associate/VISTA Supervisor, Misha Taherbhai at MishaT@healthtrust.org
How to Apply
All Silicon Valley HealthCorps VISTA positions are full-time, year-long positions beginning in August and continuing to August. Benefits include a $18,180/year living allowance, $3,636/year housing subsidy, post-service education award ($5,500) or an end of year stipend ($1500), professional development opportunities, 10 personal and 10 sick days, and healthcare benefits*. Any questions or inquiries should be directed to MishaT@healthtrust.org.
*Visit http://www.vistacampus.gov/resources/vista-healthcare-options for more information about healthcare
In order to apply for VISTA, the following minimum qualifications must be met:
- Be at least 18 years old upon entering VISTA training. There is no upper age limit.
- Be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status.
- Not be listed in the National Sex Offender Registry database as having been convicted of sex-related crimes.
- Be willing to submit fingerprints for a criminal history background check.
- Be in a position to offer full-time service for one year.
- Be able to relate previous education, training, military, or work experience, and demonstrate other relevant skills or interests necessary to perform a specific VISTA assignment.
- Be willing, to the maximum extent practicable, to live among and at the economic level of the low-income people served by VISTA projects.
- Understand that VISTA is a full-time 12 month commitment and are required to serve an average of 40 hours per week.
- VISTAs are allowed to attend classes; however their studies must not interfere with VISTA responsibilities. A VISTA must discuss taking classes with his/her supervisor before enrolling. If classes do interfere, the VISTA may be asked to either withdraw from the course(s) within one week or ask to end their service.
- VISTAs are allowed part-time outside employment; however under no circumstances may a VISTA member be an employee of or a contractor for the sponsor or project to which he/she is assigned to.
- VISTAs cannot be subjects of legal proceedings (civil or criminal) that may consume time needed for VISTA assignments. VISTA service cannot be used to satisfy service requirements of parole or probation.
- VISTAs must attend a 4 day Pre-Service Orientation before beginning their year of service.
Our positions for the 2015-2016 year are filled. Please visit back in April 2016 for more information on open positions.
What are the member benefits?
Benefits for SVHC VISTAs include $18,180/year living allowance, $3,636/year housing subsidy, $5,550 post-service education award or a $1500 end of year stipend, health care benefits, professional development opportunities, and 10 personal and 10 sick days. Visit http://www.vistacampus.gov/resources/vista-healthcare-options for more information about VISTA healthcare.
How long is the program?
The program is a year-long program beginning and ending in August. VISTA is a 12 month full-time commitment.
What do members do?
Members are placed at our 5 partner sites in various positions focusing on capacity building and leveraging resources around obesity prevention in low income populations. VISTAs are required to serve an average of 40 hours per week, but may serve in excess of that amount focusing on capacity building efforts. To read more about the different sites, check out our partners.
How do members get placed in partner sites?
Members are placed at partner sites through a mutual selection process. Applicants apply to the site specific positions they find the most interesting. Each site can then choose to follow up and interview applicants that are the best fit for their position. After an interview and background check process, a candidate will be chosen as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Before beginning on site, the member will go through a four day CNCS sponsored Pre Service Orientation. If applicants apply to multiple sites, it is possible that they will have multiple interviews and even a few different offers from which they can choose their site placement.
Can I have a job while serving in the program?
VISTAs are allowed part-time outside employment; however under no circumstances may a VISTA member be an employee of or a contractor for the sponsor or project to which he/she is assigned to. Remember, VISTA is a full-time commitment and VISTAs are required to work an average of 40 hours per week during the program hours of their site. If a VISTA has a part-time job, this should not interfere with his/her service responsibilities.
Does the program provide housing?
The program does not provide housing options for members, but partners will contribute a housing subsidy of $3,636/year per VISTA that will be paid directly to the VISTAs landlord.
Whom can I contact with additional questions?
If you have questions about Silicon Valley HealthCorps VISTA, please contact Misha Taherbhai at MishaT@healthtrust.org.