2017-2018 Host Sites

Allegheny College - Youth Service Coordinator (Meadville): Position Filled -  The VISTA member will serve from The Allegheny Gateway - Civic Engagement to develop community service opportunities for area youth. The VISTA member will strengthen community outreach, coordinate opportunities alongside college student volunteers, create presentation materials, develop social media and marketing materials, explore additional communication tools to relay service opportunities, establish a youth advisory board, explore potential of alternative break trips, immersion experiences, and weekend trips. Website: http://sites.allegheny.edu/commservice/

Bayfront East Side Taskforce (BEST) - Home Chore Program VISTA (Erie): Position Filled - BEST’s VISTA project will provide critical and minor home repairs and knowledge of home maintenance, with the use of skilled volunteers and local contractors to residents of the East Bayfront Neighborhood. In year two of this project, the VISTA member will identify funding opportunities for home repair projects, create processes and management tools to track existing home improvement funds, creating marketing materials and online tools to promote programming, provide volunteer management, and identify collaboration opportunities with area agencies focused on neighborhood development. Website: http://www.besterie.org/

Bethany Outreach Center (BOC) - Youth Program Assessor (Erie): Position Filled - BOC will improve engagement and preparation of children in grade school for reading and learning activities; and in high school students improve motivation for and awareness of post-graduation job and higher-education opportunities. In order to achieve this goal, the VISTA project will focus on documenting programming procedures, developing volunteer management policies, and providing structures for reporting outcomes to increase fundraising and provide the basis for marketing and promoting programming. Website: http://bethanyoutreachcenter.org/

Bethesda Children’s Home - Trinity Center - Volunteer Program VISTA (Erie): Position Filled -  Position Filled - The Trinity Center will utilize VISTA resources to grow its volunteer base and gain a reputation as a positive environment for volunteering through increased infrastructure development, expanded partnerships, and fundraising. Located on the west side of Erie, the Trinity Center provides educational and prevention based programs for youth ages 5-12 years old. Website: http://bethesda-home.org/

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) - BCAP VISTA (Pittsburgh): In the third year of this VISTA project, the VISTA member will develop sustainability around efforts to engage students and families educationally. The VISTA will continue to establish volunteer infrastructure to provide educational liaison services and connect students with out-of-school programming. Website: http://www.bhutanesecap.org/

Club Fit - VISTA Coordinator (Erie): Position Filled - Serving in the final year of building capacity for Club Fit, an all-girls fitness and nutrition program, the VISTA member will establish sustainable infrastructure including developing an internship curriculum, diversifying funding, and exploring additional program outcomes. The VISTA member will serve from Gannon University’s Recreation and Wellness Center. Website: Not available

Community Shelter Services (CSS) - Marketing and Volunteer Utilization VISTA (Erie): Position Filled - The VISTA member will work with the CSS Director of Development to increase outreach and gear volunteer participation in strategic ways. VISTA member activities will include: conducting outreach, educating and orienting volunteer groups, generating funding ideas, and assisting with donor relations. Website:  http://www.communityshelter.org/

Crawford County Coalition on Housing Needs (CCCHN) – Outreach Coordinator (Meadville): CCCHN operates 29 affordable rent properties and a rent free homeless shelter to address the housing challenges faces by individuals and families. The VISTA project will improve CCCHN outreach efforts and program development.  The VISTA member activities will include: event planning, fundraising, volunteer management, and soliciting resident feedback to inform programming. Website: file:///C:/Users/eoday/Downloads/ccchn.pdf

Crawford County Human Services (CCHS) - Community Engagement and Collaborative Committee Coordinator (Meadville): CCHS will utilize VISTA resources to collaborate with the Crawford County Children’s Advisory Committee (CAC), the Crawford County System of Care Partnership (SOC) and others to develop and foster sustainable community member engagement, across the life span, in trauma informed services and supports as needed to improve and ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all. The VISTA member will work with families, youth, individuals, social service agencies, schools, civic groups, governments, churches, courts and others to engage individuals, families and youth to participate with County entities in the development and delivery of services and supports to alleviate poverty, create opportunities for personal and community growth, and build individual and community resilience. Website: http://www.crawfordcountypa.net/portal/page?_pageid=53,1,53_36400&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Early Connections - Marketing and Fundraising Specialist (Erie): Position Filled  Early Connections supports the success of young children and their families through leadership, advocacy, and quality programs in early care and education. The VISTA member will help maintain and increase the quality of services and capital improvements for Early Connections by helping develop an effective marketing plan, updated social media, and assist in fundraising strategies. Website: http://earlyconnectionserie.org/

Edinboro University - Community School Liaison (Edinboro): Position Filled  VISTA resources will be utilized to infuse McKinley Elementary School with an array of services and supports to increase the academic performance of students as part of the Erie Public School’s Community School Initiative. The VISTA member will serve as a liaison for communication between the school and campus, recruit volunteers, coordinate mechanisms to engage university departments, and develop sustainability measures. Website: http://www.eriesd.org/communityschools and http://www.edinboro.edu/

Erie County Department of Health - Food Access Coordinator (Erie): In the second year of this project, the VISTA will ensure the sustainability of the Eats and Arts Market and support the Food Policy Advisory Council. Sustainability of the Market will be achieved by increasing program development in the areas of partnerships, volunteer recruitment, and developing vendor communication systems. Website: https://www.eriecountypa.gov/county-services/health-department.aspx

Erie Public Schools - BELONG VISTA (Erie): Position Filled- In the final year of the BELONG (Becoming Empowered by Living Our Natural Gifts) VISTA project, the VISTA member will increase the capacity for each school to incorporate BELONG. BELONG engages students in hands-on activities that promote positive behavior changes and environmental stewardship for students in grades K-8. The VISTA member will design a sequential series of garden lessons, create a summer volunteer garden maintenance protocol, collaborate with and support teachers to implement activities, assist with the grade 6 capstone projects, conduct community outreach, and assist with funding initiatives. Website: http://www.eriesd.org/

Erie United Methodist Alliance (EUMA) - Homelessness Initiative VISTA (Erie): Serving in the third year of this project, the VISTA will assist EUMA to increase health care for homeless individuals in Erie County. The VISTA member will work closely with the Health Care 4 Homeless Program (HC4HP) supervisor and Faith Community Nurses of Northwestern PA to coordinate and monitor activities of program partners, work with local health networks to develop a discharge planning protocol, and continue to expand HC4HP through educational material development, marketing, and relationship building. Website: http://www.euma-erie.org/

Family Services of NW PA - Western Crawford BBBS VISTA (Meadville): Position Filled  In the final year of this project, the VISTA member will build sustainability for site-based programming through recruiting volunteers, expanding programming, developing enriching events, solidifying a volunteer social media plan, and increasing community involvement in fundraising. Website: http://www.fsnwpa.org/ 

Gannon University - Resource Mobilizer (Erie): Position Filled  VISTA resources will be utilized in the initial year of this project to mobilize large scale resources - most notably students and faculty, for labor and specialized skill sets—to address the major challenges in downtown Erie’s Our West Bayfront neighborhood, such as safety, blighted properties and housing, food access, and public safety. Website: https://www.gannon.edu/

Hamot Health Foundation – Volunteer Specialist (Erie): Position Filled  Hamot Health Foundation will serve as the corporate sponsor for Wayne School in the Erie Public Schools’ community school program. In the first year of this project, the VISTA member will be focused on establishing volunteer infrastructure, assisting with volunteer management, coordinating with other community school programs at Wayne, and organizing community groups interested in fundraising. Website: https://www.hamothealthfoundation.org/ and http://www.eriesd.org/communityschools

House of Mercy - Economic Development Revitalization VISTA (Erie): The House of Mercy will provide the support for a VISTA member to increase economic development and neighborhood revitalization on Buffalo Road in east Erie, PA. In year two, the VISTA member will develop and implement action steps within the strategic plan, host neighborhood and business focus groups, partner with other neighborhood revitalization organizations, secure funding for projects, and coordinate outreach. Website: http://www.houseofmercyerie.org/

Meadville Area Middle School (MAMS) - Youth Employment Opportunities VISTA (Meadville): The MAMS VISTA project focuses on increasing student engagement and developing leadership skills through employment opportunities and financial literacy education. In the final year of this project, the VISTA member will increase volunteer recruitment to support programming, job development, and fundraising, secure sustainable funding, develop additional service experiences and job opportunities, and evaluate programming and implement necessary changes. Website: http://www.craw.org/meadvilleareamiddleschool_home.aspx

Meadville Medical Center Foundation – One Meadville Organizer (Meadville): One Meadville is a collaboration of 37 community-based organizations looking to positively affect resilient youth, economic opportunities and health through collective impact strategies. In the initial year of this project, the VISTA member will serve as point person working with the three focus groups: Creating Resilient Youth, Economic Opportunity and Vibrancy, and Health & Wellness. The VISTA Member will assist with identifying best practices for engaging each of the 37 organizations’ user groups, provide technical support for subcommittee work, and maintain, update, and promote the One Meadville website. Website: http://onemeadville.com/about/

Mercy Center for Women (MCW) - Development VISTA (Erie): The final year of this project will focus on working with the Executive Director and Development Director to implement MCW Development Plan adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2013, as it relates to grants, researching major donors, planning annual fundraiser events, and bequest opportunities.The VISTA member will seek out best practiced programs and methods in use across the United States that MCW can implement for client programs and collaborate with program staff to seek creative solutions to the issues that hold women back from maintaining permanent housing. Website: http://mcwerie.org/

Mercyhurst University (MU) - School-Based Mentoring Program VISTA (Erie): Position Filled - In year two of this VISTA project, MU will continue its mentoring program relationship with JoAnna Connell School through Leadership JAM (JoAnna Connell and Mercyhurst) using student and adult volunteers to expand programming from sixth grade to also include seventh grade. The VISTA member will manage mentor resources, collaborate with team leaders to develop mentor training curriculum, coordinate program logistics, seek funding, document programming, assist in training new volunteers, and facilitate assessment. Website: http://www.mercyhurst.edu/

Mission Empower (ME) – Outreach Specialist (Erie): Position Filled  The VISTA member will implement Mission Read, a new pilot reading program geared toward 6-8 year old children who are dyslexic or demonstrate dyslexic tendencies. Mission Read uses evidenced based reading instruction proven to remediate dyslexia through the Barton Reading and Spelling curriculum. VISTA member activities will include: establishing outreach/recruitment protocols of volunteer tutors, enhancing partnerships within the community, and developing funds to insure program sustainability. Website: http://www.missionempower.org/

PA Soldiers and Sailors Home - Vet Specialist (Erie): Position Filled - Serving in the second year of the project, the VISTA member will coordinate current veteran’s services offered in Erie in order to establish a network to connect agencies, funds, and resources to each other and veterans. The VISTA member will focus on increasing awareness of and communication between veterans’ programs and/or organizations and usability of the Veterans Online Portal. Website: http://www.dmva.pa.gov/stateveteranshomes/PA-Soldiers-and-Sailors/Pages/default.aspx

Penn State Behrend – Food Security Liaison (Erie): Position Filled  This VISTA project will support the development and sustainability of community-based food systems utilizing the University’s strengths in research and outreach using the Waste Not program, campus food collections, Lion Pantry and the community garden as research tools for best practices that can be shared with individuals, community organizations, and members of the campus community. In the first year of this project, the VISTA member will focus efforts in three areas: food donation, growing food, and creating a food pantry. Website: http://behrend.psu.edu/

St. Martin Center (SMC) - Data/Program Analyst (Erie): Position Filled  A VISTA member will be utilized to improve SMC’s capacity to reduce poverty in Erie. VISTA resources will be utilized for three main functions: Analyze data in order to identify trends, client demographics, opportunities to enhance/ increase efficiency of programming and/or integrate/collaborate among programs; Assist SMC in securing new sources of funding based on data analysis; and Utilize data to provide assistance with program design. Website: http://www.stmartincenter.org/

Supports, Inc. - VITA VISTA (Meadville): In year two of this unique VISTA project provides assistance to two organizations: Supports, Inc. and Meadville’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The VISTA member will facilitate VITA’s efforts in increase funding and support the transition of VITA under a new organization. In regards to Supports, Inc. the VISTA member will secure funding to implement a variety of Supports’ goals aimed at increasing the quality of programming for clients. The VISTA member will focus on developing the Supports, Inc. strategic plan and identifying initiatives that align with their mission and can enhance efficiency of operations. Website: not available

Union City Family Support Center (UCFSC) - Parents as Teachers Outreach Coordinator (Union City): UCFSC’s VISTA project focuses on Parents as Teachers (PAT), an in-home, early-childhood education program for children ages prenatal to kindergarten. In the third year of this project, the VISTA member will be responsible for building the Friends of the Center volunteer program and increasing funds to support PAT. Website: http://ucfsc.org/

United Way of Erie County – Community Schools Liaison (Erie): Position Filled - United Way of Erie County is working to establish community schools throughout Erie County to align a full range of community resources with the specific needs of students, their families and their neighborhoods to ensure student success as measured by Shared Community School Outcomes. This VISTA project will assist in the capacity building efforts associated with the establishment of community schools.  By working with United Way, as the backbone organization, the VISTA member will be working to develop partnerships, assess data and outcomes, identify and coordinate training needs, implement quality assurance processes, and maintain a high level of transparency and communication. Website: http://www.unitedwayerie.org/ and http://www.eriesd.org/communityschools

Urban Erie Community Development Corporation: Employment Training and Access VISTA (Erie):Position Filled - The VISTA resources will sustain efforts to create a “Hope Zone” in which the surrounding neighborhood is saturated with employment, education, and financial opportunities to improve the quality of life for new Americans and others living within the neighborhood. The VISTA will support efforts to create small business initiatives and financial literacy educational programming.
Website: http://www.uecdc.org/uecdc2010/

Women's Services – Opioid Intervention Coordinator (Meadville): Position Filled  This new VISTA project will focus on curbing the escalating of life threatening drug abuse in Western Crawford County. Women’s Services will serve as the lead partner to oversee the VISTA member in working with key stakeholders to study demographics of recent deaths, study opioid related issues, facilitate the analysis of study findings, develop presentation materials, participate in community collaborations, serve as a liaison for opioid related work, and expand the Opioid Taskforce. Website: http://www.womensservicesinc.org/

YMCA Downtown Y of Greater Erie - Play and Learn Outreach Coordinator (Erie): Play & Learn is a free preschool like program that child and caregiver attend together and includes songs and 13 learning centers from books to puzzles, to listening and dress up that reinforce learning in preparation for kindergarten. In year one of this project, the VISTA member will support this program by assisting with program expansion, securing sustainable funding streams and partnerships and leveraging and managing volunteers. Website: http://www.ymcaerie.org/downtown/

YMCA Downtown Y of Greater Erie - Year-Round Meals Outreach Coordinator (Erie): Since 2010, the Y has been offering their Meals for Kids program – a year-round program that provides healthy meals to children. The Y renovated a 72- passenger bus into a mobile meals site for children, taking freshly prepared meals and enrichment activities into identified food deserts. In year one of this project, the VISTA member will research and secure funding, develop strategic partnerships, leverage and coordinate volunteer experiences, and seek like-minded nonprofits to connect children to additional resources. Website: http://www.ymcaerie.org/downtown/

YMCA Downtown Y of Greater Erie: Community Outreach Coordinator (Erie): This VISTA project will focus on two areas of programming: wellness for veterans and the Teen Center. Both programs are funded primarily through individual gifts and corporate contributions. The VISTA member will work in tandem with program directors and the VP of Financial Development to identify and secure funding streams, identify and secure partnerships that would result in program expansion and impact, leverage volunteers to augment staff resources and deliver program elements, and develop an additional measurement tool that would collect impact stories and data to support funding case for support. Website: http://www.ymcaerie.org/downtown/