The Coalition was sad to say goodbye to our two AmeriCorps VISTA Members last week: Justin and Grace, we will miss you!
"AmeriCorps VISTA places individuals with nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments to expand reach and deepen impact in making sustainable change that alleviates the impact of poverty. Through fundraising, volunteer recruitment, program development, and more, AmeriCorps members gain experience and leadership skills that put them on track for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector." If you aren't familiar with this incredible program, check out their website to find out more about the impact AmeriCorps has in our State.
Upon my arrival at VAHC I had the opportunity to briefly get to know Sara and Talya before they left, and in watching them train Justin and Grace my eyes were opened to how much work these roles provide for the Coalition. As my first year unfolded, I couldn't help but notice that the training only told part of the story. I also learned of the long term impact these roles have made through the years.
"Voices of Home" was born of an AmeriCorps Project. Our Dues Drive, and it's "back of the house" infrastructure is thanks to AmeriCorps VISTA Members. Much of our administrative process, and communications work is all thanks to AmeriCorps.
In addition to the tangible impact they leave behind, Justin and Grace (and all those who came before them) have brought a level of passion and energy to our work that is truly inspiring. Not only will I miss having them around, but our movement is both blessed for having had them, and at a loss upon their departure. With the labor market what it is, across Vermont organizations have struggled to fill their VISTA positions. In fact, only 9 of the available 35 positions were filled state wide.
As the Coalition moves forward, we do so fully cognizant of the shoulders upon which we stand. Grace and Justin are now among them: counted in the long list of names that have stood up and rallied for those whose voices so often go unheard. These names make up the growing roster of a movement: a movement dedicated to increasing access to safe, decent, perpetually affordable housing for all Vermonters.
Join us at our Annual Meeting on September 21. There's a line for your name on the roster of this movement too!