VISTA Member Full-Year Opportunities
All of the full-year positions are a one-year, full-time commitment officially beginning the week of July 23, 2018 and ending in July 2019.
Pre-Service Orientation will be held the week of July 23, 2018 in Helena, MT. This will be followed by a five-day On-Site Orientation Training will be held from July 30 through August 3, 2018
in Billings, Montana. Following orientation, the VISTA members will join their Host Sites to begin service!
City of Billings - Community Development Division
Billings Metro VISTA Project - Leader: Assist the City of Billings Community Development Division and over 30 VISTA members in impacting poverty and developing your skills as a VISTA Leader in Big Sky country! Leaders must have completed one year of national service, preferably an AmeriCorps VISTA term. They receive a higher living allowance and are provided with an additional $300 per month housing allowance.
Community-Wide Opioid & Methamphetamine Response Initiative: Opioid and methamphetamine use is on the rise in Billings / Yellowstone County as evidenced by an increase in drug-related crime, deaths, child abuse / neglect, and overflowing jails. While there are some efforts to highlight this epidemic, there is a lack of detailed data relative to needs and response priorities in Yellowstone County. A localized, community-wide assessment and coordinated response to the drug epidemic in Yellowstone County would mobilize resources to increase access to: health education on addiction; social service / substance abuse support; and prevention, intervention, and treatment programs. This three-year project is designed to build the capacity of the community and local organizations to respond to an increasing drug abuse epidemic.
Health & Crisis Services
Dog Tag Buddies - Increase awareness for Veterans! Dog Tag Buddies assists veterans in their recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries through the training and provision of support, service, and / or psychiatric service dogs. The VISTA member will help build the capacity of this new nonprofit to increase the organization’s ability to work with animal rescues and shelters to match dogs with veterans so they can fully recover and lead healthy, engaging lives.
HAVEN in Bozeman, MT - VISTA Increasing Health Services for Domestic Violence Survivors in Rural Montana: Improve access to crisis intervention services through the development and expansion of services specific to survivors of domestic violence suffering with addictions and / or who have been involved in sex trafficking. The VISTA member will conduct service expansion and program improvement activities in order to provide effective specialized treatment services, develop systems to train staff for organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and create a Volunteer Shift Leader program.
Alzheimer’s Association of Montana - Montana Veterans Access to Healthcare: Through this project, Montana Veterans and their families affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias will have increased access to no-cost and low-cost, quality support services, enhancing their ability to remain safely in their homes longer and avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations and costly long term care facilities.
Housing, Employment, & Financial Literacy
Dress for Success - Expanding Employment for Low Income Women: If you have a passion for social justice and women’s issues, this position is for you! Help this amazing organization diversify available funding to increase access to job training and employment for economically disadvantaged women. The project will expand service delivery to neighboring American Indian Reservations and includes volunteer development, marketing, and fund development.
Housing Authority of Billings - Media Marketing: Stable and affordable housing is a major determinate of economic opportunity. When families pay approximately 30% of total household income for housing, they are more able to pay for other essentials such as food, education, transportation, and healthcare. Creating a video and media marketing campaign ensures that the programs are reaching potential residents of public housing so they can reside in safe, affordable housing and break the cycle of poverty. This project will help alleviate poverty through the provision of safe, affordable housing to benefit economically disadvantaged individuals and families.
Billings Community Foundation - Access to Education through Community Impact: The goal of this project is to increase academic engagement and retention rates for first generation students through mentoring and community impact participation with Billings Community Foundation. The VISTA member will create a database of community partners, write a marketing plan, update a website, and support the Foundation’s education initiative.
Red Lodge Area Community Foundation - Workforce Housing in Red Lodge, Montana: Connecting people and building community by catalyzing change and sharing resources to build a strong, vibrant, resilient, inclusive community. As a small resort community, affordable housing is a big issue for the local workforce, many of which live in poverty and low-income situations (nearly 30% of households and families in Red Lodge make less than $25k a year.
Montana Department of Commerce, Helena, MT - Impacting Poverty via Economic Opportunity and Fair Housing Choice: There is significant evidence of minority segregation and correlating poverty across Montana. In Billings, Great Falls, Missoula and Helena, concentrations of minorities are only present in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a statewide plan to overcome barriers to housing choice and promote inclusivity. This will reduce concentrated poverty while improving access to: quality education; affordable housing; employment opportunities; and healthcare.
Child Education & Mentoring
Head Start - Explorer’s Academy - Enhancing Education and Parent Engagement: The overall goal of the project is to increase early childhood education by improving outreach to low income areas and increasing parental engagement in children’s learning at Explorers Academy. This project will alleviate poverty by improving parental engagement in their children’s learning, helping provide the foundation and educational skills children need to rise from poverty and achieve lifelong success.
: Every child has the right to a safe, permanent home. CASA of Yellowstone County facilitates volunteer mentor efforts to support abused and neglected children who have been placed in court system to obtain basic services, including protection from bodily harm and neglect, health / mental health services, education, and food security. Native American children are disproportionately represented in child protection cases (approximately 33 percent) while the overall Native American population in Billings is approximately four percent. Increasing the number of Native American mentors will provide children with cultural stability and the potential to maintain relationships with extended families and Tribal connectivity.
Wise Wonders Children’s Museum - Building STEAM - Expanding Education Opportunities: Wise Wonders is an emerging children’s museum and nonprofit organization with creative development exhibits and stations that allow self-directed learning for building creativity, divergent thinking, problem solving and encouraging innovation. The overall goal of the project is to increase academic engagement among low income students by providing STEAM After School Programming such as SciGirls, Project Wild, and Spark.