To stem the growing Opioid Epidemic, AmeriCorps is supporting Kansas City area substance abuse recovery programs through VISTA. The first group of VISTA volunteers began their work with local agencies on September 4, 2018.
The Kansas City Recovery Coalition is hosting VISTA volunteers to build capacity and sustainability for its front-line member organizations. One volunteer will devote his full-time efforts to the Coalition and will serve as the VISTA Leader for this effort. VISTAs are now working locally in low income, primarily minority communities that are being devastated by opioids and other drugs.
These efforts include:
- Researching funding opportunities and grant writing.
- Organizing training events and other meetings.
- Engaging in promotional activities including social media and newsletters.
- Meeting with decision makers and policy makers in the community.
- Supervising and recruiting volunteers.
KC Recovery Coalition Member Agencies with Current Placements:
- CommCARE (EPICC)
- Footprints/MAMA’s House
- Footprints/Heroes Home Gate
- Healing House
- Journey to New Life
- Sisters in Christ
Agencies Currently Seeking Full-time VISTA Workers:
Operated in partnership with Footprints, Inc., the project now has two new full-time managers thanks to a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Kansas City Recovery Coalition is hosting VISTA volunteers to build capacity and sustainability for its front-line member organizations.
Cenyeaa Williams, VISTA Supervisor
Cenyeaa has completed a Master of Science degree in Education in Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) completed in May 2019 at Fort Hays State University.
Following her completion of graduate school, Cenyeaa returned home to Kansas City and joined AmeriCorps VISTA. She completed one year of full-time national service as the VISTA Volunteer Coordinator at Journey to New Life which is a reentry program for ex-offenders. In this role, Cenyeaa developed and implemented a volunteer and outreach program to engage volunteers.
Cenyeaa now serves as the VISTA Project Supervisor with her office at Footprints, Inc. This allows her to work with all VISTA members and agency supervisors that host VISTAs under the Kansas City Recovery Coalition
To learn more, contact:
Learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA:
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by encouraging individuals from all walks of life to engage in a year of full-time service with a sponsoring organization. Their purpose is to create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Rather than providing cash grants, the VISTA program places individual VISTAs with sponsoring organizations.
VISTA provides a small living allowance and certain other benefits for members. Sponsoring organizations absorb most of the costs related to project supervision and logistical support. Investment by the sponsoring organization and the community is fundamental to the VISTA program, as the VISTA resource is intended to be short-term. The Corporation for National and Community Service has approximately 300,000 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members across the country.