WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, May 12, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,037,043 in federal funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support seven AmeriCorps VISTA projects across Virginia. The AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program is a national service program that supports organizations dedicated to reducing poverty and increasing economic opportunities in the United States.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, local organizations have played a vital role in supporting communities in need,” said the Senators. “We’re pleased that this funding will ensure that seven organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources to continue serving their communities as we recover from the devastating health and economic effects of the past year.”
The funding will be distributed as follows:
- In Alexandria, United Way Worldwide will receive $351,540 to increase access to economic opportunities by improving job readiness and increasing financial literacy.
- In Bristol, the Appalachian Sustainable Development will receive $105,462 to develop programming on sustainable food production and distribution of agricultural products for local farmers. Volunteers will also support efforts to increase access to affordable, healthy food in rural communities.
- In Lynchburg, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg will receive $35,154 to increase access to mentorship programs and services for low-income youth. The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg provides educational opportunities to youth in an effort to reduce high school drop-out rates.
- In Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation will receive $105,462 to expand access to job opportunities through career and workforce development.
- In Richmond, the Virginia Housing Alliance will receive $246,078 to support statewide and local homelessness response systems and increase access to affordable housing in the area.
- In Washington County, the Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority will receive $105,462 to assist with capacity building projects and the creation of a service delivery model across the Commonwealth.
- In Washington County, the Friends of Southwest Virginia will receive $87,885 to expand access to workforce development and improve job readiness.
The AmeriCorps VISTA program partners with non-profit organizations, schools, and local government agencies to reduce poverty through capacity building. AmeriCorps VISTA members focus on reducing homelessness and food insecurity, supporting community projects, and improving students’ academic performance. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have also been assisting local COVID-19 testing efforts and vaccine distribution.
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