Returning citizens face challenges obtaining safe, affordable housing. When basic housing needs go unmet, people transition from incarceration with nowhere to live, with dramatic consequences. We need better crosssector collaboration to make appropriate resources available. The Reentry Housing VISTA will help develop the capacity of reentry stakeholders (City departments, criminal justice agencies, Reentry Coalition service providers, formerly incarcerated Philadelphians) and housing stakeholders (City depts, task forces, housing agencies, service providers, landlords, real estate management companies) to implement cross-system initiatives to more effectively connect formerly incarcerated Philadelphians to safe, stable housing.
In Year 1, the Reentry Housing VISTA will research best practices, liaise with the Office of Homeless Services and the Reentry Coalition’s Housing Subcommittee to gather and disseminate information, and contribute to strategy development.
Research best practices for 1) landlord and real estate management company engagement, 2) public education about housing rights, 3) screening incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals’ housing needs, and 4) program elements of successful reentry housing services, including for special populations 5) cross-sector coordination of housing-related referrals and service linkages.
For each of those three areas, liaise with the Office of Homeless Services, the Department of Behavioral Health and disAbility Services, and the Reentry Coalition’s Housing Subcommittee to understand shared goals, gather and disseminate relevant information, and support the development of cross-system initiatives.
Identify related opportunities for training and capacity-building of stakeholders including City departments, criminal justice agencies, Reentry Coalition service providers, housing agencies, different types of landlords, and real estate management companies.
Preferred Skills/ Experience
Assertive or charismatic, dynamic and motivated
Flexible and adaptable
Comfortable working independently, taking initiative and making decisions within the framework of established goals and guidelines – as well as working effectively with team members/ in groups
Strong interpersonal skills, comfortable with outreach and interaction with diverse agencies and organizations, and their representatives
Resourceful, strong problem-solving skills
Possess basic qualitative and online research skills
Knowledge of standard software applications (comfortable on a computer)
Able to analyze and synthesize information direct services
What do Serve VISTAs do?
Each VISTA position is unique to the City department or initiative, but all Serve Philadelphia VISTAs build capacity. Capacity building activities can include, but are not limited to: • Creating tools, systems and guides like databases, policy briefs and marketing materials. • Generating resources through partnerships, volunteers and/or grant-writing. • Developing, organizing and/or assessing programs, events and/or meetings. • Supporting, establishing or strengthening cross-departmental and cross-sector partnerships.
US citizen or permanent resident*
Criminal background check (if accepted)
*See AmeriCorps VISTA FAQS for more info
Start date: July 20th, 2020 End date: July 20th, 2021 Term of Service: 1 year
Applications close April 30th 2020 11:59 PM Qualifications
Demonstrated interest in anti-poverty efforts, social justice and volunteerism.
Able to work and collaborate with diverse communities and stakeholders.
Strong organizational, time management and communication skills. • Open to new experiences and growth. Each individual VISTA position lists additional preferred qualifications that are relevant to that assignment.
Bi-weekly living stipend (approx. $542.22)
Segal Education Award ($6,195) or End of Service Award (approx. $1,800)
Relocating 50+ miles to serve: settling-in allowance of up to $750 and relocation travel allowance of $0.40/mile
Monthly SEPTA transportation pass (Zone 1)
Ten days of personal leave and ten days of medical leave
Healthcare Allowance or Health Benefit Plan
Loan Forbearance or Deferment for Federal Student Loans
+5 points on the City of Philadelphia’s Civil Service exam
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) for federal jobs
Monthly professional development and team building
Valuable work experience and networking with local government and partners
The Serve Philadelphia VISTA Program is committed to diversity and inclusion. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
Apply now: bit.ly/ServePhiladelphiaVISTA
Questions? Call us: (215) 686-0823 or email us: ServeVISTA@phila.gov