VISTA Host Site Testimonials

“Every year, things get very overwhelming as the night of the homeless Point-in-Time Count approaches. This year, we implemented two new smartphone apps to assist with survey collections and navigation, accepted donations and distributed kits for the first time, and had a record number of volunteers participate. The event and its success would not have been possible without Sam’s dedication and work as a VISTA.”

-Brenda O’Connell, Lake County Coalition for the Homeless


“Stephanie accomplished unparalleled work on one of our biggest in-kind holiday campaigns ever. It was a giant undertaking to entirely revamp how we engaged 200+ volunteers and served 1500+ people with holiday stockings filled with much-needed goodies, but Stephanie put in a herculean amount of effort and demonstrated a level of responsibility that was awesome to say the least. We just could not have done it without her, and I never dreamed we could be as successful as we were in the first year of trying to build something new. To say that she surpassed my expectations would be an understatement. I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years, but our VISTA Stephanie is so far above average in terms of her work ethic, attention to detail, project management skill and positive attitude that she deserves the highest praise!”

-Betsy Leonard, Heartland Alliance


“Our VISTA [Emily] is more valuable than you’ll ever know. Two to three sentences is not enough to describe all the great work she’s done. She’s efficient, effective, timely, hard working, dedicated, talented, skilled, kind, compassionate, among many other things. We’re very lucky to have such a skilled and talented person on our team.”

-James Rudyk, Jr., Northwest Side Housing Center


We are truly grateful for the VISTA program. Housing Action Illinois continues to be a supportive partner throughout the VISTA process. Our VISTA, [Casey], has been a wonderful addition to the Oak Park Regional Housing Center. Through her hard work and commitment to social justice, we’ve improved our outreach efforts and will end the year with a tangible report on our agency’s model. I highly recommend that other groups take advantage of this opportunity and help to inspire future leaders of our movement.”

-Morgan Davis, Oak Park Regional Housing Center

 


[Mandy] is positively influencing the breadth and depth of faith community involvement in West Suburban PADS’ solution to homelessness. She has established systems and processes for assessing, summarizing and sharing congregational impact in measurable terms (e.g. hours, meals, people, dollars). She is making introductions and meaningful new connections throughout our 20-community service area and on the west side of Chicago. We love our VISTA!”

-Nancy Ford, West Suburban PADS

 


“Oliver has quickly become a valuable member of the Open Communities office.  He is responsible for our REO property investigation with the National Fair Housing Alliance.  His work is thorough and his enthusiasm for helping others has been a wonderful addition to the office.  He is intellectually curious and is willing to take on a wide variety of tasks.  We are thankful to have him as a VISTA Research Associate and look forward to continuing to work with him.”

-Viki Rivkin, Open Communities


“Zack has brought to our office new ideas, the enthusiasm of youth and the desire to take on new projects. He recently managed the East Bluff Planting Growth project. Neighborhood residents planted 1000 daffodil bulbs in key visual areas of the neighborhood. We’ll see the results in Spring 2014, and every Spring after.”

-Jane Genzel, Peoria Opportunities Foundation


“Having a VISTA through Housing Action Illinois has allowed Respond Now to further expand our Housing programming. We are on track to earn status as a HUD Housing Counseling agency thanks to the work of the VISTA. Further, [Carolyn] has brought further standards and processes to the housing programming that we already have in place. She has been great to work with! We are happy to have her on board.”

-Carl Wolf, Respond Now

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We need to make sure that everyone in IL has a good, stable home, including formerly incarcerated people. That's one reason we're co-leaders of the Just Housing Initiative, which focuses on barriers to housing in Cook County for people with records. prisonpolicy.org/rep…

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