Job Summary

Our 2019 VISTA Leader will be passionate about housing justice, eager to support changemakers already working in the community, and interested in recruiting new VISTA members who are a good fit for a term of service. The Leader will help us train and support 30 full-year AmeriCorps VISTA members and 30+ VISTA Summer Associates through mentorship, training, mediation, and promoting professional development. The Leader will also aid in expanding and improving our AmeriCorps VISTA program by evaluating potential host sites of VISTA positions and streamlining existing systems and processes.

About Housing Action Illinois

Housing Action Illinois has led the movement for affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. We unite a statewide coalition of more than 160 organizations dedicated to protecting and expanding the availability of quality affordable housing throughout. We believe that housing is a human right and envision an Illinois in which everyone has a good, stable home. We work toward this by advocating for laws and policies that help renters and homeowners; building the capacity of our member organizations through training and resource development; and educating and organizing the public and agencies throughout Illinois.

About the Housing Action VISTA Network

Housing Action Illinois manages a network of 30 full-year AmeriCorps VISTA Members and 30+ Summer Associate VISTAs placed with our member organizations around the state. AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed specifically to end poverty; our VISTAs fill a wide variety of roles, but all are aimed at helping our communities thrive. Our VISTA project was started in 2010. In just the last year, our VISTAs recruited and managed nearly 6,000 volunteers and raised more than $550,000 in cash and in-kind donations, as well as undertaking projects to educate renters and first-time homeowners, evaluate the impact of food deserts on under-resourced communities, and more.


  • Welcome and support new VISTAs as they begin their service year. Help the incoming VISTAs establish strong relationships with supervisors, provide guidance as they transition into a term of service, and identify opportunities for their professional development.
  • Plan orientations, facilitate retreats, and maintain communication with VISTA members and supervisors. Conduct site visits to assess how projects are helping organizations and communities thrive and troubleshoot problems.
  • Facilitate the close of service process for current VISTA members, keeping track of deadlines and helping them as they seek out educational, service, or employment opportunities.
  • Evaluate host site applications, conduct outreach to potential host sites, and select eligible projects.
  • Recruit and screen prospective VISTA members: conduct interviews, assist in selection process, and welcome those selected to serve.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Individuals are eligible to serve as Leaders only if they have successfully completed at least one term of service with AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), or one traditional term of service as a Peace Corps volunteer.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong problem-solving and mediation skills.
  • Ability to interact respectfully with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
  • Good interpersonal skills and flexibility within a small office essential, along with confidentiality and thoroughness.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills, as well as good organizational and computer skills.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings as needed. Willingness to travel around the state; valid driver’s license a plus.
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred.
  • A good sense of humor and appreciation for the challenges, joys, trials, and tribulations of working in the nonprofit world.

Salary and Benefits

Salary: Bi-weekly living allowance of $634.20, as well as end-of service choice between education award ($6,095) or cash stipend ($3,000).

Benefits: Unlimited monthly Ventra or Metra pass provided; forbearance or deferment of federal student loans; non-competitive eligibility status for government positions; healthcare allowance; 10 personal days and 10 paid sick days. See full description online at The VISTA Campus.


To Apply

We will be reviewing and responding to resumes on a rolling basis.

Submit a resume and statement of purpose addressing the following questions to Housing Action Illinois’ Outreach Coordinator, Willie Heineke ( 

  • Why do you want to serve another term of service as a VISTA Leader as opposed to traditional employment?
  • Why will you succeed in a VISTA Leader position?
  • Why do you want to join the Housing Action VISTA Network as opposed to other national service programs?


Housing Action Illinois does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, VISTA Members and Summer Associates, vendors, subcontractors, volunteers, and clientele.

Applicants need to be over 18 years old when they start their AmeriCorps VISTA service and must have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens, or persons legally residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status. By law, only VISTA members who are either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens—sometimes referred to as “Lawful Permanent Residents”—are eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award.  All other members will receive an end of service cash stipend. There is no upper age limit to apply to AmeriCorps VISTA.