Join Our AmeriCorps Network

National Service with Housing Action Illinois

Each year, Housing Action matches AmeriCorps members with community-based organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities.

AmeriCorps members take on a variety of roles at their host organizations, all aimed at helping our communities thrive. They expand the scale of programs and services, implement new projects, and build capacity to further the long-term sustainability of anti-poverty programs at their host organizations.

Since 2010, Housing Action has managed a network of AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program, with up to 30 full-year AmeriCorps members and 30+ AmeriCorps Summer Associates serving each year. AmeriCorps members serve at their host organizations for a full year or for eight to ten weeks as a Summer Associate (June through August).

We’re very proud of what our AmeriCorps members have accomplished over the years »

We're currently recruiting!

Interested in serving? View available opportunities, and apply to serve as a full-year AmeriCorps member or a Summer Associate.

Host an AmeriCorps Member

AmeriCorps members can help your organization build the capacity to advance its mission in new ways, implement pilot projects and new programs, and grow existing services and programs.

Each year, Housing Action matches up to 30 full-year AmeriCorps members and 30+ Summer Associates with host sites across the state. We typically accept applications for host sites from December to February (we notify applicants about a month after the deadline). We begin recruiting AmeriCorps members in March. Full-year AmeriCorps members usually begin in August, while Summer Associates begin in June. This page will be updated when the next application cycle opens.

Host sites must be members of the Housing Action Illinois coalition and pay a project participation fee to begin recruiting for their position once accepted. For more information, please see our most recent Host Site Application Instruction & Resource Packet »

Interested in Serving?

AmeriCorps is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. Since 2010, Housing Action has managed a network of AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program, with up to 30 full-year AmeriCorps members and 30+ AmeriCorps Summer Associates serving each year. As an AmeriCorps member, you help nonprofit organizations build their capacity to meet community needs by improving and expanding their services and creating new programs.

AmeriCorps members serve full-time at their host organizations. Service terms last either 12 months or for 8 to 10 weeks (Summer Associates serve between June and August). Find an opportunity that fits you »

What does service look like?

As a full-year AmeriCorps member in the VISTA program, you would perform indirect service, which includes activities that help an organization enhance its mission, strategy, skills, and infrastructure to fulfill its mission. You would serve in an office setting, and your responsibilities might include:

  • Writing grants
  • Organizing a volunteer program
  • Developing a curriculum for a training
  • Other kinds of program design and implementation

You won’t be working directly with people in need. Instead, you’ll be helping to expand the capabilities of your host organization to better serve its community. You might not see the impact immediately, but your host site will continue to benefit from your efforts long after your term of service ends.

If you think direct service—providing immediate solutions to people in need and includes activities like building a house, teaching a course, or mentoring a student—is a better fit for you, you may want to consider applying for one of our Summer Associate positions.

Full-year AmeriCorps members may not perform direct service, but Summer Associates can take on direct or indirect service.

What type of compensation and benefits are available?

AmeriCorps members are full-time volunteers—VISTA stands for Volunteers In Service To America. However, AmeriCorps members do receive a modest living allowance to help cover basic expenses. With approval from their supervisors, AmeriCorps members can also work a job in their spare time, but they must be available to serve during regular business hours.

Full-Year AmeriCorps Members

For full-year AmeriCorps members in Illinois, the living allowance is between $12,311 and $14,136 per year.

Summer Associates

Summer Associates can expect to receive a living allowance between $1,888 and $2,700 during service.
Benefits
In addition to the living allowance, you will also receive benefits as part of your AmeriCorps service:

Full-Year AmeriCorps Members

  • Choice of an Education Award ($6,345) or an End-of-Service Cash Stipend ($1,803)
  • Forbearance or deferment of student loan payments during term of service
  • Non-competitive eligibility status for federal jobs
  • Healthcare allowance
  • Leave Days: 10 personal & 10 medical
  • If Eligible: Relocation payment (up to $750)
  • If Eligible: Child Care Assistance
  • Chicago metro area only: Free unlimited Ventra or Metra pass

Summer Associates

  • Choice of an Education Award ($1,342) or an End-of-Service Cash Stipend ($345)
  • 1 or 2 sick days may be granted. However, because the term of service is so short, the hours must be made up.

Professional Development
Becoming an AmeriCorps member is a great way to serve your community while gaining experience at a community-based organization. The projects you take on as an AmeriCorps member help you develop marketable skills that can make you a competitive candidate when you apply to jobs and education programs after your term of service ends.

As a full-year AmeriCorps member, you will also participate in two In-Service Trainings (IST) as a part of your service. At the ISTs, which are specialized, multi-day, in-person training events, you will join other AmeriCorps members in your cohort to learn about topics and best practices relevant to your service. The first training, in the fall, will set you up for success during your term of service. The second, in the spring, helps you get ready to secure your next professional endeavor after you complete your term.

Ready to start building a career in affordable housing or homelessness? You can get to know others in the field through professional networking opportunities at Housing Action’s annual conference, which 250 housing practitioners from across Illinois attend each year.

Where do I sign up?

There are two ways to apply:

Use the AmeriCorps portal to apply to any of our currently open positions. Review this checklist to make sure you have gathered all the materials you need to apply.

Read detailed instructions on how to apply »

In some cases, you may be able to apply directly to the host organization. If so, you will typically send a resume and cover letter to the organization following instructions in their listing.

If you are offered a position, you will still need to complete an official AmeriCorps application through the portal to move forward.

Apply Now: Serve as an AmeriCorps Member

We are currently accepting applications for full-year AmeriCorps members and Summer Associates.

Full-Year Positions

This VISTA is an integral role in our ability to address the gap in the number of Chicago area families that have unmet basic needs and the number of families we’re currently able to provide support.
See individual listings for start dates and application deadlines.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. Our full-year AmeriCorps members commit to serve communities across Illinois full-time for a year. They fill a wide variety of roles aimed at expanding and improving the availability of good, accessible, affordable housing in Illinois.

All Chicago Making Homelessness History – Capacity Building VISTA
The Capacity Building VISTA will conduct outreach and develop tools and guides to support an enhancement of All Chicago’s approach to collaboration. The work will lead to improvements in client and system outcomes.

All Chicago Making Homelessness History – Chicago Rents Community Engagement VISTA
The Chicago Rents Community Engagement VISTA will conduct outreach and develop tools and guides to support an enhancement of All Chicago’s approach to collaboration. The work will lead to improvements in client and system outcomes.

All Chicago Making Homelessness History – Continuum of Care Program VISTA
The CoC VISTA will strengthen efforts to serve individuals experiencing homelessness in Chicago by increasing efficiencies in connections to community partners, best practices, and data collection.

Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County – Community Engagement Liaison VISTA (Filled)
The Community Engagement Liaison VISTA will advance the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County’s work to end homelessness by increasing awareness about available housing resources, building capacity of community organizations, and centering the voices of people with lived experience.

Brightpoint Development Fund – Financial Empowerment Specialist VISTA
The Financial Empowerment VISTA will identify and implement recommended improvements that increase Brightpoint Development Fund’s capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver financial empowerment and cooking classes, and current agency programming.

Chicago Furniture Bank – Partnerships and Communications VISTA
Four walls and a roof alone don’t make a home. The Partnerships and Communications VISTA will establish a communications strategy, conduct research, and build partnerships to prove that, while furnishing 3,000 homes next year.

Chicago Furniture Bank – Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement VISTA
Four walls and a roof alone don’t make a home. The Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement VISTA will redesign the Chicago Furniture Bank’s volunteer program so the agency can recruit 300 volunteers to furnish 3,000 homes next year.

Chicago Rehab Network – Community-Building and Outreach VISTA
Expand CRN’s coalition of affordable housing stakeholders, grow CRN’s digital presence and engagement, and ensure the sustainability of our technical assistance program for co-ops.

Connections for the Homeless – Community Education Coordinator VISTA
Join Connections for the Homeless in preventing and ending homelessness in northern Cook County! The Community Education Coordinator VISTA will create ways for community members to use their voices to make change and demystify affordable housing.

Connections for the Homeless – Volunteer Coordinator VISTA
Join Connections for the Homeless in preventing and ending homelessness in northern Cook County! The Volunteer Coordinator VISTA will build relationships with the community and work toward a shared vision where everyone has a safe, stable place to call home.

CSH – Supportive Housing Pipeline Coordinator VISTA
The Corporation for Supportive Housing seeks an AmeriCorps member to serve as the Supportive Housing Pipeline Coordinator to assist in overseeing a Chicago housing development application process.

DuPage Habitat for Humanity – Outreach and Program Enhancement VISTA
The Outreach and Program Enhancement VISTA will have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge regarding the home intake process while also working with affiliate staff to create mutually beneficial community partnerships.

Facing Forward to End Homelessness – Marketing and Digital Media VISTA
Facing Forward to End Homelessness is seeking a dynamic, driven, and creative Marketing and Digital Media VISTA to join the Development Department’s marketing and communications efforts.

Garfield Park Community Council – Communications Associate VISTA
The Garfield Park Community Council is seeking a Communications Associate to build the capacity of its housing outreach and communications efforts on Chicago’s West Side.

Garfield Park Community Council – Data and Evaluation Associate VISTA
The Garfield Park Community Council is seeking a Data and Evaluation Associate to help create and preserve affordable housing while reducing displacement of legacy residents on Chicago’s West Side.

Hesed House – Volunteer Marketing and Training Coordinator VISTA
Resurrect the Hesed House on-site group volunteering program, which was obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Volunteer Marketing and Training Coordinator VISTA will determine new volunteer roles and safety protocols and recruit groups to serve on-site.

HOPE Fair Housing Center – Fair Housing Development VISTA 
Raise awareness and grow accessibility of resources to communities, families, and individuals affected by housing discrimination in southern and central Illinois.

Housing Action Illinois – Communications and Membership VISTA (Filled)
Housing Action Illinois is looking for a Communications and Membership VISTA who is passionate about housing justice to build public understanding of issues, engage and cultivate our member organizations, gather stories, and help diversity our funding.

Housing Action Illinois – AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Serve as a leader of Housing Action’s AmeriCorps Network: selecting organizations that host positions, recruiting and interviewing candidates, and coordinating current members.

Housing Choice Partners of Illinois – Community Engagement Coordinator VISTA (Filled)
Housing Choice Partners of Illinois seeks a curious, creative and resourceful Community Engagement Coordinator VISTA with excellent communication skills and interest in program evaluation, recruitment, and marketing to increase organizational capacity.

Housing Forward – Coalition Liaison and Program Associate VISTA 
Build capacity for Housing Forward by creating more efficient and effective operating processes and coordinating the local coalition that aim to eradicate homelessness.

Justine PETERSEN – Housing VISTA
The Housing VISTA will join Justine PETERSEN to build assets and change lives by addressing housing insecurity through homebuyer education, the Alton Home Repair program, and improving the agency’s client management systems.

NeighborScapes – Development Coordinator VISTA
The Development Coordinator VISTA will create a development and communications strategy that amplifies public awareness of NeighborScapes’ work and inspires giving from donors.

Northern Illinois ReACH – Housing Retention Coordinator VISTA
Improve data tracking systems, update documents/forms/packets as necessary, and engage residents and community partners in the process to prevent evictions. 

Northwest Side Community Development Corporation – Program and Community Organizing VISTA
The Program and Community Organizing VISTA will serve with Northwest Side CDC to help residents escape poverty and secure affordable housing through equitable community organizing and community development strategies.

Northwest Side Housing Center – Digital Literacy Specialist VISTA
The Digital Literacy Specialist VISTA will help staff and residents improve their tech competencies to respond to the needs of the community in this digitally driven pandemic.

Oak Park Regional Housing Center – Outreach and Data Specialist VISTA
The Outreach and Data Specialist VISTA will improve Oak Park Regional Housing Center’s database, community outreach, fundraising events, survey targeted audiences, boost funding, and recruit volunteers to help the agency meet its mission.

PADS Lake County – In-Kind Donation and Volunteer Management VISTA
PADS Lake County offers a comprehensive approach to combatting homelessness in Lake County, IL. The In-Kind Donation and Volunteer Management VISTA will develop systems to support the agency’s volunteer management and in-kind donations.

Share our Spares – Data & Development VISTA
This VISTA will be integral in our ability to meet the essential needs of families in Chicago by leveraging the current donor database, fundraising events, donor engagement plan, stakeholder surveys.

Share our Spares – Programs & Operations VISTA
This VISTA is an integral role in our ability to address the gap in the number of Chicago area families that have unmet basic needs and the number of families we’re currently able to provide support.

The Smart Museum of Art at The University of Chicago – Housing + History Collaborations VISTA
Tie together relations between several Chicago organizations to support and uphold community histories.

Spanish Coalition for Housing – Development Associate VISTA
The Development Associate VISTA will research successful strategies to engage current donors and identify grant and fundraising opportunities that are mission-aligned.

Territory NFP – Youth Program Development VISTA
Territory NFP is an urban design team program for young people who want to have a positive impact on their communities. The Youth Program Development VISTA’s responsibilities include program assessment and creating a program toolkit.

Summer Associate Positions

Update: The deadline for Summer Associate positions has passed.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. Our Summer Associates commit to serve communities across Illinois full-time for eight to ten weeks during June, July, and August. They fill a wide variety of roles aimed at expanding and improving the availability of good, accessible, affordable housing in Illinois.

Access Living – Housing Counseling Summer Associate
The Housing Counseling Summer Associate is responsible for helping to implement programs that achieve and advocate for consumers to find integrated housing options.

Architreasures – Fundraising VISTA Summer Associate
The Fundraising VISTA Summer Associate will support the planning, development, and implementation of Architreasures’ annual Jewels fundraiser and help create guidelines for future events.

Brightpoint Development Fund – HEALing Kitchen Coordinator Summer Associate
The HEALing Kitchen Coordinator Summer Associate will assist the Planning Coordinator in expanding Brightpoint Development Fund’s capacity to increase the number of participants of the HEALing Kitchen cooking classes.

Centro Romero – Youth Program VISTA Summer Associate
Help kids learn! The Youth Program VISTA Summer Associate will assist children in grades 1–8 with tutoring in academic subjects and informal peer counseling and mentoring in recreational, arts-based, and social programs.

Centro Romero – Fundraising VISTA Summer Associate
Learn a new skill! The Fundraising VISTA Summer Associate will create fundraising events to increase amounts raised through sponsorships, ticket sales, silent auction items, a raffle, and ads in the program booklet.

Chicago Furniture Bank – Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement Summer Associate
Four walls and a roof alone don’t make a home. The Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement Summer Associate will redesign Chicago Furniture Bank’s volunteer program over the summer so the agency can recruit volunteers to furnish 3,000 homes next year.

DuPage Habitat for Humanity – Construction Volunteer Liaison Summer Associate
The Construction Volunteer Liaison Summer Associate will work to expand DuPage Habitat’s Volunteer Personas ladder by working alongside volunteers daily to research, assist in, and provide feedback for next steps and create a plan of continued engagement.

Garfield Park Community Council – Garden and Market VISTA Summer Associate
The Garfield Park Community Council (GPCC) is seeking three Garden and Market VISTA Summer Associates to increase food security on Chicago’s West Side in the Garfield Park neighborhood.

Hesed House – Family Activities Coordinator Summer Associate
The Family Activities Coordinator Summer Associate will reduce the stress of living in a homeless shelter and increase family bonding by creating and implementing family activities in the Hesed House Family Shelter.

Hesed House – New Donations Space Upgrade Summer Associate
The New Donations Space Upgrade Summer Associate will improve the safety and efficiency of Hesed House’s new donations intake and processing space by upgrading the walls, floors, and organizing space.

Hesed House – Safety Resource Development Summer Associate
The Safety Resource Development Summer Associate will improve service delivery at Hesed House by creating safety procedure manuals for both the new men’s shelter and women’s shelter.

Hesed House – Shelter Phone Charging Hubs Summer Associate
The Shelter Phone Charging Hubs Summer Associate will help Hesed House’s guests remove a barrier in ending homelessness by implementing secure, efficient phone charging hub systems in four shelter spaces. General technical and building skills preferred.

Hesed House – Shelter Walls Weatherization Coordinator Summer Associate
The Shelter Walls Weatherization Coordinator Summer Associate will provide a safe shelter space for over 100 men per night by weatherizing the outside walls to prevent further deterioration and protect the newly built social distancing shelter at Hesed House.

Hesed House – Food Donations Coordinator Summer Associate
The Food Donations Coordinator Summer Associate will create and implement a policy on the sorting, storage, and rotation of food donations, as well as research and promote community partnerships for the distribution of excess food donations.

HOPE Fair Housing Center – Capacity Building Event Planner Summer Associate
Create a basis for best practices in planning, coordinating, and executing HOPE events, and plan a major community outreach event in July.

Housing Choice Partners of Illinois – Community Engagement Coordinator Summer Associate
Housing Choice Partners seeks a curious, creative, and resourceful Community Engagement Coordinator Summer Associate with excellent communication skills and experience in data tracking, analysis, and evaluation to help increase program capacity.

LUCHA – Resident Services Summer Associate
The Resident Services Summer Associate will implement and coordinate virtual programs for families in Humboldt Park, from cooking classes to art and dance programs, as well as learn about affordable housing and support families during the pandemic.

NeighborScapes – Research and Community Engagement Summer Associate
NeighborScapes is seeking someone to conduct and collect best practices for improving our communication, fundraising, and programming.

The Smart Museum of Art at The University of Chicago – Teen Empowerment Teaching Artist Summer Associate
This VISTA ties together relations between several Chicago organizations to support and uphold community histories.

South Suburban Housing Center – Web Designer Summer Associate
The Web Designer Summer Associate will redesign South Suburban Housing Center’s website and establish better digital client intake processes. South Suburban Housing Center is a fair housing and housing counseling agency.

Spanish Coalition for Housing – Client Liaison Summer Associate
Spanish Coalition for Housing seeks a Client Liaison Summer Associate who will provide critical updates to clients seeking housing counseling assistance and collect essential documents needed to process applications.

Territory NFP – Youth Program Development Summer Associate
The Youth Program Development Summer Associate will co-lead an urban design team with young people who want to have a positive impact on their communities, as well as assess program outcomes for teens and funders, create a rubric, and facilitate a design team.

Learn about Our Network!

Want to hear from others who have hosted an AmeriCorps member? Check out testimonials from our AmeriCorps members’ supervisors »

Lazarus House Spotlight: Rooted in Community

Lazarus House Spotlight: Rooted in Community

Lazarus House, an emergency shelter in St. Charles, Illinois, first opened its doors in 1997. In the 24 years since then, its mission has always been to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness or those at risk of becoming homeless. The organization...

New Initiative: Introducing the Housing Counseling Corps

New Initiative: Introducing the Housing Counseling Corps

Housing Action Illinois is excited to bring together two of our programs—supporting housing counseling agencies and managing a network of AmeriCorps VISTA Members—for a new initiative: the Housing Counseling Corps. We plan to launch this initiative in the fall of...

Alumni Spotlight: From AmeriCorps to Assistant Attorney General

Alumni Spotlight: From AmeriCorps to Assistant Attorney General

When Dan Kallio finished law school, he knew he wanted to spend a year giving back to the community before beginning his law career. Today, his impressive resume includes his current position as Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney...

Tara Joy: More People Need to Know About Fair Housing

Tara Joy: More People Need to Know About Fair Housing

“I had a few friends and acquaintances who served in AmeriCorps before and recommended the experience,” explains Tara Joy when asked how she first became interested in a year of service. “I was also interested in learning more about working in affordable/fair housing,...

Russell Star-Lack: Cooperating for Co-Ops

Russell Star-Lack: Cooperating for Co-Ops

Russell Star-Lack first became interested in housing during college, when he was researching and documenting the history of housing discrimination in the Twin Cities. He wanted to put his knowledge to good use and thought that “AmeriCorps seemed like a great way to...

Now Accepting Applications for 2021 – 2022 VISTA Positions

Now Accepting Applications for 2021 – 2022 VISTA Positions

Each year, Housing Action matches AmeriCorps members with community-based organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. AmeriCorps members take on a...