New Funding to Improve Community Health and Alleviate Poverty

Published on February 18, 2022

On February 10, 2022, Representative Sharice Davids announced that AmeriCorps awarded $689,595 to the United Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS to improve community health and alleviate poverty by placing AmeriCorps VISTA members in the Kansas Third. This funding, renewed for the eighth year, allows 35 year-round and 20 summer members to work full-time on fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment to engage, empower, and improve the community.

“The AmeriCorps VISTA program has a rich history of enacting real change where it is needed most – on the ground, in communities,” said Davids. “Over the past two years, as the pandemic exacerbated the effects of poverty on many Kansas families, AmeriCorps members helped folks across Wyandotte County access resources, get vaccinated, and stay healthy. With the American Rescue Plan continuing to fuel our pandemic recovery and these extra hands on board, I am excited to see what AmeriCorps VISTA can accomplish this year.”

“The Unified Government is a proud AmeriCorps grantee. With the continued support from AmeriCorps and specifically the AmeriCorps North Central Regional Office, we have seen impacts in areas from community engagement and outreach to violence prevention and everything in between,” said Alli Zuel, AmeriCorps Initiatives Supervisor, Unified Government Public Health Department. “We have had AmeriCorps members in our program coordinate 700+ volunteers in our COVID-19 vaccination clinics, support local organizations with programming and communications, and assist with the implementation of new programs all right here in WyCo. AmeriCorps members are helping us work towards a healthier and safer Wyandotte County.”

Over the past 8 years, United Government AmeriCorps members have worked with 90 individuals, making it the largest VISTA intermediary program in Kansas. Members work on projects surrounding local health initiatives, neighborhood revitalization efforts, and capacity building for organizations that are supporting sustainable solutions to poverty in Wyandotte County.


AmeriCorps tackles the nation’s most pressing challenges by engaging more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps Seniors, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and other national service initiatives. It is the nation's largest annual grant maker supporting service and volunteering. President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, officially designating AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service as an independent federal agency.

Since 1965, over 220,000 AmeriCorps members in the VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program have joined the fight against poverty by helping local organizations such as a nonprofit, faith-based organization, college or university, or local government agency expand their capacity to make change. The VISTA program serves in each of the 50 U.S. states and in all U.S. territories.

In total, $1,082,427 will be awarded to Kansas through two AmeriCorps VISTA awards, one to Unified Government and another to Storytime Village, Inc., in Sedgwick, KS. As a result of their service, the AmeriCorps members supported by these awards are eligible for up to $390,738 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.

There are currently around a dozen open positions with AmeriCorps VISTA United Government. The organization will also begin recruiting summer associate members soon. More information on how to apply for the VISTA program or host AmeriCorps members at your organization can be found here.