VISTA recruiting tips?

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Hi all, I'm wondering how recruiting efforts are going for everyone across the country. We're having some trouble recruiting to our rural area. We are getting some really awesome candidates that are very interested until the final interview phase. My suspicion is that the difficulty of finding housing in our rural area is a huge deterrent. We have a dorm-style living option that works for some, but those who are older, have pets, or want to come with significant others don't want to live in that housing situation and feel they can't afford other options. Any hints or helpful ideas to help us out would be appreciated! 

Here are my suggestions:

Recurit High School or College graduates. I joined VISTA right after college and moved to a rural town in Wyoming. I was pretty open about where I lived since I did not want to have to move back in my parents.

Also remind them about the work they will be doing and the organization they are becoming a part of. They are national service volunteers, part of the domestic peace corps, etc. 

I hope some of this helps! 

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Thanks, this is helpful! We definitely have an easier time recruiting VISTAs just out of college, but we get some great non-traditional applicants that usually turn down our offers due to budgeting concerns. I'm just always so disappointed to lose them! 

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I understand what you are going through! I am currently recruiting for 6 additional VISTA members here in Beaumont, TX. We are not a rural area but do have a lack of housing due to the different devistations that have been happening in South East Texas. Our plight as well is housing - especially for those moving to the area for a service opportunity. 

Some things that I have been doing:

Search eGrants and "Potential applicants" I use a date and area code criteria - all of the individuals that are generated have created a profile in my.americorps. I then email each of the individuals introducing myself, the project and what we are doing to eradicate poverty. 

I have also joined Handshake and submitted our VISTA service opportunity to colleges. 

I wish you best in your recruiting endeavors. 

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Hi Cathryn, I have a side question for you. I have had extreme trouble getting access to egrants, even though my supervisor followed all the instructions the help line gave us. If you're a VISTA Leader, do you have any steps or suggestions that we may have missed along the way? Other than having my supervisor call and see what the help line can do, I'm hoping maybe we can figure it out before that. I have heard that being able to recruit using egrants is helpful/beneficial, in addition to your comment, and I was hoping I could help my project with recruiting before my term is over.

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Our site is from Wyoming as well! Every single one of our VISTAs have come from other states and are fresh out of schooling (usually taking a gap year). A lot of our applicants come straight from the portal, but we've been trying to drum up some interest in surrounding High Schools and Colleges with panels, talks in classrooms, flyers, and tabling in the student union. We've also had a hard time with housing and I would definitely send you a document we use to help out with that if you're interested!

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I would love to see your housing document! I am actually trying to put a guide to the local area for incoming VISTAs, and any examples would help!

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I get a lot of response on Indeed but most of my recruiting is through egrants. We also have an issue with housing here. I sugest looking into Airbnb for monthly housing. There are some great options there with all amenities included. Another option that works for us here are income based apartments. The stipend is low enough to qualify the VISTA for reduced rent.

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While VISTA is a great way to launch one's career for recent college grads, I think a term of service could be very helpful for other people who are looking to re-enter the workforce , such as parents and caregivers who have taken time off for family and are looking to return to the workforce and people looking for a career change; and people who have retired but still want to serve their community.  

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