Karen Wittmer, Hamilton’s program coordinator for volunteers, said the $25,000 and the VISTA workers’ duties are “all about improving neighborhood blight.”
“Once they’re here and we get more into it, it could be working on a block in the city that needs some work,” she said, noting the work should start shortly after Labor Day. “They’ll work with the 17Strong committee.”
Erwin said officials are looking for VISTA workers in Hamilton and the other nine winning cities, which include Buffalo, N.Y.; Gary, Ind.; Hartford, Conn.; Huntington, W.Va.; Lancaster, Pa.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Newark, N.J.; Richmond, Va.; and South Bend, Ind.
People interested in learning about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, or applying for it, can go to my.americorps.gov or the anti-blight program itself at www.citiesofservice.org.
“The VISTA members do a lot of face-to-face community outreach, and also, in city hall, preparing for this new mini-grant program, building the infrastructure that is needed, things like creating an application, requests for proposals, parameters for the grant, and getting internal partners on board,” Erwin said.