Open VISTA Positions


Build professional nonprofit and public service skills while building community! The Mercy Corps Northwest AmeriCorps VISTA Program seeks applicants passionate about economic justice to join a cohort of AmeriCorps members that will begin a year of public service on February 16th, 2021.

Mercy Corps Northwest AmeriCorps members oversee projects that build the long-term capacity of their communities through financial education, job skills training, microenterprise & asset development, affordable housing, homeless services, food security, and disaster preparedness. While the programs that AmeriCorps members develop endure for years, AmeriCorps members perform only indirect service; interaction with clients will be limited and the member will spend the majority of their time in an office setting*. However, AmeriCorps service offers the opportunity to gain advanced project management skills and exercise creativity in implementing a program—skills highly desired by employers.

*Please note: AmeriCorps members serving with the Mercy Corps Northwest cohort are placed in different non-profits around Oregon; most positions are located in the Portland Metro Area. Please check the location of the specific position before applying and note that in some cases, rural sites may require that you have reliable transportation. Currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most VISTAs are serving remotely from home. At this time, VISTAs are not required to relocate to serve prior to their start date unless it’s safe to do so. The decision to relocate and serve on-site will be determined by the VISTA in partnership with their host organization. More information on COVID-19 and AmeriCorps service can be found on the AmeriCorps website here. 


We are currently recruiting for several positions to begin on February 16th, 2021. Please see descriptions of open positions below and click on the “learn more and apply to this position here” link after each position to apply directly through the MyAmeriCorps site! 


Eligibility and Qualifications for Service

To be eligible for AmeriCorps service, a candidate must:

  • Be 18 years or older (no upper age limit)
  • Pass a national service criminal history check
  • Hold one of the following citizenship or legal residency statuses: 
    • US citizen 
    • US National 
    • Lawful Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card status)
    • Persons legally residing within a state with the following classifications: refugee, asylee, temporary protected status throughout AmeriCorps service, or holding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status
  • Able to start by the start date noted in the position listing


Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment to community/public service
  • Intercultural communication skills and experience working within diverse communities
  • Preference given to those with lived experience in economically diverse environments 
  • Strong volunteer/community service experience
  • High school diploma or GED required; Bachelor’s degree, or 4 years of relevant work experience, or a combination preferred (college degree is NOT required)
  • Strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills 
  • Proven ability to solve problems and be flexible
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and work well in a team environment 
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive preferred

Please note: AmeriCorps positions may require their own specific skills and qualifications not shown in the list above. Please see more details on skills and qualifications for specific AmeriCorps positions in the current listings linked below. 



AmeriCorps Members and Leaders serving with the Mercy Corps Northwest cohort receive several benefits including a modest living allowance, an end of service benefit, MCNW-exclusive supplemental benefits, and more. Full details on pay and benefits are located in our FAQ


How to Apply

  1. Review open positions below and click the link after the description to apply to that particular position.
  2. You will be prompted to create an account on the portal before applying. If you already have one created, please log in. 
  3. Once your account is created, submit your application to the position(s) you’re interested in on the portal (you may submit your application to up to 10 positions in the portal).
  4. If your application is a match, the supervisor for the position will reach out within 2 weeks for an interview.


    • Applicants must submit an application through the portal via the links provided after each position description below. No other application materials will be accepted.


    • Positions will be open until January 11th, 2021, unless filled sooner. Early applications are strongly encouraged as selections are made on a rolling basis.


    • Have questions or need support navigating the AmeriCorps application process?
        • Review our How to Submit an AmeriCorps Application document for step-by-step instructions on completing your AmeriCorps application
        • Drop in to one of our weekly *virtual* office hour sessions to chat with one of our team members and get your questions answered! Available most Fridays between 12-1 pm Pacific Standard Time from December 4th-January 8th (not available Dec 25th & Jan 1st). Join anytime between 12-1 pm PST via this ZOOM meeting link.


Open Positions


Mercy Corps Northwest VISTA Leader
Host organization: Mercy Corps Northwest, Portland
Location: Portland, Oregon

Based at Mercy Corps Northwest in Portland, OR, the VISTA Leader serves directly with the Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) AmeriCorps Program—a team of 20 AmeriCorps Members and 2 VISTA Leaders managed by MCNW and stationed at nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state. Major functions of the role include: coordinating & planning member trainings, mentoring members & resolving conflicts, coordinating/conducting site visits, collecting reports & managing data, supporting member recruitment, and conducting outreach efforts. Learn more and apply to this position here.


PLEASE NOTE: Individuals are only eligible to serve as VISTA Leaders 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 Peace Corps. For more information on the difference between Members and Leaders, see our Applicant FAQ here


Emergency Preparedness Program Specialist 
Host Organization: Home Forward
Location: Portland, Oregon

Home Forward works to assure that the people of the community are sheltered. Home Forward has a special responsibility to those who encounter barriers to housing because of income, disability, or special needs. The Home Forward community incorporates all of Multnomah County, including the cities of Gresham, Fairview, Portland, Troutdale, and other East County communities. The AmeriCorps member placed at Home Forward will assist in developing disaster preparedness and resilience programming among low-income households of all abilities in order to mitigate the effects of a major disaster on people experiencing poverty.
Major functions of the role include: research, data collection and disaster preparedness program development for low-income households.
Learn more and apply to this position here


Volunteer & In-Kind Donations Program Designer 
Host Organization: Human Solutions
Location: Portland, Oregon

Human Solutions, located in Portland, Oregon, counters the forces that keep people and communities in poverty by building relationships and assets that create opportunity. Human Solutions achieves this by partnering with communities impacted by poverty so they can achieve long-term housing and economic security, investing in affordable housing and community assets, and advocating for policies and investments that expand housing and economic opportunity. The VISTA member placed at Human Solutions will help end poverty by assisting in developing an effective, well-functioning, and trauma-informed volunteer and in-kind donations program that engages community members and  ensures clients get the resources they need to become housing and income secure. Major functions of the role include: strengthening design of volunteer and in-kind donation programs, supporting the implementation of new volunteer coordination and recruiting systems and software, and creating program materials and training videos. Learn more and apply to this position here


Volunteer Coordinator
Host Organization: Stone Soup PDX
Location: Portland, Oregon

Stone Soup PDX empowers people experiencing barriers to employment to achieve self-reliance through training for careers in the foodservice industry. The AmeriCorps member placed at Stone Soup will develop Friends of Stone Soup, a program that connects individual or group volunteers to opportunities that support the training of low-income individuals for their future careers. Major functions of the role include: developing volunteer policies and procedures, formal training, new volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, job descriptions and outreach material. The VISTA will also support volunteer recruitment, retention and appreciation. Learn more and apply to this position here


Shelter Access Coordinator 
Host Organization: Yamhill Community Action Partnership
Location: McMinnville, Oregon

Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) exists to advocate and assist persons toward self-sufficiency throughout Yamhill County. The AmeriCorps member placed at YCAP will develop the Shelter Access Project, a program that aims to increase low barrier shelter access and build pathways to housing for persons living outside who have not sought traditional shelter. Major functions of the role include: recruiting and training volunteers to support designated low barrier shelter projects, increasing community awareness and support through outreach, pursuing in-kind and monetary support, and creating a long-term funding plan. Learn more and apply this position here