JVS Neighborhood Based Services-AmeriCorps Vista

JVS Neighborhood Based Services AmeriCorps Vista 

JVS Neighborhood Based Services are focused on increasing the safety and integration of refugee communities in the Kansas City Area.  JVS aims to do this by cultivating strong relationships with neighborhood based services and connecting refugee communities with these existing resources. 

Many JVS clients live in the Historic Northeast area of Kansas City. Research indicates that healthy thriving neighborhoods also equate with healthy successful people. Although the Historic Northeast is rich in social service agencies, it is still struggling in several functions which are essential to thriving neighborhoods, including: affordable and safe housing; public safety; reliable transportation and accessible food. JVS believes that building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions; we can draw upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.

Areas of focus will include:

  • Housing – JVS wants to ensure that housing remain affordable and safe for JVS clients. JVS will do this by:
    1. Cultivating new relationships with neighborhood associations and advocating for city regulations, such as the Healthy Homes Ordinance, to ensure clients have a mechanism for reporting home safety issues without retribution.
    2. JVS will work with area landlords to ensure they are establishing practices, such as putting lighting outside of housing, to ensure maximum safety for clients.
  • Public Safety – JVS is focused on ensuring clients feel safe in their communities. JVS believes we can assist through the following efforts:
    1. Community Education Series – JVS will coordinate with members of law enforcement, the justice system, and other community services as necessary to explain the role, scope and services of their agencies and how refugee communities can effectively engage with these systems
  • Transportation – in order to access bus lines, clients frequently have to walk long distances without access to sidewalks or lighting and have to wait for long periods of time for buses as they are often running late. JVS will work to address this by:
    1. Partnering with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to address bus concerns and work with neighborhood groups and city council to advocate for changes, such as development of sidewalks, to increase safety.
    2. Relationships – By engaging with refugee communities through community education series and working with other community partners such as Neighborhood associations, JVS will continue to identify approaches to addressing needs which impact the Northeast Kansas City Neighborhood.

This VISTA Service Opportunity if for one year.