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Prevention Resource Center VISTA Project

PRC VISTA Blog & Current VISTA Host Sites

04 October 2016
Kingston to the Rescue

Kingston to the Rescue

Anyway, I thought since I was so good at adapting to new environments, moving to Billings, MT would be a piece of cake since it’s the same as Sioux Falls SD. I was wrong. I got homesick frequently and felt very lonely.  I was struggling until a friend suggested I get a pet; and that’s exactly what I did.

24 August 2016
Finding Your Path After AmeriCorps VISTA

Finding Your Path After AmeriCorps VISTA

I had gotten off track and it was time to find myself again. Well, it didn’t happen right away, I ended up finding a position helping low income persons to access winter heating assistance. After a few months I started getting restless.

09 June 2016
Chicago meets Montana

Chicago meets Montana

When my job search left me feeling slightly discouraged, I decided to take a job working with kids with autism at a private school in a Chicago suburb...It was a great experience, and I learned so much about how to be a leader and a professional in social services. After two years, I became restless. So I decided to switch gears a bit and pursue my other interest and passion in mental health. The experience I had was not the one I was seeking.



Family Support Network

Current VISTA: Elizabet Woche

Mission: Family Support Network recognizes that children are the foundation of the future and that the family, as a basic unit of society, is the natural environment for the growth and development of all its members. Our agency seeks to provide intervention, support and assistance to children diagnosed with a mental illness and their families, as well as families and their children at risk for abuse or neglect. FSN recognizes the importance of parents in the lives of their children and seeks to help them access appropriate support and services and to educate them in appropriate, nurturing parenting techniques.


Hopa Mountain - StoryMakers Program

Current VISTA: Melinda Peirce

Mission: Hopa Mountain's StoryMakers program provides parents of children ages 0-5 with high-quality books and early learning resources to support them as they read, sing, and talk positively with their children every day.

A growing body of research confirms that a strong early-learning home environment predicts children’s success in school. Success in school strongly predicts health and economic self-sufficiency in adulthood.

Red Feather Development Group

Current VISTA: Ellary Kramka

Red Feather partners with American Indian nations to develop sustainable solutions to the housing needs within their communities. Serving the Hopi and Navajo Nations in Arizona, and the Northern Cheyenne in Montana.
We work with homeowners and residents to educate and facilitate: 

  • Repair and weatherization of homes
  • Demonstrate how housing conditions impact health  
  • Conduct Professional Healthy Home Assessments 
  • Work with the tribal community


DPHHS Child & Family Services Division - Foster Care Independence Program

Current VISTA: Tessa Littlefield

Mission: The Montana Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Helps Youth in Foster Care Achieve Self-Sufficiency.

Goals: -Higher graduation and GED achievement rates for Chafee eligible youth. -Decrease homelessness rates for Chafee eligible youth. -Develop a sustainable mentorship program for Chafee eligible youth with responsible adults in the community. -Build a Youth Advisory Council to improve Chafee services, cultivate teen leaders to speak publically and train peers and adults, coordinate state-wide youth events, perform legislative advocacy, and peer to peer mentoring. -Increase in the number of Chafee eligible youth obtaining and sustaining employment. -And many more!

DPHHS - Montana Children's Trust Fund

Current VISTA: Peter Hanes

Mission: We believe that Montana’s children are the state’s greatest assets. Today’s children are the leaders of tomorrow. We hold their future in our hands, and our future is in their hands.

Helena Food Share

Current VISTA: Nick Chmura

Mission: Serving our neighbors in need by providing food in a respectful and dignified way and by working with others to eliminate hunger in the greater Helena area.

Montana Department of Justice - Office of the Child & Family Ombudsman

Current VISTA: Joseph Cobbs

Mission: Per Montana statute, the Office of the Child and Family Ombudsman is an independent, impartial, confidential, and knowledgeable resource serving to protect the interests and rights of Montana’s children and families.  The Ombudsman utilizes best practices and works collaboratively with the Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen child and family services.

No Kid Hungry Campaign

Current VISTA: Ted Irvin

Mission: No child should grow up hungry in America. But 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

Goals: No Kid Hungry in Montana aims to decrease rates of childhood hunger by increasing access to food and providing free nutrition education.

Prevention Resource Center - VISTA Leader

Current VISTA: Victoria Green

Mission: Create and sustain a coordinated, comprehensive system of prevention services in the state of Montana.

Goals: Reduce child abuse, reduce youth substance abuse, reduce youth violence, reduce school dropout, and reduce teen pregnancy.

YWCA of Helena

Current VISTA: MaryJane Ilgenfritz

Mission: Our mission is to prevent homelessness, provide safe and supportive housing for women and children experiencing homelessness, and provide services that restore hope, self-sufficiency, and happy and healthy lives. Together with YWCA USA and YWCAs across the country, we are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Youth Connections / YMCA of Helena

Current VISTA: Hannah Sosnosky

Youth Connections cares about Helena’s future. We are a diverse group of community members who work to make Helena a healthy and supportive place for kids and families. We focus on preventing and reducing substance abuse and violence, while enhancing social, emotional and mental health supports for Helena’s youth. With the combined efforts of our coalition members – consisting of parents, educators, youth-serving organizations, church and business leaders – we are building a better Helena by providing valuable, evidence-based programs, services, and activities to help youth and families thrive.

Building strong families is what the YMCA is all about. By offering programs that foster the relationship between parents and children, we can assist in better communication and clarifying family values. The YMCA is the nation's largest provider of full-family programs in areas such as swimming, camping, and recreation. By bringing families together, we can help build a strong community.


Sunburst Community Service Foundation

Current VISTA: Kelly Russell

Mission: The Sunburst Community Service Foundation is dedicated to the growth of individuals, families and communities. We organize and promote cultural and creative opportunities, as well as provide resources to educate and nurture mutual respect, tolerance and healthy values in the communities we serve. The Sunburst Community Service Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1995 in Eureka, Montana by a small group of community members that has now grown to provide services in five locations in western Montana.

Lame Deer

Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation

Current VISTA: Amon Barry

Mission: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Cheyenne Nation has been a cornerstone of the community since opening it doors in 1994. Serving some 500 youth, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northern Cheyenne Nation provides a safe, structured and positive environment for young people after school, during holidays and summer vacation.


Montana Primary Care Association

Current VISTA: Vacant

Mission: MPCA is a statewide organization that represents 17 federally qualified community health centers (CHCs). MPCA is dedicated to supporting the work and effort of CHCs as well as working toward a more equitable and accessible health system in Montana. MPCA’s program areas include training and technical assistance around clinical improvement measures, patient centered medical home, federal compliance, emergency preparedness, operations, and outreach and enrollment for the the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

Mountain Home Montana

Current VISTA: Vacant

Mountain Home Montana provides shelter for young mothers who need a place to live, and a network of support as they create safe, stable, and nurturing homes of their own.

Mission: To provide a safe, stable, and nurturing home where young mothers discover their strengths, and their children experience the joys of childhood.