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A) The VISTA Center started in 1985. The Center, for years under a wing of a municipal department, has matured to stand alone as a respected, effective non-profit organization.

The Center's Director is very familiar with guidelines, as he has been operating programs for many years. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Psych/Education, and has completed graduate studies in the field of counseling and social work.

The Literacy Coordinator has 15 years with the VISTA Center and holds a teaching certificate. He has been responsible for planning and implementing educational programs and coaches regarding job readiness. The Director worked closely with past fiscal agents within City Departments, and now does with Monitors and Vista's Board.

The Staff Assistant, with over 15 years, is an expert at referrals and creative support methodology.

B) The VISTA Center, because of it's unique role, has established many strong working relationships throughout the Flint community.

Specific working agreements have been forged with Genesee County Community Mental Health through referrals, GCCARD, via the Homeless Outreach (which refers homeless people), as well as working relationships with service providers such as Carriage Town Mission, Shelter of Flint, and Catholic Charities.

The Center has also developed a working relationship with the United Way, which provides participants with access to the Food Bank, and in some cases, emergency housing at area motels. The Center has established working relationships with area nursing programs to provide health screenings. The Ruth Mott Foundation and Flint Arts Council have also collaborated with Vista for Enrichment and Beautification Projects.

The program expanded from that of a social drop-in facility to one that assists in addressing client needs through a holistic approach, using and combination of structured and unstructured time. The Center has received state and national recognition for its services from the Municipal League and the National Organization on Disability.

C) The VISTA Centers exists in an incredible location - a former senior community center owned by the City. Disabled and low-income adults have a large center surrounded by a park, on Thread Lake.

The VISTA Drop-In Center was established in August 1985. The Center services adults in the Flint area who are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and/or homeless. Many come to VISTA for a place where they are respected, and to improve the quality in their lives.

Services include:
*A daytime resource center with short-term counseling; intervention, and referrals to appropriate community services.
*Assistance in searching for housing (use of the telephone, help with landlord discussions, transportation, and security deposits).
*Recreational games at the Center as well as field trips away from the Center.
*Group enrichment activities and sports.
*Literacy programs includes: help with job searches, resumes, basic skill building, tutoring, reading for enjoyment, links to GED and Adult Educational Programs.
*Educational Outings.
*Introductory Computer exposure.
*Part time employment (consumer) positions in a job training program with coaches.
*Unstructured casual time to relax or converse at the Center.
*Hygiene Supplies.
*Art experience with Art Enrichment/Therapy.
*Empowerment options as the Board of Directors, house meetings, employment, and newsletter input.
*Individual recognition for accomplishments and volunteer efforts.
*Chances to have fun and feel good about yourself.
*On-going support by staff and members.