Joe Ballard, a member of the inaugural class at the Clinton School of Public Service, used his final Capstone project to develop a new partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to bring full-time VISTA volunteers to serve at Our House, a nonprofit in Little Rock, which empowers homeless and near-homeless families and individuals to succeed in work, school, and life.
Ballard’s work with Our House began as a volunteer, but he quickly realized that he couldn’t do all the work that the organization needed alone.
Before enrolling at the Clinton School, Ballard served three terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Kansas City, and knew that the program’s mission would fit well with the needs of Our House.
Ballard wrote the official AmeriCorps application, which was approved for a VISTA grant that allowed Our House to have five full-time volunteers over three years– the equivalent of nearly $400,000 in employee salaries for the organization. The VISTA partnership with Our House continues to this day, providing ongoing capacity the organization needs as it grows to serve over 3,000 homeless and near-homeless families and individuals every year.
The Clinton School Impact Minute is a recurring segment with Little Rock Public Radio, highlighting the Clinton School’s field service impact in Arkansas.
Since 2004, Clinton School students have completed more than 600 field service projects with nearly 300 organizations in Arkansas alone, creating immediate and long-term impact for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies across the state.