This week’s congressional spending agreement averted a government shutdown and gave Billings community development manager Brenda Beckett the green light to continue recruiting recent college graduates to serve the Billings Metro Volunteers in Service to America– or VISTA Project, for another year.  The Billings Gazette reports that Beckett oversees the VISTA program, which helps Billings residents escape poverty through such initiatives as community gardens, tribal programs, youth education and mentoring, housing, employment and financial literacy.


Beckett said they bring a talented applicant pool, and pick the best applicants from around the nation, adding that she plans to place about 20 year-long VISTAs in Billings– paid at poverty-level wages to combat homelessness.  Over the last 11 years, more than 175 VISTA members have worked at 43 host sites, generating more than $3.5 million to support social services to impact poverty.

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