In September began the new AmeriCorps year, and with that always comes change. This year; however, brought more changes than just new members. Keep riding along through this blog to meet the current members and new roles this year has brought.
New Members' Journey
So far, our new cohort has been through orientation and more than a whole month of service. There hasn't been a shortage of problematic weather, but definitely not of fun either.
When we started, only the six returning members knew each other out of the 26 total that we have for the year. As we began to get to know the group, we had fun in orientation doing scavenger hunts and building chairs. We learned how to use equipment and software that is crucial to our roles and learned about Habitat's mission - along with why our service is important to bringing affordable housing to the community.
Once we started in our roles, we started to gain confidence both in Habitat's mission and our role to play in it. As a group we gained knowledge and skills that we will be using every day throughout the year. All of us are excited and ready to go, so if you ever see the "A," feel free to chat or ask us questions!
Then came the retreat to Camp Ihduhapi, which you can read about in the blog here.
What Happens Come Winter?
A question that we get fairly often is "how do you serve through the winter?" The answer is simple. Through the summer as you see in many of our pictures on our blogs, we do a lot of the structure and outside work on homes - like the one in the picture at the beginning of this blog. Habitat works to complete the outside of the home and prep everything to move inside and do that work over the winter. So now our AmeriCorps members are transitioning indoors for most of their work.
With winter for AmeriCorps members, though, come Winter Wednesdays. We will start to build on what we learned during orientation and get more comfortable with the tools we use on our construction sites. We've already had our first Winter Wednesday, which happened to be on Halloween!
Tied to these Wednesday active learning events, we also have Corps Days on alternating Wednesdays on which we take time to learn more about the mission of Habitat and why we do what we do.
Our first event to learn from was the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits Annual Conference. We attended different workshops that helped us learn anything from communication strategies in a nonprofit - to what local nonprofits are doing to benefit the community.
We're looking forward to a year of learning and fun! We hope you come back to read more and share it with us.
A Day in the Life of New Office Members
This year, besides the Volunteer Coordinator position we have added four new roles in the office! So you can know what these positions are like, we had the members write up a typical day below for you to read.
Communications Support Associate - Christy Ohlrogge
A day as the Communications Support Associate is never the same, making it an exciting and unique position. Writing blogs, taking pictures and video, interviewing, helping with dedications, and editing content are just a few of the things this role will tackle. Being whatever the communications/marketing and events team needs in the moment can be challenging, but it's a great way to use current skills you have while also learning new things in various different areas.
My favorite part of being in this role is "being able to see the big picture. Since communications and marketing are helping with the content for all the departments, I get to see a lot more of what Habitat does than the other roles - and I love the impact I can see Habitat make every day because of that transparency."
Homeowner Support Coordinator - Aidan Hennen
The Homeowner Support Coordinator role is about assembling information and opportunity for both Homeowners and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. As the number of partner families grows, so does the need for knowledgeable support and advice. From accessing maintenance funds to answering questions about flooring the Coordinator can help homeowners thrive in their Habitat home.
Aidan says his favorite part of this new role has been, “Talking to homeowners who are in different stages of their homeownership journey, and being able to give them confidence and a sense of ownership in their house and home”.
Outreach Associate - David Langley
Hello. I’m the Outreach Associate at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. What does that entail? Let me tell you, dear reader. Research. Lot’s of research. I spend a great deal of time researching where, and who, to do educational outreach for our first-time homeownership program and A Brush With Kindness, our home repair program, too.
Age in Place Family Support Coordinator - Ben Traaseth
My role as Age in Place Family Support Coordinator is very new to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, in fact the whole AIP department is new to Twin Cities Habitat. My role falls under the intake department for AIP so I conduct background checks, contact clients and set up home visits. I also assist in field work such as pre and post surveys for clients and I help facilitate volunteers when we do chores.
A huge part of my job is to communicate with our clients, which I love doing. Hearing about their past and different life events is always fun for me. Knowing that I am helping someone stay safe in their own home is a very rewarding feeling and a goal that I share with the AIP program. I am excited for this year and to watch our program grow!
Interested in AmeriCorps?
Email our Program Manager at email@example.com