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AmeriCorps members Make Twin Cities Habitat Happen

matt haugen
Posted by matt haugen on 1:50 PM on January 23, 2017

Rarely in life are you presented with an opportunity that can both change you forever as a person and, at the same time, allow you to have a significant positive impact on our community. Serving as an AmeriCorps Member at Twin Cities Habitat is an opportunity like that.

Most AmeriCorps members hold the position of Construction Volunteer Facilitator at Twin Cities Habitat. They’re the ones working directly with the volunteers, homebuyer families, Habitat staff, and professional subcontractors who build Habitat homes across the 7-county metro area.

20160209_113912-731114-editedWhile working at Twin Cities Habitat, AmeriCorps members gain knowledge both on the technical requirements that go into building high-quality homes and the leadership qualities necessary to orchestrate the volunteer crews to get the job done.

Right now, Twin Cities Habitat is recruiting people for 3, 6, and 12-month AmeriCorps openings. Some of the benefits include: 

  • $1,044/month (before taxes) for living allowance
  • Up to $5,775 in education award for a full year of service
  • Loan forbearance on most qualified student loans
  • Interest accrued on qualifying student loans may be reimbursed by federal government
  • Health Insurance
  • Affordable housing (limited availability)
  • Reimbursement allowance for tools, boots & construction clothes
  • $35/month for cell phone (field staff only)
  • Holidays off: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, MLK Day, Memorial Day & 4th of July
  • AmeriCorps sweatshirt and t-shirts

Mari, who is an AmeriCorps Construction Volunteer Facilitator at Twin Cities Habitat, says the best part of her experience has been “developing leadership skills and getting to know the volunteers, especially the regulars.”

In terms of who Mari would recommend considering AmeriCorps to: “People interested in construction or manual labor but who want to make a difference in communities.  I've realized out on site that the emphasis is on the volunteer experience and the knowledge they gain about Habitat's mission, and the ripple effect that knowledge will create when the volunteers talk about Habitat to others.  At first I thought it was mainly for construction purposes, but now I know that is not the case.”

Mari graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies. After college, she served a year of AmeriCorps in the Minnesota GreenCorps program at the Pollution Control Agency. She says that experience increased her interest in green building (which is good because every newly built Twin Cities Habitat home is designed to meet LEED standards). Mari says all the construction knowledge she is picking up now will stick with her.

These are the characteristics we’re looking for in AmeriCorps applicants:

  • dedication to the missions of AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity
  • enthusiasm about joining a team that promotes service
  • commitment to addressing the area’s affordable housing crisis
  • ability to handle a high level of responsibility

What’s required?

  • Applicants must 18 years of age or older
  • A U.S. Citizen or U.S. National or a lawful permanent resident
  • A high school graduate or GED holder
  • Not served two terms of service within AmeriCorps already (with some exceptions)
  • A valid driver’s license with a good driving record
  • Successfully pass background, sex offender and FBI fingerprint checks
  • Must have access to reliable transportation

Along with building new homes, some AmeriCorps members at Twin Cities Habitat work on painting and repairing homes through the A Brush with Kindness program. Others work in Habitat’s offices and gain experience managing and organizing large numbers of volunteers.

Hundreds of people have served at Twin Cities Habitat as AmeriCorps members over the past couple decades. It’s a tight-knit group and some come back each year to volunteer during an AmeriCorps alumni build.

If you are interested in a position that is a fun, meaningful challenge, AmeriCorps with Twin Cities Habitat might just be the perfect fit.Get things done as an americorps

Tags: AmeriCorps, 2017

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