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Building Community Blog

It’s the look in their eyes that gives them away and on which I hone every Wednesday at whatever Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity site I’m working. I can shake my head in faux understanding with the best of them. But for self-preservation, I look for the heads that aren’t shaking and for confidence that registers only through the eyes.

We are thrilled to announce that Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has received $247,108 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs.

This investment will support 26 AmeriCorps members total—22 at Twin Cities Habitat, and an additional 4 who will serve with other Habitat affiliates throughout Minnesota. AmeriCorps members in our program serve in three, six, or twelve-month positions. Without their dedicated service, Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country would struggle to meet the needs of their communities.

If you've ever volunteered with Twin Cities Habitat, you've likely worked with an AmeriCorps member on site. The work and impact of Twin Cities Habitat would not be possible without the commitment of AmeriCorps members. The program is unique because it gives members the chance to develop their skills by leading and acting out the mission of Habitat while devoting a year to service.

“I’ve always had this motto for my life” Greg Rouse says, showing the word build tattooed across his right forearm: “Never stop building.”

He started as a kid with legos, then carpentry as a teenager, then architecture in college. Next, he built homes for two years as an AmeriCorps member with Twin Cities Habitat. And now, he’s designing homes as a Masters of Architecture student at the University of Minnesota.

By Habitat Staff

As the weather warms up, our need for one-day volunteers on our Habitat home build and home repair projects starts to slow down. However, there are other volunteer positions in the summer months that are incredibly impactful. So let’s take a moment to highlight these incredible volunteers who keep our projects going day after day, week after week!

By Bethany Clarke, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Member

Surprisingly, the vans didn’t smell on our twenty hour return drive from Austin, Texas. This was a great relief. You could interpret it as a sign that we’d all taken care to do our laundry or, alternatively, that we had packed our smelliest work clothes at the bottom of our bags.

February 8-12, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s AmeriCorps and Lutheran Volunteer Corps members served with the Austin Habitat affiliate. The trip was an opportunity to learn about the differences and similarities of another Habitat and to spend quality time building houses. The trip occurs annually for the members of these service programs. This year (20) members were accompanied by the National Service Programs Manager, Heather Erickson and Site Supervisor, Rhonda Thorson.

On January 23rd, a group of AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Lutheran Volunteer Corps alumni volunteered at a build site in St. Paul, putting trim around all the first floor windows and installing underlay (a layer that is put down before the vinyl flooring). 

According to Heather Erickson, the National Service Program Manager at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, TCHFH has hosted AmeriCorps members to engage community volunteers and build, rehab and repair affordable housing across the seven-county Metro area since the program began 21 years ago.

"With their leadership on site and in the office, we are able to engage thousands of community volunteers each year, which increases our capacity to build and repair homes and partner with families through our homeownership and ABWK programs,"says Heather.

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