I am committed to national service, so I was excited to learn about an opportunity to serve in Southeast Michigan with Rebuilding Together. I saw the position as a chance to get more involved in the community and make a positive impact near my hometown. As the client coordinator with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, I speak with prospective clients, process applications, and arrange home inspections.
One of my favorite parts about serving as the client coordinator is meeting homeowners and hearing their stories. A lot of the homeowners we serve have lived in their home for decades; a lot of things can change over time. Changing financial circumstances, aging, and the natural wear of living in a home can dramatically affect a house’s livability. It is always gratifying to understand a homeowner’s needs and help to make their home healthier and safer.
Expanding our service area and bringing the organization’s services to Detroit has been extremely rewarding. We started surveying the housing stock in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood in the Fall of 2018. Walking around the neighborhood allowed us to tell residents about Rebuilding Together’s mission. So far, we have completed four projects in Detroit and we are excited for more low-income homeowners to receive repair services as the program continues to grow.
As an AmeriCorps volunteer, I have enjoyed serving with a group of volunteers across the national affiliate network. We trained together in Washington, D.C. at the start of our term and later we assembled in New Orleans to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Being able to serve homeowners in Virginia and Louisiana allowed us to unite and help more homeowners.
National Rebuilding Day is one of my proudest memories from my service year. Over 400 volunteers spent their day in service to complete work— reducing fall risks, making it easier to maintain a clean environment, draining water away from the home, adding security to doors and windows; and increasing energy efficiency. Volunteers made improvements that will have a long-lasting impact and increase the quality of life in low-income households. I am happy that I was able to play a role in this national movement.
As I finish my year off with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, I am thankful to the staff and organization’s leadership for including me in their work and for the work they do to help homeowners in need.