AmeriCorps members put affordable homeownership first in uncertain year

In a year that brought a global pandemic and great uncertainty, we at Habitat Metro Denver were fortunate to have the steady, strong support of AmeriCorps, a selfless group of volunteers committed to helping our community. While much of the world remained quarantined under stay-at-home orders, Habitat’s AmeriCorps members showed up to construction sites, our Production Shop, and worked behind the scenes to make affordable homeownership a reality for so many metro Denver families.

COVID-19 certainly presented many challenges to Habitat Metro Denver’s 2020-2021 AmeriCorps service members, but it also gave them the opportunity to form bonds—with one another and our extended Habitat community—like never before.

“We helped renovate closets and install a lift in one woman’s home for the Aging-in-Place Program. She was then able to access her clothing and the second level of her house for the first time in 2 years,” shares Krystal, an AmeriCorps member who serves as a construction crew leader.

“My most memorable experience this year was getting to know and work with one of our partner family members, Rene,” shares Taylor, another construction crew leader. “Every time she came out to the site she brought such a positive energy with her and was always a pleasure to work with. Building these relationships with families who receive a Habitat home reminds me why I do the work that I do and why I wanted to be a part of this organization.”

“It really allows us to see the direct impact we’re having in the community,” shares Kerry, another construction crew leader who formed close connections with families and volunteers.

Seeing Habitat construction sites transform into true communities of homes and homeowners has also given service members a sense of pride.

“My most memorable experience this year has been watching our Swansea [Homes] site come to a close after working on it since the beginning of my previous term,” shares Darius, who has been serving his second term with Habitat Metro Denver.

This work has also presented the group opportunities they never imagined. Lily, who doesn’t have a driver’s license and was terrified to drive a forklift, is now a certified forklift driver who’s loving every minute of it. Casi, afraid of heights, spent her birthday high in the roof trusses of a new home alongside volunteers and fellow AmeriCorps members.

From their incredible growth throughout their service year to the wisdom they share with volunteers to the hope they provide so many families, we are truly grateful for our AmeriCorps members. Thank you!