My name is Kate Lambert Lee. I am a second year AmeriCorps member with the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps. I am serving at Community Action Agency of Jackson, Lenawee & Hillsdale in Foreclosure Prevention. Community Action Agency is a private non-profit serving Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties. They provide services to families and individuals with assistance in areas from Adult Literacy to Home Weatherization.
Two years ago, I had not even heard of AmeriCorps. I had heard of foreclosure. I didn’t know much about foreclosure, but I knew it was starting to affect people in my hometown community, even my own neighbors. When the AmeriCorps position opened up, it felt like a way that I could help. It wasn’t helping unknown people; it was helping my own neighbors and those in my community.
My primary role has been as an Intake Specialist. What I have seen over the past year is that many of the individuals that we have helped have been individuals who may have never experienced financial hardship in their lives. Many workers have fallen off the unemployment rolls. There are still no jobs available for them. Even when they are willing to take minimum wage jobs, the jobs just weren’t there. Some have been battling cancer, and still had to worry that they may not have a home when they leave the hospital.
The blessing in all of it has been that we have been able to help and make a positive difference when people have been at their lowest point. For that I am grateful.
[This post is part of a blog series highlighting the viewpoints of Michigan AmeriCorps Foreclosure Prevention Corps members serving at different foreclosure host sites around Michigan. View information about the program or see more stories in this series.]