After successfully completing an AmeriCorps service at Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley during 2010 to 2011 service year, I wanted to continue to gain experience in the field of affordable housing, which led to my decision to join Community Housing Network (CHN) for the AmeriCorps Foreclosure Prevention position. During my first few weeks at CHN, I made it a goal to learn as much as I could about the foreclosure process, since it was an entirely new professional field for me. After spending a few weeks learning about foreclosure, my site supervisor decided it would be a great idea for me to perform community outreach about our foreclosure program in cities around the Wayne County, which is one of the country’s hardest hit.

During my first days of outreach, I was able to meet with mayors, city managers, and other high-level government officials and speak to them about our foreclosure program. In many situations the officials didn’t seem interested in learning about our program, but I was proven wrong when the Livonia Housing Commission called us, at the request of the Mayor of Livonia, about our interest in partnering with them on foreclosure prevention counseling. After a face-to-face meeting with the director of the Livonia Housing Commission, I felt confident that I could thoroughly discuss our foreclosure program with anyone that requests information. A few weeks after meeting with the director of the Livonia Housing Commission, I was able to meet Michigan State Senator Tupac Hunter during one of his monthly community meetings, and I gave a quick presentation about our foreclosure prevention program to the senator and others in attendance. In addition to performing community outreach about our program, I have been able to complete foreclosure client intakes, and I am currently working with a homeowner to help him maintain the home that he considers his dream home.

During the next 10 months of my service, my goal is to continue to see positive growth for our foreclosure prevention program serving those in Wayne County, and to successfully launch the foreclosure program serving homeowners in Oakland and Macomb County. I have also taken on the initiative in informing my site supervisor that I am interested in becoming a MSHDA certified counselor and earning my Michigan real-estate license. 2012 is going to be an interesting year.

Paul Stanford is an AmeriCorps member at Community Housing Network in Troy.

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.

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