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My time spent so far in the AmeriCorps program can be summed up by the following quotation by Shawn Feinstein, a nationally known philanthropist and humanitarian, “All that will matter to us someday is what we did while we were here to help those who needed us.” My site supervisor posted this in our office and I read it every day.

My name is Shannon McKinstry and I am a Foreclosure Intake Specialist at Northeast Michigan Affordable Housing. When I first applied for my position I looked at it as a typical office job, doing typical office duties including filing and answering phones. Boy was I wrong. This position is so much more than that. I am proud to say that I have helped change people’s lives for the better; thanks to the wonderful employees at NEMAH who have taught me to assist people in saving their homes.

I know how difficult foreclosure is, because I have been through it. A few years ago both my husband and I lost our jobs. My husband was a foreman for a construction crew that built condominiums in Southern Michigan and I worked for a company that taught computer classes to workers at General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. As we all know both the auto industry and housing market were hit hard in Michigan. We went through the foreclosure process without any assistance. It was a very difficult time for us, but it taught me a lot. It also has helped in my current position as I have gone through the same ordeal as many of our clients.

I’m trying to ensure our clients have a better experience than I did. So, here’s to the future and the number of people AmeriCorps members will help.

Shannon McKinstry is an AmeriCorps member at the Northeast Michigan Affordable Housing, Inc (NEMAH) in Rogers City.

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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