In my Site Supervisor’s office he has a quote posted on his bulletin board which says, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Every time I see this, I am so happy that I made the decision to join AmeriCorps and serve Community Housing Network. For me, AmeriCorps has always been being able to help the people in my community, but on a personal level, it is about moving out of my comfort zone and trying things I never would have before. Anyone who has met me can tell that I am on the shy side and even writing this blog post is out of my comfort zone. Sharing myself with strangers, even behind a computer screen is not something I am particularly comfortable with. When I was hired as a “Foreclosure Intake Specialist”, this was another thing I was not comfortable with. I didn’t know anything about Foreclosure and the idea that I was now supposed to be some sort of “specialist” terrified me.
Slowly but surely, I feel myself becoming more accustomed to the workflow of foreclosure. Sometimes it is as simple of a task as sending a one sentence e-mail and sometimes it is spending forty minutes on the phone with a client who doesn’t understand how to fill out the Step Forward Application and wants you to go through it with them. After one of these forty minute instances, where I was helping a client apply to receive assistance on her delinquent property taxes, she ended the conversation by saying, “Thank you so much for taking the time to help me, I am going to submit my application right now, you really know what you’re doing!” Hearing this was a reminder that even the smallest actions can make someone’s day just a little bit less stressful and in the bigger picture, could have a positive impact on their life.
It was fascinating coming into the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps and seeing how different all of our backgrounds are, but we all are so excited about being able to help people. So many people are wary about AmeriCorps when I first tell them about it, but AmeriCorps brings people together to build stronger communities and is such a positive force in our country. This is so vital in a culture where we see heartbreaking headlines and news stories on a daily basis. Volunteering and National Service is something that is often outside many of our comfort zones, but it is also necessary if we want to create and live in a positive community environment where people who need help are able to receive it. We need that constant positive revitalization and the 756 Michigan AmeriCorps members are helping our state and communities maintain that.
Rebecca Snay 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.