March 11-17, 2018 is National AmeriCorps Week. Housing Services Mid Michigan has been fortunate to have many AmeriCorps members supporting our mission and programs over the years. This year, we have two members, both college students, working on homelessness prevention and outreach programs in Eaton and Clinton counties. To highlight the importance of their efforts, we’ve asked them to share a little bit about themselves:
Clinton County AmeriCorps Member:
My name is Hudson Bennett, an AmeriCorps member serving at Housing Services Mid Michigan in Clinton County, MI where I have been an member since November 2017. I am also a junior at Michigan State University majoring in Social Relations & Policy and minoring in Science, Technology, and Environmental Public Policy and Environment Sustainability Studies. When I applied for the position of Housing Search and Information Specialist I was at first hesitant because I had never done anything like this before, it didn’t particularly pertain to my field of study at MSU, and was a year long commitment. However, after meeting Christie and the staff at Housing Services Mid Michigan I knew this was the right thing for me to be doing. I enjoy serving others and assisting those who are in need of the basic necessities many of us take for granted like: food, shelter, clothes, electricity, etc. Since the beginning of my service I have grown more comfortable interacting with clients to try and understand their circumstances and why they have come to HSMM for help. In addition, some of the things I do on a monthly basis are to create a monthly housing guide, landlord outreach, and plan community events. Everyday I am humbled by others in the community who are doing work to make Clinton County a better place for individuals and families that are struggling. As my journey of service continues I hope to make more of a difference in the lives of people HSMM, AmeriCorps, and I serve.
Eaton County AmeriCorps Member:
My name is Mikayla Bower, an AmeriCorps member serving at Housing Services Mid-Michigan in Eaton County, MI. I have been in the program for a year and five months now, since November 2016. I am a sophomore at Olivet College majoring in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement and Corrections and minoring in Psychology. Helping people is something that I love to do, whether friends, family, or anyone else that I can lend a hand to. I heard about the position through my mom, who works for Housing Services. After accepting the job, I gained another family at my host site that I could lean on. I have planned a resource fair for the last two years called Project Resource Connect. This year, I also helped plan Adopt a Family, which has been one of my favorite projects. Seeing the reactions from the families was absolutely heartwarming. I have never heard people be so appreciative. I also enjoy helping those who get overwhelmed with paperwork. We have many community members stop in and I can help them complete their food assistance applications, Housing Choice Voucher paperwork, etc. The way applications are structured can be confusing for people who don’t have a ton of experience with paperwork. Lastly, I enjoy being able to help people who need it. Going into the criminal justice field, with the hopes of being a probation officer, this opportunity has been the most rewarding. I am so fortunate that my host site asked me to do another year with them to make an impact in Eaton County.