Worlds Collide in Seattle Tacoma Joint Build: An AmeriCorps Experience

Do it together, defines Friday, May 4th as Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members from the Seattle and Tacoma affiliates worked together in repairing a home in Pierce County.

Christina Penafiel organized the event between the two affiliates providing a chance for AmeriCorps members to meet one another while repairing a home in need.

“Meeting other service members is always a really exciting time. Service members tend to have a really great balance between our similar motivations for becoming an AmeriCorps member and a crazy amount of differing interests and life experiences. I feel like I always get exposed to new things that peak my interests both locally and sometimes as far as what the next phase of my life looks like. It’s invigorating and makes my time serving that much more interesting.” Said Jaylana Walton, an AmeriCorps member who is in her second term.

With members collaborating in synergy with one another, groups broke off to finish several projects from painting the interior of the house to lifting sheds. The pierce county home was jumped forward in its progress.

The joining between the AmeriCorps teams made an impact on their site project and provided a channel of communication for members to meet one another.

“I definitely hope joint builds continue to happen. It’s a great way to switch up the work routine. I’m not on the construction crew so I can’t say for sure but I think it’s nice for the construction crew to have the extra help if they need it. As an office AmeriCorps, I think it’s nice to have that exposure to what Habitat does and how we operate on multiple levels. I think Habitat is very much a people-to-people organization and the “building-side-by-side” model is such a central piece of how Habitat works. I think it only makes sense to continue doing them.” Said Walton.

Habitat for Humanity’s repair program is in place to help low-income homeowners with necessary repairs while teaching volunteers important skills that they can take home with them.

AmeriCorps members in the repairs department take on projects that involve:

  • Roofs
  • Windows and Exterior Doors
  • Gutters
  • Siding
  • Steps, Ramps, Porches, Decks and Retaining Walls
  • Walkways and Driveways
  • Landscaping
  • Brush and Junk Removal
  • Exterior Painting

Habitat is taking in applications on a daily basis to suit the needs of the public. Homes are fixed throughout the week with the help of local volunteers in the area.

Those applying to the program must meet several criteria such as home ownership, willingness to pay, and willingness to partner to be accepted.

The joint build provided a means for AmeriCorps members to come together, build connections, and fix a home in need with a do it together attitude.

This post is part of a series dedicated to our AmeriCorps members who have donated a large chunk of time as well as their skills and willingness to learn to the Habitat for Humanity – Seattle King County mission. You can find more stories like this one by clicking on the “AmeriCorps Experience” tag.