Here in Portland, we are in danger of having to significantly cut our homebuilding. Why? Since, 2010, funding for national service has been slashed by 8%, meaning we are at risk of losing a vital portion of our team.
25% of Portland and Gresham’s Habitat team are AmeriCorps members.The AmeriCorps program is part of our nation’s federal agency that supports national service programs and volunteers.
It cannot be expressed enough just how important these dedicated young people are to helping Habitat fulfill our mission. We simply could not be the organization we are today without the AmeriCorps program. The program consists of predominately young people – between the ages of 18-24 – who want the opportunity to give back to their community with their own specialized talents, while earning modest benefits.
Currently, six of Habitat’s AmeriCorps members are on our build sites, leading crews of volunteers, businesses and future homeowners. They are the backbone of our homebuilding and their services are one of the reasons we can build and sell 30 homes a year to hardworking families in need. Our affiliate also has three AmeriCorps members working with the Homeownership and Volunteer departments, facilitating the family selection process and helping to grow our volunteer base.
And it’s not just Habitat’s future at stake. National service provides grants to more than 70,000 national and local nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools and municipal agencies. We must let federal policymakers understand just how vital national service programs are, and what would happen if funding for these programs was eliminated.
Will you join us by sending the attached letter to our senators and representatives in support of national service funding? The future of our community depends on it.
President and CEO
Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East