Our AmeriCorps – Most Vulerable Population team Felisi, Thuan, and Aisha, work with the people we serve each day to help them overcome their homelessness. We are sincerely grateful for their service! Below is a little more about each of our remarkable teammates.
Filisi Maile: AmeriCorps-Most Vulnerable Population
I joined AmeriCorps because I enjoy service projects and volunteering. I have always wanted to work for a nonprofit, and AmeriCorps provided an opportunity to try it out. I like being an AmeriCorps Member because it is a great foray into different agencies working toward the same goal. My program specifically works with Housing and Homeless services. I decided to come to The Road Home because I did not have any prior experience with this population, although I did host donation drives for a shelter in my hometown, and it seemed like a brand new venture. I enjoy being at The Road Home because I love working in an environment that is dedicated to compassionate service. Every day I am surrounded by staff members who genuinely care about not only the work that we do, but each other as well. I want people to know there are so many factors that result in homelessness and there are so many barriers to housing and employment for our residents. It’s a complex and nuanced issue that warrants compassionate consideration. I would highly recommend being a part of AmeriCorps, as it is an avenue to try out a field that piques your interest.
Aisha Praag: AmeriCorps-Most Vulnerable Population
I just graduated from Westminster College with a degree in public health and I had no clue what I wanted to do. During my job search, I discovered AmeriCorps, and I have always wanted to do the Peace Corps, so this seemed interesting to me and especially for the opportunity to work with the homeless population. I really like that in a way I am giving back to my community. I am here to help and get things done! I feel like this is a great opportunity to work with this population, and even though social work is a bit different than public health, I feel getting experience like this will set me up for my career in public health. I had heard such wonderful things about The Road Home in the past and thought it would be a great start after my undergraduate, to get some experience while earning a master’s degree. I have met some amazing employees, volunteers, and clients of The Road Home! Allocating my time to those that are less fortunate or in unpleasant situations is so rewarding. I like that I am helping toward a bigger purpose, without any recognition. They come from families like yours and mine who had a job loss, family illness, or some sort of misfortune that led to their homelessness. Contemplate the reality of the situation; you do not know it and you could be here. You do not know what that person has been through or why they are in that position. Rather than jump to the conclusion of judging and placing the blame on their shoulders, why not make it just a little bit easier: encourage, give what you can, and love.
Thuan Lynguyen: AmeriCorps-Most Vulnerable Population
I joined AmeriCorps because I wanted to be a part of a group that will get things done in the community. AmeriCorps offers impactful services, cohesive team work, and meaningful connections, and I could not imagine a better way to be engaged and proactive in making a difference. As an AmeriCorps member, I get the opportunity to work with and help some of the most resilient people I’ve ever met despite their difficult circumstances. One of my favorite tasks is driving clients to different appointments, whether it be meeting a potential landlord or signing the lease to their new home. I cherish each moment in the car with them because I get to hear their stories, their fears, their hopes and their dreams. My passion has always been serving others. I was looking for an opportunity to work with a minority/underserved population after graduation from college. After being accepted into the AmeriCorps program, I was presented with The Road Home as an option for my service. After learning that it is one of the largest nonprofit service providers to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake County, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. My level of interest piqued when I learned from my interview how interactive and involved I would be in assisting clients finding a new home. I accepted the offer when I got the call from my supervisor and have been working happily ever since! Besides working with people who are experiencing homelessness, I would say that The Road Home employs some of the most compassionate people all around. I marvel at the level of dedication and passion of the staff here. The mission of The Road Home is to help people step out of homelessness and back into the community; the wonderful staff knows it and work hard to make it a reality. Unless you have lived through it, you will never fully understand what it is like to lose your livelihood. What we can offer to those who are experiencing homelessness is an empathetic heart and willing hands. However big or small of a service you provide, it will make a difference in someone’s life.