September 22, 2023 | Kevin Donaldson
There is more to Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region than meets the eye. Have you ever wondered what opportunities were behind the scenes of all the construction work?
Well, meet Grace Bilicki; she grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, graduated from the College of Charleston in 2021, and now serves as an office AmeriCorps for Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region. Rather than jumping into a full-time career or starting grad school, Grace opted to utilize her Urban Planning degree differently for the time being. Hence, she applied and was accepted for the Neighborhood Revitalization Specialist AmeriCorps position.
What it’s like to work in the office versus a construction site, for one, means tending to other needs of the organization, which depends on the day. Grace mentions she is glued to her desk managing paperwork some days while other times she has “boots on the ground.” She visits different communities within the Charlotte Region to assess their needs based on the Quality of Life Framework and also connects with various stakeholders.
A big focus of Grace’s is on providing communities with information about Habitat Charlotte Region’s Critical Home Repair (CHR) program. People within the community can apply to the program if qualified, and neighborhoods can know what to expect if the organization has a CHR project happening in their community. Other times Grace can be seen prepping for events that the Family Services team puts on. The latest event was a Critical Home Repair application clinic. Grace and her team set up stations at a local church in a vulnerable community where resources such as computer access are limited. They helped community members learn more about the CHR program and guided them through the application process.
These experiences are rewarding to Grace because she can see how her work is making a difference from one neighborhood to another.
“Listening to families share their story about working with Habitat to either gain home-ownership or work through our CHR program motivates me every day to keep helping; it’s very moving,” Grace said.
Grace is looking forward to what the rest of her term has in store. This past April, she had the opportunity to attend the Habitat for Humanity International conference, where she met other Habitat AmeriCorps members; who share the same drive and passion for the organization’s work. And this fall, plenty of other community events are taking place. “We will set up booths where people can gain information about our organization and ways to volunteer. It will be a great way to spread awareness, especially to those in the northern region, as we look to build a stronger relationship with the communities up there,” she said.
Find out more about what you can gain from experiencing an AmeriCorps term at Habitat Charlotte Region!
|Single adult or couple with no children||2|
|Single adult or couple with 1 child||3|
|Single adult or couple with 2 children||3|
|Single adult or couple with 3 children||4|
|Single adult or couple with 4 children*||4|
|Single adult or couple with 5 or more children||5|
|Single adult or couple with 4 children where age (13 or over), age difference (4 yrs or more apart), or gender doesn't allow sharing||5|
House sizes for households with multiple adults or adults who are not married will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
* Children of the same gender who are under 13-years-old and fewer than 4 years apart in age could be required to share a room.