Meet Our Member: Morgan Gray
Housing Assistant at Pathways Vermont
As the Housing Assistant at Pathways Vermont, Morgan helps to house chronically homeless people. "In a day I do any combination of the following: contact landlords, take clients to apartment showings and inspections, assist with leases/housing authority applications/housing subsidy applications, assist clients with property management/maintenance issues." Before joining AmeriCorps, Morgan earned her B.A. from the University of Vermont in Mandarin Chinese. Outside of her service, Morgan snowboards, loves playing music (flute, cello, djembe drums) and has her scuba diving license.
Why did you join VHCB AmeriCorps?
It gave me an opportunity to try something new, receive lots of training, and get a chance to do valuable community service while still paying my bills.
What are you learning or gaining out of your service?
I think the biggest revelation I've taken away is that you really can make a difference by helping even a little, whatever your cause. People tend to think that unless they can solve a problem for a huge number of people, their efforts are in vain. I've seen the opposite to be true. While there are many people who still need to be housed, objectively the world may not look very different, but to the people who are now housed, their world has completely changed.
What has surprised you about serving in AmeriCorps?
I was surprised by how much trust our host sites and supervisors have in their members. While they are always happy to help, my co-workers trust me to get things done with minimal supervision. I found housing for one person completely on my own- and to have that kind of accomplishment under your belt gives you so much confidence, and the drive to want to do more.
What is the best thing about serving at your site?
Seeing clients who were previously homeless move into their new apartments.
What would you like other people to know about serving in AmeriCorps?
It's one of the best ways to be able to afford to do great community service work, and that it's really great knowing that you are doing work that directly affects people's lives. Also, members have the opportunity to serve outside of their host sites. For example, I am completing an Independent Service Project with the Chittenden County Humane Society.