Story of The Week 8/9/2017

Voices of Home

By Alicia Cerasoli, Assisted Living Coordinator with Cathedral Square

This past winter, I received an email from Laura Wilson, Cathedral Square’s Director of Operations, suggesting I connect with another AmeriCorps member. I soon learned that through their service with the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, AmeriCorps VISTA members, Corrine Yonce and Luke Dodge were collaborating on a project titled “Voices of Home” to spread the importance of affordable housing. In their words, “Voices of Home is a storysharing project dedicated to promoting the voices of Vermont's affordable housing residents. We aim to erase the stigma surrounding affordable housing communities and educate our friends and neighbors about the incredible importance of stable, reasonably priced homes in helping people live fulfilling lives. These stories are those of your own communities and the people who live in them.”

While the two had been interviewing any individual in the Burlington area about their experience living in affordable housing, after meeting with Corrine and Luke, I learned that they were in search of a community where they could illustrate a dynamic picture of the importance and the power of a functioning affordable housing community. Due to South Burlington Community Housing’s one of a kind design, as well as it's size of just ten residents, we felt SBCH was a seamless fit within the scope of Voices of Home.

After pitching the project to residents at a community dinner, four residents expressed great interest in participating and interviews were arranged. After meeting with Corrine and Luke, these four residents were able to share their journey to SBCH, each illustrated their life at SBCH as well as what their lives may look like without access to affordable housing.

A month after interviewing these residents, Corrine and Luke joined us for a community dinner- the best attended event at SBCH. Along with them, Corrine and Luke toted enormous, and touching, portraits of the four residents. As we congregated in our conference room for the official reveal, smiles filled the room. Corrine had absolutely captured these four residents seamlessly. Corrine and Luke hit play on an audio montage of the SBCH interviews and the room was mesmerized.
To learn more about Voices of Home and hear our residents’ interviews, head to: http://www.vtaffordablehousing.org/voices/?page_id=370

VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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