Amanda Powell (she/her)
Good Samaritan Haven
Amanda is currently serving as the Homeless Support Specialist at Good Samaritan Haven in Barre, Vermont. She is originally from Laredo, Texas, a border city located along the Rio Grande. She spent the past four years pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology at Stanford University in California. During the end of her senior year, the university had to shut down due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. After a temporary quarantine at a cattle ranch in Wyoming, she road tripped across the country to move to Vermont for the remainder of the online school year. After graduating, she was so impressed with the way Vermont handled the pandemic that she decided to stick around for at least a year. She became a VHCB AmeriCorps member after happening across an ad on Craigslist for the position.
She wanted to serve at Good Samaritan Haven because homelessness is an intersectional issue that does not arise in a vacuum. Chronic homelessness can be a product of trauma, mental illness, income inequality, racial and gender based discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, sexual abuse, addiction, domestic violence, disability, and many other factors. That is the true nature of this issue that many refuse to recognize. If we observe this issue from a social model, it is clear that our toxic individualistic systems have failed these individuals in devastating ways. Homeless people are wrongfully stereotyped and marginalized when they are in fact the victims of a broken system that wasn’t designed with them in mind. As someone with a strong background in behavioral biology and psychology, Amanda wanted to put this knowledge into action, and work directly with this population to make the resources and care they deserve more accessible. Her service is inspired by all the boots on the ground activists doing the hard, hopeful, and grueling work of trying to make the world a fair place, by all the powerful queer people in known universe, and the many generations of resilient-as-heck Chicanas that she comes from.
Outside of service, Amanda enjoys long walks in Hubbard Park, praising the full moon in all her mystical glory, knitting warm headbands, questioning the chain of supply, and hanging out with her two rescue cats. As she becomes more Vermonty-er by the day, she hopes to go full naturalist and get involved in more high energy outdoor activities. She is also a big fan of how large your squirrels are.