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A team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members is helping increase access to affordable housing in Chaffee County. The group of eight young adults arrived on Sept. 21 and will be serving here through Nov. 1.

While in town, the AmeriCorps NCCC team is serving with Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity, which was founded on the principle that every man, woman and child is entitled to a simple, decent, affordable place in which to dwell in dignity and safety. Since their founding in 2000, CCHFH has helped many families attain safe, secure, affordable housing in the community.

Over the course of this 8-week project, this AmeriCorps NCCC team will help build one of two townhomes that will eventually go to two single mothers. They will also help CCHFH with some of their outreach programs.

“We need more young people like you. We are so excited to have you all here,” said Angela Wallace with CCHFH.

While AmeriCorps NCCC teams have served with Habitat for Humanity across the state of Colorado, this is the first team to support the Chaffee County affiliate.

Prior to traveling to Buena Vista, this team served with Not Forgotten Outreach to support veterans in Taos, N.M. They began their term of service on June 18, 2019 with 3 weeks of training at the Denver regional hub. They will continue to complete other 6- to 12-week projects for communities in the central and southwestern United States until they graduate from the 10-month program on March 19, 2020.

AmeriCorps NCCC (N-triple-C) is a full-time, residential, national service program in which about 1,700 young adults serve nationwide annually. During their 10-month term, Corps members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs. Traditional NCCC members travel to a variety of different 6- to 12-week-long projects related to education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity and disaster response and recovery.

Members of FEMA Corps, a branch of NCCC, focus their projects exclusively on emergency management work in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Southwest Region campus in Denver is one of four regional hubs in the nation and serves nine states in the central and southwest parts of the country. Approximately 300-400 members come through the Southwest Region campus each year to train for and transition between service projects. The other campuses are located in Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss. and Sacramento, Calif.

In exchange for their service, Corps members receive $6,095 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, travel, leadership development, increased self-confidence and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

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