When I first started planning for my spring 2021 co-op, I did not plan to end up at a community land trust where they build homes for specialized groups in our community. My real dream was to explore the medical field in some way but I can say that I’ve truly found my home at Home, Inc.
The purpose of Home, Inc. is to accumulate the funds to build affordable housing for people who are low class or undermined by the housing market. As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to strengthen the community and increase diversity through permanently affordable and sustainable housing. Over the years, Home, Inc. has provided many repair grants for current homeowners in Yellow Springs as a part of this goal. Currently, we have over fifty client households and have had no foreclosures by investing over $5 million into affordable housing.
As a Miller Fellow, my role is to provide administrative support, including handling telephone and mail communications. I also organize documents and data in the supporting systems as well as managing office supplies. Another part of my job is to aid in planning events for different house openings and client meetings, reaching out to other organizations for partnerships and services, supporting donations through the donor process work window, and aiding in grant writing.
My day-to-day experience at work starts with me getting the mail in the mornings. Afterward, I head to the office and check the voicemails before preparing myself a cup of coffee and diving into any emails or plans that have been put on my work spreadsheet by my supervisor or other members of Home, Inc. I attend staff or partnership meetings throughout the day, as well as sometimes meeting clients or going to different rentals around Yellow Springs to manage maintenance work and homeowner problems. At the end of the day, I spray down the office with disinfectant and close everything up.
This nonprofit organization ended up fitting into my career and educational goals perfectly. All I wanted out of this co-op was to impact the world in some type of way with community service and potentially breaking a status quo or statistic. I wanted to be a participant in something that would impact Yellow Springs or another place in a huge way and make it a better living environment for all races and ethnicities.
To anyone who sees this post and is thinking of trying this as a co-op, I would recommend it. Home, Inc. is a great example of an organization dedicating all its resources carefully so that it can achieve its desired purpose. I would say that this is definitely the kind of co-op where you have to be able to give a part of yourself to the community and not expect glory or recognition but, instead, expect to change yourself and to advocate for those that cannot.