Training and Development
As soon as I began working for Habitat for Humanity of Teller County we were working on re-branding the affiliate. This entailed creating an entirely new website from scratch: TellerHabitat.org. I was lucky enough to be able to contribute in a huge way by learning how to edit all of the pages and teach wordpress to the rest of the staff. Moreover, I helped to create the content and provide most of the photography.
Upon beginning to work with the Neighborhood Revitalization procedures I was assigned a mentor to help with the procedures and processes. We have monthly telephone meetings and she’s been helpful to continue the process of development and implementation.
I partnered with a local newspaper, News of Woodland Park and write Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps articles for them frequently. I’ve found it to be an efficient form of advertisement and advocacy. Through that partnership, I received training that was related to NR trainings I previously watched via AmeriCorps hosted webinars. How to find the need in a community assessment and how to approach that in a polite and careful manner were among some of the content. I am beginning to prepare to conduct Teller County’s first Community Impact Report.
I have received training from the executive director of Habitat for Humanity, Jamie Caperton in time management and recording skills. I feel that I’ve improved immensely but plan to continue that stride into the new year. I suggested the implementation of a high functioning and performing team within News of Woodland Park via weekly staff meetings. The staff meetings occur regularly now, at the same location; we now have an agenda and are working to condense the time.
In regards to the homeowner association, I feel that the families are getting more connected. I’ve hosted two events so far and the turnout continues to improve as more families are returning from the past. It’s definitely one of my favorite things about working for this affiliate to see how far it has come in such a short time. Just 2 years ago the entire staff was replaced and the new staff began to rebuild Habitat’s story. I’m impressed with the development of this ‘tiny’ affiliate as well as the work ethic: 2 full time, 2 part time staff, and myself. When I say ‘tiny’ though we are small in numbers we are each individual powerhouses. Jamie advises all of us on our agendas as well as coordinate the board of directors and conduct successful fundraisers. Paul Summeril builds the homes from the ground up and leads groups of 30+ at times in training. Colleen Urffer, the volunteer coordinator, has brought two AmeriCorps NCCC teams and 4 collegiate challenge groups in the 6 months I have been here as well as finding many additional volunteers and creating the Youth United program. Colleen allowed me to apply for a 1,000 grant and we were awarded it for the Youth United Program. Susan Cummings does the accounting and has created a pristine financial record for HFHTC. I am the Family Services Development Coordinator and have implemented new programs. I have so far created a formal curriculum for the Homeowner Association, became a mentor to our current and past Habitat partner families, created a database and formed monthly newsletters. The Habitat staff has trained me in so many informal ways, one as simple as communication skills and planning in advance. This affiliate is run very smoothly, though it doesn’t seem like it at times, and passionately; I’m grateful to be a part of Habitat for Humanity of Teller County.
As I reach the halfway mark, there is so much to be excited about. We were recently granted the Builder’s Blitz grant which will create national attention. I have been marketing to families heavily in order to fill 11 condos that will be converted from a meth lab to affordable housing in Woodland Park in June. HFHTC is steadfast in making meaningful and lasting connections in the community. We aim to increase the amount of homes we build per year each year. More people are becoming aware of Habitat’s engaging in the extraordinary mission which is to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in Teller County.