Hello! My name is Emily Hanna and I am the current Engaged Citizen Corps (ECC) intern here at HOME, Inc. I was invited to HOME, Inc. in the fall and have loved all three hundred hours I have been able to spend here. My job at HOME, Inc. has shifted but has involved doing all the social media, blogs, newsletters, and marketing information. I work under Kourtney, the fundraising director, and together we have helped spread the word of HOME, Inc. into the community.

Although my job does not directly impact the mission of revitalizing, creating opportunities, educating, or counseling, I do get to spread the message of all four and that is amazing. I have learned so much about landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, something I would have not thought about. I have been able to rewrite brochures that help people know their legal rights through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has been an experience that has educated me to open my eyes to struggles that people face.

I have had the opportunity to take a backseat view of HOME, Inc. as an organization. I get to see everything. I am able to connect with the staff by having conversations about success stories with their clients and create new marketing materials that include them. I am able to connect with donors and supporters of HOME, Inc. through social media and working on our donor database. I am able to connect with clients when I get to hear about their successes and spread the happy information onward. I have had the chance to work with community partners to learn about how a community is so important for establishing and creating more affordable housing.

A fun part of the job I was able to experience was attending a task force meeting. A variety of representatives from different nonprofits in Des Moines came together to tackle the problems prisoners face when they re-enter society. There are multiple difficulties former convicts face, mainly employment, education, and housing. After listening to many professionals speak, I gained a sense of how vital and important housing is. Through this meeting and the work, I have done at HOME, Inc. I have learned that housing is vital to a successful life. Without housing what does one have? This is a question that continues to bounce around my head as I take my law classes, and when I took an ECC course talking about dignity.

Because of this program, I am a better person. And it is not just because I am now an expert copy maker, or that I accumulated 200 followers on the HOME, Inc. Instagram. But, it is because I understand what service-learning is, how to treat people with dignity, how important housing is, and how to think on both sides of an issue.

I would like to finish with a thank you to all of the people who have helped me at my time here at HOME, Inc. Kourtney of course, because she gave me tasks to do and supported my growing and learning. All of the HOME, Inc. staff for dealing with the obnoxious intern and the staff at Drake who taught me about service-learning. You all inspire and motivate me to be a strong advocate for my community.

It might seem like the end, but don’t worry! I will continue to bless your social media feed and email inbox during the summer. I am heading back home to the dear city of Duluth, MN but am excited to keep working with HOME, Inc. by creating more blogs, posts, and newsletters. I guess it is what they say, HOME is forever.

Best wishes,

Emily Hanna

P.S. I would not be doing my job right if I did not publicize HOME, Inc. (Facebook and Instagram @homeincdsm)!!!