Today was my first day at Area Asheville Habitat for Humanity! And it was amazing.
Let me set the scene,
My awesome roommate Jordan agreed to drive me to the office this morning. Knowing that I had to be there at 8:30, and that it was a 13 minute drive according to Google maps, we left at 8:10, plenty of time to spare and get lost, right? No. Patton Ave is a nightmare. There is a divider between the two directions so you can’t take a left without going further down the road and doing a U-turn at the light. We need to find a better route. But upon arriving 5 minutes late, I was met with the most enthusiastic and welcoming group at AAHH. My supervisor, Stephanie, welcomed me with a homemade peach cobbler that was just pulled out of the oven. HOMEMADE PEACH COBBLER. And it just got better from there. Sitting in the kitchen eating this delicious food I met various AAHH volunteers are workers, all who were so inviting. Stephanie walked me through the training manual and showed me around the office and warehouse where they store construction donations. I sat through two meetings, one of them being the entire staff meeting that is held once a month. I met the majority of the employees and remember all (30) of their names! I hope that come Tuesday, my next day of work, I still remember everyone.
My work title is office intern, but the work that will take up most of my time will be communicating with and scheduling volunteer groups that wish to do a project with AAHH, welcoming them at the construction site, data entry/ coding, front desk assistance, maintaining the volunteer info board at the construction site, and general event room organization. AAHH is very thankful for the volunteers that make their non-profit possible and that ethos is reflected in the inclusiveness of the office setting. It is through this environment that AAHH hopes for their volunteers to take their mission of providing safe, affordable housing to their home communities, keeping the discussion of affordable housing going. I was not aware of the housing shortage in Asheville that is driving up the prices of homes and apartments across the board. The city is landlocked because of the mountains and with such a high demand for housing but low supply, costs are rising. Asheville has a .9% vacancy rate, meaning at any given point, 99.1% of housing is occupied. A healthy vacancy rate is 5-6%, so I was informed. So, it is tough to live in Asheville if you are not making a living wage. My plan of living in Asheville next year and finding full-time employment is looking really promising now…. jk.