Habitat for Humanity’s VetCorps receives national honor for service to veterans

CHICAGO (June 20, 2012) – Habitat for Humanity’s VetCorps received the 2012 Service Impact Award from the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS) for its work to help provide adequate and affordable housing in partnership with veterans and military families.

Habitat for Humanity’s VetCorps was honored in Chicago at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, a meeting for volunteering and service for the nonprofit, education, government and corporate sectors. This year’s conference featured Dr. Jill Biden, former first lady Barbara Bush, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, actor Kevin Bacon and other leaders.

“National service is America at its best – getting things done to make our communities and country stronger,” said Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO. “The work being done every day by programs like Habitat for Humanity VetCorps shows the power of service to improve lives and transform communities. I congratulate the program for the positive and lasting impact they are making through national service.”

The VetCorps initiative is part of Habitat’s national AmeriCorps program and has placed 11 AmeriCorps VISTAs at Habitat affiliates across the nation. The initiative has helped provide more than 300 housing solutions, recruit veterans as Habitat employees and national service members, and engage veterans as volunteers. The program also supports veterans as they make the transition from military to civilian life and helps raise public awareness of the full scope of veteran housing needs.

“Over the past year, VetCorps members have been crucial to Habitat’s Veteran Initiative by helping to build a program that helps veterans have a decent place to live and also have access to Habitat jobs and volunteer opportunities so they can continue to serve their country and communities,” said Peter Rumsey, Habitat for Humanity International’s director of National Service. “We congratulate the VetCorps for winning the Service Impact Award and look forward to building on their success for years to come.”

Habitats VetCorps also played a critical role in the rollout of the Habitat for Humanity Repair Corps, Habitat’s first national program designed exclusively for veterans. Habitat partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to launch this critical home repair program, offering veterans anything from roof repairs to ease-of-access modifications like railing and ramps to home weatherization.

The Service Impact Awards provide an opportunity to highlight best practices and learn about innovative programs having an impact on key issues. Nominations were submitted through Challenge.gov for programs operating in the six focus areas of the agency’s strategic plan: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures and veterans and military families.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

About Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Programs
Since 1994, nearly 7,000 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members have performed more than 10 million hours of service, engaged nearly 2 million volunteers and helped serve more than 12,500 families throughout the United States. For information about AmeriCorps programs, visit habitat.org/americorps or americorps.gov.