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Habitat for Humanity - Greater Columbus VetCorps To Receive National Honor for Volunteer Service

Columbus, OH -  Habitat for Humanity - Greater Columbus will receive the 2012 Service Impact Award from the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS) for its work to help provide adequate and affordable housing for veterans and military families.
Habitat for Humanity’s VetCorps will be honored in Chicago at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, June 18 – 20, the nation’s premiere gathering for volunteering and service for the nonprofit, education, government, and corporate sectors. This year’s conference will feature 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.”
With the assistance of VetCorps member, Sharronkay Lytle, Habitat for Humanity - Greater Columbus has launched its new veterans program, Habitat for Heroes. The program encourages veterans and members of the military and their families to access affordable housing through Habitat, creates awareness of opportunities to engage in the community alongside fellow veterans and promotes the value of volunteering in service to others.  During this year, Habitat for Heroes completed a critical repair project for a WWII veteran and Habitat for Humanity - Greater Columbus is proud to have its first Habitat for Heroes Vets Build beginning this summer.
“As a fellow veteran and former commander, I am very pleased that Habitat for Humanity has undertaken this significant effort to assist those who have served this country so well while in uniform.” stated affiliate CEO, E.J. Thomas, “Toward that effort, our AmeriCorps VISTA VetCorps member has been instrumental in our being able to provide the outreach necessary to make Habitat for Heroes viable.”
The award highlights the work of Habitat for Humanity’s VetCorps to ensure those who served their country get the support they deserve to have a decent place to live. The VetCorps program works with Habitat affiliates and partner organizations to identify housing, employment, and volunteer opportunities for veterans.  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 and solutions.
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 VetCorps initiative has placed 11 AmeriCorps VISTAs at Habitat affiliates across the nation, supporting Habitat to provide over 300 housing solutions for veterans and military families, recruit veterans as Habitat employees and national service members, and engage veterans as volunteers.

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 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.



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