Chantia Perkins is an AmeriCorps member working with SOS’s housing team. She is a junior at Eastern Michigan University studying international affairs with a minor in psychology.
Why did you choose to apply to the AmeriCorps position at SOS?
Chantia saw SOS’s AmeriCorps position advertised on Handshake, a website that connects students to employment opportunities and internships. “I chose to apply because I know serving this population is a part of my purpose. After learning about SOS, I knew I would be involved here regardless of if I received this position.”
What led you to wanting to help others?
Chantia’s religion inspires her to serve others. Growing up, she served the community by volunteering through church. Her mom also inspires her.
“My mother and I are both members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I have grown up watching her serve people. She not only serves in our sorority, but as an educator, in ministry, and she makes herself available to our family. I have learned that nothing gives me the same joy as serving others does, and that alone is enough of a reason to keep doing it.”
What have you been working on so far during your time at SOS?
Chantia is helping the Housing Team with various projects to help streamline the process of housing homeless families with children in Washtenaw County.
“During my time so far, I have been making contact with landlords in order to find opportunities for housing. I have created a spreadsheet that makes identifying locations that accept Rapid Rehousing easier and created FAQ sheets as a resource for clients.”
Rapid Rehousing helps families find affordable housing within the community. Once housing is identified, SOS provides time-limited rental assistance and case management to help families build their income or other goals that will maintain housing long-term.
What do you think is important about the work SOS does?
“I believe this is work you have to have the heart for. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it. With a team of individuals who can see that worth you’ll be real change agents in a community. I believe SOS is making a significant impact in Washtenaw County.
What is your favorite thing about SOS?
“My favorite thing about SOS is the people, staff and the families. We all share a common goal of getting people housed and access to resources to help sustain a progressive lifestyle.”
What are your plans for the future and how will your experience help you move forward with those goals?
Chantia has big goals for the future. She hopes to use her international affairs degree to serve others globally.
“One of my goals is to establish at least one non-profit on every continent that serves the homeless and individuals desiring to overcome substance abuse. [Through SOS], I am learning a lot about serving this population and different systems. I am being exposed to different trainings that help break some of the barriers to housing sustainability.”