Accessing Home works to bring low to moderate-income families home through partnerships with affordable housing providers throughout Rhode Island. The Accessing Home initiative, launched in 2016, helps Rhode Island families acquire and maintain affordable, safe, and healthy housing.
Through this initiative, NWBRV partners with community development organizations, public housing authorities, and other non-profits to equip Rhode Islanders with the resources necessary to acquire and maintain affordable, high quality housing.
On, Saturday, October 21st at the Children’s Friend Friendship Center, the Accessing Home AmeriCorps Team along with AmeriCorps members from across Rhode Island were officially sworn in at a ceremony celebrating 30 years of AmeriCorps excellence.
We’re proud to introduce our 2023-2024 Accessing Home AmeriCorps Team Members!
Claribel David, House of Hope (3rd Year Returner)
My name is Claribel David and I serve The House of Hope CDC. I was born and raised in Pawtucket, RI and grew up with a very united family. My mother was (and still is!) a hard working woman with a huge heart. When I was younger I volunteered every summer at the Prospect Heights Community office and helped with phone calls, mailing notices of rent that were pass due, filing paperwork, stapling housing forms, cleaning, etc. I knew that the love I had for others wouldn’t stop at that office. Working there made it very clear that serving a community isn’t just about being geographically close to someone, or being part of the same group or nationality. Life is about feeling connected while helping those individuals or families. Everyone in our community plays a crucial role in it. I’m honored to be a part of AmeriCorps and love knowing that we all share the same compassion–that’s what keeps us untied as one here. I’ve served two terms and can’t wait to serve two more. AmeriCorps has opened doors for me that I never knew were even there. I’ve explored, and realize that there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t learn something new about myself. I love it here!
Helen Ortiz, Crossroads RI
My name is Helen Ortiz! I was born in Hartford, Connecticut but I moved to Delaware shortly after. When I was eight years old, my mom decided to move to Puerto Rico, so I was raised there with my four other siblings. I studied and graduated in Puerto Rico and have a degree in Medical Billing. I worked for ten years in Puerto Rico, but in June 2017, I decided to move again to the United States in hopes of a better education for my children and a better job for myself. We started out in Florida and in 2020 I moved to Rhode Island. So far, we like it here! There is a lot of vegetation and hills, which I love, and I also have family here.
I have three kids that are my whole world-two boys and one girl. In my spare time I love to be in touch with nature, so I go the beach, parks and rivers. I love to feel the air and hear the sounds of nature that gave me peace. My hobbies are listening to music, cooking, traveling , spending time
with family and friends, working out and running. This is my first year serving with AmeriCorps and so far, I like it very much. I’m learning a lot. One of the reasons I decided to join this program is because I love to help other people and have been able to learn so much about the program and all of the services they offer.
Jontai Williams, West Elmwood
I am from the Bronx in New York City! I attended a school called Saint Michaels College in Vermont, where I received a basketball scholarship and graduated with a major in Political Science and minors in International Relations and Religious Studies. I came to Providence, Rhode Island last year to finish my athletic collegiate year as well as to attain my Master’s degree in Business Administration. I’ll graduate March 2024 from Johnson & Wales! I enjoy playing basketball, watching movies, and listening to music. I am a full-time college student currently, and this is my first AmeriCorps term. I look forward to learning and gaining lots of knowledge about housing and feel very fortunate to be a part of the Accessing Housing team.
Kate Pratt, Crossroads RI
Hi, My name is Kate and I have been a resident of Rhode Island for the past few years. I was born and raised in Boston and lived in Boston for 53 and half years. I was a Certified Nursing Assistant for 15 years and decided recently to make a career change. I have chosen to be a part of AmeriCorps to get on-the-job training, while still having the opportunity to help others. I am currently serving at Crossroads Family Center. In the little time I have been there, I have met some amazing clients and the staff that is training me are a remarkable team. The team is small but mighty. They are compassionate, determined, knowledgeable individuals who really want the clients to be not only successful in permanent housing but within their personal lives. On a personal note I love my family and love doing fun things such ad bowling, going to the movies and jumping on the commuter rail with my grandchildren.
Kristian Ramaglia, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (3rd Year Returner)
I’m Krissy, and I’m currently serving with Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley in Woonsocket. I joined AmeriCorps in 2021 and am now in my third term. My motivation to join AmeriCorps stems from the challenges I faced in my early life, which have made me an empathetic and understanding person. I joined AmeriCorps to give back to communities and be the supportive listener I wish I had during life’s trials. While I may not have much to give physically, I can always give my time without judgment. One of the most rewarding aspects of this experience is when my children participate in events and volunteer alongside me.
Megan Conway, Warren Health Equity Zone
I’m a long time Rhode island resident who currently resides in Bristol. I’ve worked in Providence in the past at the children’s museum for my other AmeriCorps term but I’m excited to start this new chapter in Warren. I plan to learn as much as I can about housing, outreach and the issues in my close communities and do my very best to make people feel supported when possible.
Rosa Chittick, Providence Revolving Fund
My name is Rosa Chittick. I grew up in the Midwest and moved out to Providence in 2021 to be an AmeriCorps volunteer with City Year. I served for two years in Young Woods Elementary School before moving to work with the Providence Revolving Fund. I love cooking, movies, board games, and being outside. I decided to serve with Neighborworks because I see housing as one of the biggest issues facing a community I’ve grown to love.
Rosa Torres, Pawtucket Housing Authority (3rd Year Returner)
Hello, my name is Rosa Torres! I am a mother of four beautiful kids. I am from Pawtucket, RI. This will be my third year serving for AmeriCorps and I couldn’t be any happier. My site is Pawtucket Housing Authority, as an RSC for the HCV Department. Since serving with AmeriCorps, my drive to help others has gotten bigger and bigger. I enjoy being able to help in any way possible. Not everyone has it easy, but when there is help, sometimes that is all someone needs to make all the difference. I will always encourage others to never quit, and never give up, because at the end of the tunnel there is light. I will continue to try my best to do my best helping, or even just to put a smile on someone’s face.
“AmeriCorps is at its best when we are not only meeting the needs of local communities, but when we’re also creating pathways and possibilities for our members and volunteers. And these newly sworn in members will be doing just that. I was honored to welcome new members to the national service family and am excited to see how these members transform communities and chart new pathways for their own lives.”AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith.