Kat Shaub serves as the 2017-2018 as the community-based housing fellow.
What do you do as the Housing Fellow?
I volunteer full time for a local nonprofit called Housing Partnerships. I am the volunteer coordinator, coordinating both local and student volunteers. I am also the assistant program manager for our emergency home repair program.
How do you see your work affecting the Williamsburg community?
The repairs that we do are really a band-aid. The more meaningful work comes from connecting volunteers and community members who wouldn’t otherwise meet each other. Also, when we have someone come in, they know that there is someone to support them and that they don’t have to do it alone. Even if we can’t fix the problem long term, we can take some of their stress away.
What have you learned from your time as the housing fellow?
I have learned a lot about how giving the city of Williamsburg and surrounding counties are. There are so many organizations and they all work together which means the cracks that people can fall through are smaller. People really care about others here and not just about having a job or a title.
Why would you recommend this fellowship?
Not only do you get to learn nonprofit management, operations and career building skills, but you also get to work with people and do something that is centered on people. That’s really important because at the end of the day if you’re not helping other people, what are you really doing?
Are there any particular moments or stories from the year that have been especially meaningful to you?
I took four football players to put up a moisture barrier at a woman’s home. They made a point of going to her home, introducing themselves, and doing more than just the volunteer work. They took the time to recognize they were part of the community they were volunteering in.