I have been working with two AmeriCorps members at our chapter so I decided to learn a little bit more about what they do.
Here is my interview with Caitlin Gould and Carolyn Kraker.
Q: How would you describe what you do?
Caitlin: I say I’m a Client Caseworker which involves going to different disasters. At the disasters I do a damage assessment and meet the clients’ needs with food, shelter and clothing.
Carolyn: We also prepare for and provide assistance to large groups of people. This includes sheltering and feeding.
Q: How has this job changed your attitudes towards disasters and being prepared?
Carolyn: I am definitely more concerned with being prepared. I make sure that my electrical cords are safe, I don’t use space heaters and next time I move I don’t want to live in a garden apartment.
Caitlin: I have told all my friends to get renters insurance.
Q: What is one of your favorite things about your job?
Caitlin: I really love seeing the communities pulling together to help each other out when there is a disaster. Also Firefighters will come up to me and say ‘You do such great work’ and they are FIREFIGHTERS!! They are really the ones doing the all the hard work!
Carolyn: We get to see a different side of Chicago, people coming together for someone who is in need.
Caitlin: We are able to come in just when people need us the most, in their hour of darkness, to help them start getting back on their feet.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face?
Carolyn: People who have not been affected by a disaster trying to take advantage of our services.
Caitlin: Not being able to do more to help sometimes.
Q: What did your friends say when you told them what your job is?
Carolyn: ‘Why are you going to fires?!’ ‘What’s wrong with you?!’
Caitlin: Everyone thinks I’m a Firefighter.
Carolyn:They all think my job is more dramatic than it really is, but I don’t try to correct them :).