Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) connects full-time stipended volunteers nationwide with nonprofit organizations to work for peace and justice. This month, the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) is pleased to spotlight Hannah Flanery and Mallory Waytashek, who work at JDC’s Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) through LVC.
I feel very lucky to be working at HAP. My coworkers’ passion and selflessness as they advocate for those who are marginalized or forgotten continuously impresses me.
As a native of Eastern Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills, I grew up exposed to rural poverty. I saw more during college, when I interned for a non-profit medical clinic for the uninsured. This helped me understand the ways poverty can affect a community. I spent the past year working with the Peace Corps in southeastern Ukraine. When the revolution began there last year, I experienced living in a young state that has so much room for growth, and is willing to work to bring about change.
After my service in the Ukraine came to an abrupt end during the unrest, I was drawn to LVC because I wanted to explore issues of social justice and change here in the United States, while immersing myself in a different region from where I had lived before. As it turns out, working to combat homelessness in San Francisco was a perfect fit.
Though I’ve only been with HAP for a short time, my experiences and what I’ve learned about disability rights, social services, landlord/tenant law and holistic legal advocacy are profoundly shaping my ideas about social justice. I look forward to going to work each morning and seeing what HAP has in store for the day, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes me.
I am from the beautiful State of Minnesota, “the Star of the North,” more specifically the Mississippi River town of Sartell. I moved to Oakland in August, and have been working at HAP since then.
I first became interested in LCV while studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological Sciences from Gustavus Adolphus College, and encountering numerous friends and respected co-workers whose lives have been changed through their involvement in the program.
The best part of working at HAP is being a resource for individuals experiencing true crisis. I find it very rewarding to let clients know that someone is hearing their troubles and worries. I am very lucky to be working for HAP and I am proud of both the work that we do and the individuals who surround me there: individuals whose commitment, drive, compassion and wit inspire me daily.