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AmeriCorps Hoopa TCCC Brings Hope to Morehouse

by Kate Enos

AmeriCorps members come from all walks of life. They could be fresh out of high school or college, or perhaps they are returning veterans, stay-at-home moms, or retired individuals. The members of AmeriCorps Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps (Hoopa TCCC) have their own unique perspective – they are all from Native American communities.

Based on the largest reservation in the state with the largest Native American population, the California program operates a 10 month program for youth ages 18-24.

Members hail from various tribes including Hoopa, Cherokee, and Navajo Nation and as AmeriCorps members they serve in teams of ten to carry out service projects within and outside the Hoopa Valley reservation. Intensive service projects are focused in disaster relief, education, environment, public safety, and homeland security.

Hoopa TCCC is currently hard at work in Southeast Missouri helping residents recover and rebuild after devastating flooding in April.

“The flooding has been overshadowed in Southeast Missouri, but most of the residents have weathered it really well and it is truly inspiring to see this little town come together to help one another,” said Project Manager and Training Specialist of Hoopa TCCC, Viola Long.

“I always feel for the victims because they lose so much. Our team goes the extra mile to help the victims because their lives have been turned upside down," said Long.

The floods in Morehouse, MO damaged more than 270 homes, with only 150 homes identified as being salvageable. The AmeriCorps Hoopa TCCC team, made up of ten members, has been in the middle of the disaster recovery efforts, removing debris, mucking, and demolishing the interiors of the damaged homes, salvaging all they can for the flood victims.

Hoopa TCCC has been working closely with the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, Hope International, and numerous community volunteers to coordinate disaster recovery efforts.

“Hoopa TCCC has been a tremendous asset to our community, being there every step of the way to help us recover and rebuild,” said Morehouse Mayor Pete Leija. “I will never be able to thank them enough for everything they have done for Morehouse. They have saved us."

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