Yes, the idea has been in the works for several months now and RPCV/W was part of the early planning. It hit the doldrums last spring, but now one or the other or both establishments might just come into being. The trigger event is a new website that’s up and running about Peace Corps House: www.peacecorpshouse.org.
The website is designed as an in-depth toolkit for developing a settlement house, also known as a community or neighborhood center. Settlement Houses date back to the late 1880s. With their deep traditions, the 400 American settlement houses really know their work. The motto of Peace Corps House: “Social services, social justice.”
Shortly after the website went operational Sunday, an RPCV/W member emailed from the site: “I love this idea and I'd love to lend my support how I can.” She then offered to help with grant writing — fundraising!
But beyond that, there’s much more to do. On the site’s navigation bar, click on Specifics and then Summary and Situation Report and read down to Opportunities for local Returned Peace Corps Volunteers?
Above all, use the Contact form to share your input and learn how you can get involved.
And as you may know, any RPCV/W board member may form a committee or enlist volunteers for group business. It’s the old Ross Perot rule: “When you need a job done, you get together a small team and go with them all the way!”
The coming together of such an initial core group is the next trigger event that will actually jump-start Peace Corps House. Because the task at hand, the first order of business, is to raise the consulting fee of $7,500 for the initial feasibility study. Then we can move ahead.
Again, it’s local RPCVs working with the local community who will make Peace Corps House happen.
Tom Hebert, Nigeria 1962–64, is the leading proponent behind Peace Corps House, a partnership with neighborhood and civic leaders and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) living in the Washington D.C. area to establish a community settlement house an an appropriate site. The Peace Corps House would operate as a non-governmental organization as an IRS non-profit with 501(c)(3) status. Peace Corps House would thus be independent of the Peace Corps and entirely self-supported through its own fundraising. Read the Proposal here and RPCV/W's endorsement here. Tom welcomes feedback, questions and volunteer offers. He can be contacted at: [email protected]