The COVID-19 pandemic introduced many changes into daily life at VEAP, the greatest being an increased demand for both our Food Pantry and Social Services support. To serve as many people in our community as we are able, VEAP is pleased to welcome eight new additional staff members to our team!
Jamie Gonzalez joined VEAP’s Social Services team in May of 2020 as a Bilingual Housing Specialist. Prior to VEAP, Jamie worked for several years with Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties. She has experience in a variety of social services roles, including support with energy assistance programs and case management to individuals who have experienced homelessness. At VEAP, she plays a key role in providing financial management assistance to our Spanish-speaking participants and offering housing advocacy. Jamie loves attending sporting events, is an avid biker, and a big lover of the beach. She attended Minnesota School of Business.
Katie Blood is also a Bilingual Housing Specialist, working directly with our Spanish-speaking participants who need access to housing-related support. She joined our team in May of 2020 and just prior to VEAP, spent a year as an Education Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica where she taught hundreds of students. Katie studied at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities where she obtained a B.A. in Spanish and Communication studies. She has a passion for empowering others through human connection and mutual understanding. In her personal life, Katie enjoys most things involving music and the outdoors: hiking, attending concerts with friends, and exploring new places are her jam.
To ramp up support during the summer months, when we expect greater demand for both our food program and rental assistance grants, VEAP is also welcoming six temporary staff. Five of these individuals are serving as AmeriCorps Emergency Responders, a new initiative designed specifically to help nonprofit organizations respond to significant needs in their community related to COVID–19.