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Neighborhood Host program welcomes newcomers

Jessica Norsky (left), Neighborhood Host program organizer, listens to a fellow member’s inquiry during a meeting at the Tierra Vista Community Center Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The program helps newcomers to the base housing community adjust to living on a military installation, as well as help out community members in general by providing babysitting services, information about the base and community events and moving assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

Jessica Norsky (left), Neighborhood Host program organizer, listens to a fellow member’s inquiry during a meeting at the Tierra Vista Community Center Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The program helps newcomers to the base housing community adjust to living on a military installation, as well as help out community members in general by providing babysitting services, information about the base and community events and moving assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman William Tracy)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --

Arriving at a new base can be an overwhelming experience, especially for those who plan to live there.

Fortunately for incoming Schriever Airmen and their families, the Schriever Spouse’s Neighborhood Host program is there to help ease the transition.

Through the program, arriving families are introduced to members, each of whom “host” a street in the housing community. Hosts help disseminate information about events in the housing area and across base, as well as offer assistance with tasks, such as babysitting and helping deployed service members’ spouses with household chores.

 “We want to promote relationships and spread information,” said Jessica Norsky, Schriever spouse and program organizer. “We really want to be that pillar of support for the housing community.”

The program is only the second of its kind on any military installation, said Norsky. Though relatively new, she hopes the impact it makes in the housing area will help influence other base communities to follow suit.

“It actually started out at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and was later brought here with the intent to help build community and assist with quality of life,” she said. “The Neighborhood Host program is something so unique, and so special, that it should be celebrated.”

Victoria Smith, whose husband works as a 310th Space Wing security forces defender, witnessed the merits of the program when her family moved to the housing community. It was their first time living on base.

“Everyone was really helpful,” said Smith. “My husband works long hours, so they would come over and babysit so I can go to the gym. They have also helped inform me about events for spouses.”

After settling in, Smith decided to become a host to help other new families.

“It’s nice to help other families on base, especially those whose husbands and wives deployed and do not have the opportunity to do things on their own,” she said.

Norsky, who also received assistance when her family moved in last summer, said feedback has been positive, and the program is gaining momentum.

“Since the program has been in place, we’ve seen greater attendance and people have a better idea of what’s going on,” she said. “All of this helps Schriever have that community feel.”

Norsky hopes attendance will continue to grow, and the positive impact of the program will help new families overcome the hurdles associated with moving to a new location.

 “We know our neighbors, and we are there to support one another,” said Norsky. “Its been exciting to see the growth, and we are really reaching our objective of promoting relationships and helping get the word out for events.”

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