The National Low Income Housing Coalition is fortunate to have great interns every semester and summer. Over the next several weeks, each of our summer interns will share their experiences at the Coalition with you. 

Hello everyone, my name is Marcus Mello and I am currently one of two outreach interns at the National Low Income Housing Coalition. I began my internship at the end of May and I will be leaving at the beginning of August. So far, this internship has exposed me to a wide variety of issues facing the world of affordable housing and has also given me a glimpse of what it is like to being in the real world working a 9-5 job. As an outreach intern, I have gained considerable knowledge about the significant role that maintaining and building a membership base plays in the success of a policy advocacy organization.

I was originally interested in interning for NLIHC because of both my personal background and desire to learn more about an issue that I have studied in my economics courses. Having grown up in a Section 8 household, I really wanted to learn more about low income housing programs and how the environment is shaped by policy advocacy organizations. Though I plan to pursue architecture, policy is something that I have found intriguing since my freshman of year of college and I wanted an internship that would connect my interests in both the built environment and policy.

As an intern, it can be challenging juggling multiple tasks, such as making membership renewal calls, handling the direct assistance line, and organizing membership spreadsheets, at once. However, the staff at NLIHC have been nothing less than friendly and supportive. My fellow outreach intern, Becca, and I were even able to tag along with the research team to a hearing on Capitol Hill, which was awesome to see. My favorite project so far has been categorizing NLIHC’s list of member agencies. Becca and I are in the process of creating a membership dashboard for the NLIHC board of directors, which will contain charts and graphs pertaining to NLIHC’s membership demographics.

Outside the office, I have also been thoroughly enjoying myself. Coming from a suburb outside Boston, it also has been quite an experience trekking around the nation’s capital, which I had only visited in short trips before. Future intern alert: this is the city to be in. One of my favorite adventures was going on a bike tour of the monuments and memorials with a few of the other interns here on a previous Saturday. We also frequently eat lunch together in Lafayette Park, wave at Secret Service officers, and grab fro-yo (Yogen Früz is awesome) or Rōti (future interns: you have to try Rōti). As far as the internship goes, future interns should expect to be able to work independently and take notes. There are staff meetings every week, so it is important to keep track of what you learn for future reference. Lastly, bring short-sleeved and long-sleeved clothing – the weather here is unpredictable.

Anyways, gotta get back to work. Email me at if you have any questions or comments or just want to say hi!