October 12, 2015—Today, Building Changes announced the launch of a new four-year business plan to make youth and family homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. The organization plans to build off the momentum and lessons learned from the past four years to expand its impact on families and youth experiencing homelessness. The new plan focuses on:
- Extending the reach of Building Changes to help people avoid and overcome crisis early, preventing homelessness in the first place.
- Strengthening the homeless response system so all people are treated fairly and all services are delivered effectively.
- Deepening their collaboration across the myriad of sectors that impact homelessness—in housing, health, employment, and education—to partner with the goal of more effectively serving people experiencing homelessness.
The Board of Directors also announced that after 12 years of working passionately to reduce family and youth homelessness at both Sound Families and Building Changes, Alice Shobe has chosen to hand off leadership. Shobe leaves the organization in a strong and financially healthy position. She’s built up an expert staff, a history of achievements, and a group of committed supporters. “We’re truly grateful for Alice’s vision and service, which have built a stronger and more resilient organization,” said Building Changes Board President Michael Brown. “We wish her well on her next professional adventure.”
Brown announced that Helen Howell will be Building Changes new executive director. “After a brief internal search, it was clear that we had our next leader right here,” said Brown. “We selected Howell for her demonstrated knowledge and experience of building systems that help people struggling the most to remain housed. This is exactly what we focus on.” Howell’s local, state, and national advocacy and leadership experience spans over two decades, and includes work to ensure health access for women and to protect consumers from predatory lending practices. Most recently, as Director of Pierce County Community Connections she merged the former Community Services and Human Services Departments to form a new county department that links individuals and families in need with services to improve their quality of life and to promote self-sufficiency. She also served as a board member of Building Changes for three years—and when the search for new leadership was announced, she resigned from the board so that she could be considered. Howell will begin Monday November 9 and Shobe will transition to a Strategic Advisor role through the end of January to assure a smooth transition.
Helen will draw on her expertise to lead Building Changes in the implementation of their new business plan and carrying out their updated mission: Building Changes believes everyone in Washington can be stably housed. We strengthen the leaders, organizations, and systems that make it possible.
“I am confident that together we can ensure that everyone has a home and the opportunity for a healthy, fulfilling life,” shared Brown.
Community Connections director leaving position at Pierce County (Pierce County Press Release, 10/12/15)