||Farewell from Herb Levine
It has been a great privilege for me to serve as Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness for nearly six years. I want to extend a big thank you to the staff and Board of the Alliance for the wonderful send-off they gave me on June 20th. I take my leave of them with the confidence that they will carry on and build upon the great work that we have accomplished together.
As I said in my remarks there, the Executive Director is but one face of an organization. The work of the Alliance, day in and day out, is done by its dedicated staff. In our Board of Directors, we have wonderful policy-makers, who have also found the resources to implement those policies. The Mercer Alliance is unique among non-profits I know for the role that it has accorded to representatives of local government who sit on its Board. In the last four years, they have put over $12M behind the Alliance’s direction of permanent housing and targeted prevention.
There are few advocacy organizations who can point to such numbers to measure the extent of the influence they wield. What those funds purchase are housing and service from non-profit providers, some of whom also sit on the Board of Directors. Finally, there are the advocates from various walks of life who join together with these government and non-profit partners to spread the message of the Alliance. Together, you are a powerful force for good. I know you will keep it up.
We are ending homelessness -- one individual and one family at a time, by shortening the amount of time that people spend being homeless, by arranging for the funding that will pay for their housing and services as they re-stabilize. We push for the building of homes in all of Mercer’s communities at prices that people of all incomes can afford. Please download our “Report to the Community” 2013 to familiarize yourself with the achievements of the Alliance in helping hundreds of formerly homeless individuals and families re-stabilize in permanent rental homes.
As I’ve indicated to the press when they interviewed me, I hope to keep doing work similar to the work I’ve been doing with the Alliance – building partnerships between housing developers, service providers, government funders and the at-risk populations that need homes and supportive services. To that end, I’ve created a new and, I hope, appropriate email for myself: firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell phone will remain the same: 267-760-1571.
I hope to stay in touch with many of you. It has been wonderful to get to know so many people who share a passion for doing the right thing for their most vulnerable neighbors.
I wish you continued perseverance and dedication to the vision we share. And please don’t forget that you have an important role – as a volunteer, as a donor, as a promoter of the Alliance. Help spread the message. More of us need to live by the slogan of the Mercer Alliance. When it comes to ending homelessness, we must, we can, we will!