New Executive Director to Lead Housing for New Hope

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Board of Directors of Housing for New Hope announced today Gretchen Senez as its new Executive Director effective October 1, 2014. “Gretchen demonstrates a strong capacity for creating innovative solutions for homeless families and individuals, and brings this expertise to our mission in service to our beloved community,” stated Adrian Brown, Director, Investor Relations, with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Housing for New Hope Board of Directors.  “In her previous role at Unity House[i], Gretchen skillfully took that agency to the next level; a capability we sought in our search process.  The board and staff have worked hard to position Housing for New Hope for this opportunity, and for growth.  Having successfully navigated an agency with a budget ten times[ii]  larger than ours and a staff of 350, we are anticipating great things under her leadership."

“I am thrilled to become the next Executive Director for Housing for New Hope and honored to be joining their team,” said Senez.  “My commitment to end and prevent homelessness drives my desire to champion services that are providing valuable outcomes.  Housing for New Hope’s long standing commitment to person-centered services, community collaboration and their staff are inspiring.  They have taken on a critical community challenge and are returning powerful economic and social dividends for the entire community.”
Founder and Executive Director Terry Allebaugh left his post on May 31, 2014.  After the founder’s departure, Eric Breit served as interim executive director.  He will remain on through the transition to the new executive director.

"It has been a joy to step into Housing for New Hope and witness firsthand what a tremendous organization this is from the inside out,” reflected Breit.  “Their committed staff and dedicated board live the mission every day and are enthusiastic about the future under the leadership of Gretchen.”

A transition team was formed in January 2014 to oversee the search for a new leader. Katie Crowe, HNH Board Member and Senior Pastor of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, chaired the transition team.

“The process of transition was characterized by careful discernment each step of the way. Moss+Ross were excellent guides as we navigated these waters, and we were fortunate to have had a pool of incredibly gifted applicants for this position, who enriched our perspective on the opportunity before us and the leadership that would be required as we step into the future,” commented Reverend Crowe.  “Gretchen brings with her the depth of passion, breadth of experience, enthusiasm for collaboration, and propensity for vision that we feel are essential as we embark on this next chapter of our life as an organization.  We are very excited about Gretchen and the impact that she will have on Housing for New Hope and our community as we seek to end homelessness.”

Senez shared that her commitment to ensuring that everyone has a place to call home has driven her work for the last 15 years at Unity House.  Most recently as their Deputy CEO, she designed and led progressive programming that connected chronically homeless with comprehensive support services and long-term housing solutions.  Senez also worked with a consortium of agencies in designing medical, domestic violence and mental health services for people in need.

Senez is moving from New York and looking forward to re-connecting to her family already in the Triangle.  Joining Senez is her husband Rob, son Nate and their dog Vern.

Celebrating its 22nd year, Housing for New Hope works to prevent and end homelessness in the Triangle.  To accomplish our mission, we have developed an innovative, highly collaborative model that provides increased access to housing, healthcare, and integrated services to more than 1,000 households a year. Since 1992, we have built more than 70 units of housing options and have become known for our innovative array of support services provided by 25 staff dedicated to "Preventing and Ending Homelessness One Valuable Person at a Time."  Annually, Housing for New Hope serves approximately 2,500 clients.

Housing for New Hope's mission is to prevent and end homelessness by providing increased access to healthcare, integrated services, and housing in the Triangle.

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