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Project Hope for the Homeless announces new key hires

Project Hope for the Homeless announces new key hires

Project Hope for the Homeless serves as Lake County’s only homeless shelter


Project Hope for the Homeless is pleased to announce the recent hiring of two key staff members.

Painesville resident Renee Cruz now serves as the organization’s Development Director and Social Service Advocate. She began her duties on September 8.

Cruz assists with fundraising and works with donors to build relationships in her role as Development Director. As Social Services Advocate, she works closely with the organization’s Social Services Director and Aftercare Coordinator to serve guests and former guests.

Cruz has an associate degree in Applied Science with a specialty in Human Services.

Prior to serving in her new position, she served for nearly 2 years on a part-time basis as a Support Operations Specialist, which included tasks such as conducting intake assessments of new guests.

“I love the mission of Project Hope for the Homeless and I’ve known since my first interview for the Support Operations Specialist position that I would have a bigger role here,” Cruz said. “I came from a business background before I went to school for social work. I’m good with people and good at building relationships. This is where I’m supposed to be.”

Roserese Williams of Painesville was hired full-time as the Family Services Specialist and started the position on August 10.

Williams works directly with families staying in the Families Moving Forward program and part of her duties include guest goal reviews and intake interviews with new guests.

She had previously served the organization as a volunteer and part-time as a Residential Assistant. Williams is studying to complete her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Liberty University.

She plans to use her unique blend of real-life experience as a former guest of Project Hope for the Homeless along with her professional development to help provide care for guests.

“The experience staying here before gives me more compassion and a better understanding of what the families are feeling when they come in through the door,” Williams said. “You should see the faces of some of the guests when I let them know I was here before. I don’t let everyone know that. One night when a mom and boy were here and they were just holding each other in tears, I was able to tell her you could make it, I stayed here before. She just looked at me and she was filled with hope.”

Judy Burr, Project Hope for the Homeless executive director, said both hires are positive for the organization’s mission.

“Renee has a beautiful combination of business and interpersonal skills to bring to our donors and guests and Roserese is a blessing with her experience and natural giftings,” Burr said. “We are excited about how these two women will impact the organization and those we serve”.

Project Hope for the Homeless, celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2020, is a 50-bed facility where guests receive emergency shelter, a hot dinner, light breakfast, packed lunches and weekly one-on-one meetings with a trained professional staff member who helps guests set goals and gives them referrals for more comprehensive treatment, housing and care.