When Lyle Werner was looking for a career change, she said God pointed her to the Good Shepherd Alliance.
The Good Shepherd Alliance, a nonprofit Christian organization that provides emergency housing and services to Loudoun’s homeless population, was looking for an executive director. Their interim executive director, Craig Stutzman returned to his job as a consultant after four months of service to the organization.
Werner led the Loudoun Community Free Clinic for five years.
"That's a long time in that field of work. I needed a change," she said.
During her time there, Werner helped the clinic find a permanent home and added two permanent positions to the four-person staff.
“The doors were closing when I got there,” she said, “but now, they will be perfectly fine without me.”
She said she made a decision to leave her job before she heard about the opening at the Good Shepherd Alliance.
“I resigned from the clinic and within blinking time, He presented me with an opportunity,” she said. “God does have a plan.”
WERNER IS WELL-KNOWN among the homeless population in Leesburg. She said many homeless people became familiar faces to her at the clinic.
"Health and homelessness are intertwined," she said.
Werner lives on King Street in Leesburg, a main street, she said, frequently used by Leesburg's homeless population.
Sometimes, someone will knock on her door. Werner opens the door and finds odd jobs for men and women to do to earn some extra money.
Joy Trickett, chairperson of the Good Shepherd Alliance Board of Directors, said Werner’s knowledge of the homeless community will serve her well at the Good Shepherd Alliance.
“She has a heart for people who don’t have much, for people in poverty, and that’s who we work with,” Trickett said.
WERNER HAS AGREED to stay with the Good Shepherd Alliance for four months.
“Hopefully, I will find that it is a good fit and it will turn into a permanent position,” she said. “I gotta pray about it.”
Mark Gunderman, vice chairperson for the Board of Directors, said Werner’s addition will allow Trickett to spend more time with the Board of Directors and help with fundraising activities, attend speaking engagements and allow her to network with elected officials and other nonprofits.
“Ms. Werner will bring strong leadership skills and a vast knowledge of how to manage a human service for disadvantaged non-profit in a fast growing and affluent community,” he said. “She has good business acumen and the skills and experience necessary to bring the [Good Shepherd Alliance] staff together to work effectively and efficiently while keeping operating costs within budget.”
“When you meet her you will find that she’s the type of person who will go the extra mile and that’s what we need,” Trickett said. “She knows the community.”