The new executive director for Shelter House isn’t new to the organization at all.
Joe Meyer, who has worked with Shelter House for the past nine years, was named the head of the nonprofit helping to put an end to homelessness and fight domestic violence in Reston and beyond.
“My main focus and goal is to serve the staff at Shelter Homes and provide the support they need to get the job done,” he said.
Shelter House Board President Denise Miller said he was chosen from a pool of 50 applicants. The board hired an outside search firm and put together a task force to whittle the pool down to their final choices.
Many of the board members were involved in the process to find a new executive director.
“His commitment to the organization, the leadership he has shown for the past nine years,” said Miller, listing reasons why he was a good fit for the position. “I think he also has a good vision for the future of the organization.”
Meyer grew up in Johnstown, Pa., and has a degree in Social Work from Slippery Rock University. He started at Shelter Homes in 2005 after working at Cornerstones - then called Reston Interfaith. He served as the Patrick Henry Shelter director for two years, then was promoted to deputy director in 2007.
He wants to help raise awareness in the community about the issues the organization is helping to end.
“The other positions were more internal operations, and now I’ll be out there to pull the community together around the issue of homelessness and domestic violence,” said Meyer.
He has worked with county Director to Prevent and End Homelessness Dean Klein since he started with the organization. Klein said Meyer’s leadership helped turn Shelter House into a great organization.
“I think he’s a true professional,” he said.
Shelter House owns two homeless shelters and one domestic violence shelter in an undisclosed location. On any given night, he said, the shelters can house more than 80 families. It employs 50 full time and 60 part time employees.
“All the facilities are open 24-7,” he said. “It takes all of us to operate the facilities as we do.”
He credits much of his success to his predecessor.
“Jewell Mikula served as the executive director for 13 years and had a very big impact on our community” he said. “That’s another reason it’s a good transition for me - because of her work to set the foundation of this organization.”