FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westport, CT – December 9, 2019 – The Homes with Hope Board of Directors has selected Helen McAlinden, a leader in affordable and supportive housing in Connecticut, to serve as the agency’s next President and CEO.
“After an extensive search, the Board is excited to welcome Helen McAlinden to lead Homes with Hope into the next chapter of our 35-year history,” said John Walsh, board chair. “Helen brings extensive nonprofit experience that is directly in line with the mission of Homes with Hope, coming to the organization with 17 years of experience at The Connection, Connecticut’s largest social services provider.”
McAlinden will succeed longtime President and CEO Jeff Wieser, who announced his intended retirement in March. She will assume her responsibilities January 6, 2020.
“Helen brings a strong passion to her work and has been a powerful advocate for the homeless throughout her career,” said Walsh. “We are confident that her energy, sensitivity and proven leadership working with people in need of supportive housing will strengthen and expand our network of partners and funders. I am impressed with Helen’s understanding of what makes Homes with Hope so special and her deep commitment to addressing the challenges of homelessness.”
“I am thrilled to be joining Homes with Hope at such an exciting time; I look forward to working with the board, staff, volunteers, supporters, clients and all others that build on the agency’s strong foundation and efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in Fairfield County,” said McAlinden.
In McAlinden’s most recent position as the director of homeless outreach and development, she oversaw the operation of The Connection’s Supportive Housing Fairfield County Program, HomeWorks, Milestone and Women’s Recovery Support Programs, as well as housing oversight of The Supportive Housing for Families Program. She is also a frequent presenter at both the state and national level on issues related to affordable and supportive housing, a member of the Women and Children’s Legislative Workgroup and an executive team member of Opening Doors of Fairfield County. Helen completed her undergraduate degree from Manhattan College with a concentration in leadership management and has a Master of Social Work from Fordham University. Helen is a recent graduate of Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Leadership Program.
Jeff Wieser noted that McAlinden’s demonstrated commitment to the cause of affordable housing in Fairfield County “has made her a powerful partner in the past and will make her an effective leader in the future. I know the Westport community will embrace her as it has encouraged our founding CEO, Pete Powell, and me to build this work in our suburban setting.”
Homes with Hope (HwH), a Westport-based organization, has responded to the challenges of homelessness since its founding in 1984. The wide range of services has grown considerably, as food and shelter alone are not enough to help people move from homelessness to self-reliance. Today, Homes with Hope provides safe emergency shelter, supportive housing, individualized case management services, mentoring, youth education, daily meals and groceries, and the life skills training essential to preventing homelessness from reoccurring.