Barbara Jessie-Black (Executive Director)

“It’s interesting — you bring people together who you know have some fragility of some type. A lot of folks that come to us were previously addicted to some particular substance. We’ve got a few folks that were homeless before they came to us and really through kind of not just the fact that they were employed but through the camaraderie and the people around them, and sort of that family kind of atmosphere, folks have come out of their shells.

Just this hodgepodge of folks coming together and I feel that because of who the executive team is as a whole … I think we’re a safe place for people to kind of grow.

I consider myself really fortunate that the hardships [I’ve faced] have been minor, and it’s all relative of course. But I look at all those things as opportunities for growth for me as an individual and have really felt blessed that I’ve been able to grow in a way now that helps other people. I can share experiences with folks and say, ‘Look there’s a different way of doing things.’

I would say be open. Be open to the people that you meet, the situations that come your way, and always realize that by being open you give them an opportunity to learn from you and also you an opportunity to learn from them.”