Connie Mercer, founder and CEO of HomeFront
Connie Mercer, founder of HomeFront, has announced that she will step down as CEO on September 30th.
Mercer laid the foundation for the HomeFront mission with volunteers at her kitchen table 31 years ago, and over the years has created an effective and important organization that today serves as a national model of how to effectively break the cycle of family poverty, according to information provided by HomeFront March 23.
Following this change of leadership, Mercer plans to focus its efforts on a broader solution to the problem of homelessness at the state and national levels.
According to the statement, the HomeFront Board of Trustees is working with Mercer to ensure a smooth transition, and has enlisted a national search firm to determine Mercer’s successor.
“This is the right time,” Mercer said in a statement. “For decades, HomeFront has felt like my child, and today I feel like a proud parent whose child has grown into a capable, mature adult, ready to face the future. Holding HomeFront through a pandemic for the past two years has given me the opportunity to observe the strength and resilience of the agency. The HomeFront Board of Directors and experienced and dedicated staff are ready. We have a strong and vibrant infrastructure that will allow me to focus on the growing problem of homelessness throughout New Jersey and nationally. ”
Mercer said moving forward is one of her key priorities is a consortium of asylum providers in New Jersey.
“This association of homeless shelters and advocacy groups has tremendous potential to improve the future of hundreds of thousands of people, and I am very excited to be a part of that. As I expand my focus, I will also support HomeFront by identifying strategic partnerships, collaborations and other opportunities for development and advocacy, ”she said in a statement.
Last year, HomeFront responded to 52,439 calls for help with asylum, homelessness prevention, permanent housing enriched with services, vocational training, programs for children, food and other essentials.
In addition, HomeFront has become a leader in national opinion in the field of social services.
Mercer was honored at the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, received an honorary doctorate from Princeton University and was inducted in 2019 into the New Jersey Housing and Economic Development Hall of Fame.
“Connie’s extraordinary vision and unwavering devotion have changed the lives of thousands of homeless families,” said Ruth Scott, chair of the HomeFront Board of Trustees. “She has built HomeFront in strong partnership with the community to provide the wide range of services needed to help families break out of poverty. We look forward to celebrating Connie in the coming months and are pleased to announce that we are establishing the Connie Mercer Foundation at HomeFront in her honor to express our immense gratitude. ”
“Connie was the first person to say I can do it, that I’m beautiful, that I’m special,” former HomeFront client Stacey said in a statement. “I was 48 years old and I felt like a loser because I lost my job and we were two weeks before the eviction. That was six years ago. “
Today, Stacey and her family are thriving, she works happily, her children are getting higher education, and she continues to regularly draw and sew with HomeFront ArtSpace, the statement said.
For information on how to participate in Mercer events, or how to honor it through a donation to the Connie Mercer Foundation, write to email@example.com or visit www.homefrontnj.org.