Recently we spoke with Deputy Director Mary-Parker Lamm about her experiences working for Carpenter’s Shelter.

When did you get involved with Carpenter’s Shelter?
What attracted you to the mission? I started working at Carpenter’s in 2007 after I moved to the area and applied for an open position. I was impressed with the comprehensive approach to addressing an individual or family’s reasons for being homeless.

What sets Carpenter’s Shelter apart from other organizations? Carpenter’s has a diverse staff who are supported by a unique community. A community that not only provides their dollars in an amazingly generous fashion but also provide volunteer hours that can’t be compared to other organizations! I believe our volunteer support is second to none!

What are your job responsibilities? As Deputy Director, I am responsible for the overall operation of the programs at Carpenter’s Shelter. This includes: Winter Shelter, David’s Place, HSAC, Education and Employment, Case Management, Community Case Management and HMIS.

How did your background prepare you for this job at the Shelter? My social work education and the diversity of my professional experience has helped me in this job although the best preparation has been working with many different individuals and the amazingly committed staff members that I’m grateful to be able to work with!

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does? Allowing so many men, women and children the opportunity to rebuild their lives in a respectful and supportive environment.

What aspects of your job at Carpenter’s Shelter do you find most rewarding? Sharing in the success of residents and clients and their continuous display of strength and tenacity. It never ceases to amaze me!

Share one of your favorite Carpenter’s Shelter memories? It’s hard to think of just one but I think the night that I heard Jasmine share her experience with Carpenter’s Shelter is certainly one of them and made me proud of what we do. She shared how she, her husband and three daughters walked from the King Street Metro to the shelter after arriving in town. They didn’t know what to expect and she was very afraid of where she was bringing her daughters. She talked about how grateful she was for the love and care that the staff provided to her and her children that first night and throughout their stay. She shared that the staff made such a difficult time for their family bearable and gave them the opportunity for the entire family to start their lives over and be successful now in the community.