Tackling one of the biggest issues in our state, the last decade has not been easy for Connie Mitchell. the executive director at the Institute of Human Services. Despite her efforts, the number of homeless continue to grow and the problem is becoming more complex. To find solutions, she took to the streets to meet the homeless face-to-face.
What she found, unique problems that demanded individual services - from veterans without a home, to newly released convicts and those with substance abuse issues or mental health problems - and sometimes all of the above. So she created new programs with partner agencies to help address the layers of problems, peeling away each one, until she could find an answer.
And it has worked.
She has gotten more than 13 thousand people into permanent housing during her tenure...and found jobs for 800 people. But Like most great leaders, she credits the team around her. IHS community relations director Kimo Cravalho even revealed a side to Connie that most of us never see.
Connie was nominated for this honor by Donna Tanoue who said her leadership is "inspiring, transformative and outstanding." She credits Connie with teaching the homeless that they have the power to change their own lives, and taught the community to look at them with humanity.
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