GREENFIELD — In the Hancock Hope House office, there’s an idea board with neatly-spaced green sticky notes about weekly meetings, short- and long-term goals.
The board has made its home there thanks to Andrea Mallory, the nonprofit organization’s new executive director.
Mallory will oversee four full-time and seven part-time employees, as well as a cadre of volunteers, in Hancock County’s sole homeless shelter, which also houses an 8,000-square-foot thrift store, the WEARhouse.
The store currently covers 55 per- cent of the shelter’s $289,000 annual operating budget; community donations fund 35 percent, and the remainder comes from small grants and funding requests, Denny said.
The 11-person Hope House board began seeking applicants in late August to replace outgoing executive director Carl Denny, who stepped down after two years to work closer to his home in Avon, said board president Robb Ferris. They sought applicants with experience in retail as well as nonprofit work, because the WEARhouse thrift store brings in more than half of the Hope House’s yearly revenue, with the rest coming from grants or donations.
Board members interviewed about 15 candidates, a mix of people from the Greenfield area and the region, and Mallory of Greenfield fit the bill, having worked both in retail and with area nonprofits, Ferris said.
In the last five years, Mallory has served on the boards of several philanthropic organizations, including Women Helping Women, an annual event that raises money to provide healthcare to underinsured and uninsured women; and the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hancock County, among others. She has previously worked in law enforcement, retail and office settings; Mallory last worked in the advertising department at the Daily Reporter.
When she first moved to Greenfield, she began volunteering with the Hancock Regional Hospital guild, and her philanthropic efforts took off from there. She said she found joy in raising awareness and funds for efforts that benefit her home.
“She’s done a lot to serve the community, and she has a background in retail,” Ferris said. “We want her to continue the momentum Carl has established in the past several years. We want to see some increases in programming and see the good things going on in the thrift store continue.”
Mallory decided to apply for the position after meeting with the outgoing executive director, she said.
“He told me about how fantastic the staff were, that he loved the mission and what he was doing for the community,” she said. “The people on board with the organization made a big difference for me.”
Chris Wiseman, Hope House program director, said Mallory has quickly begun to fit in and get up to speed in her new role as executive director.
In the future, he hopes to see Mallory build on life-skills programming offered to the Hope House clients and expand the WEARhouse thrift store, where gently used items are sold.
Mallory said for the first year of her tenure, she intends to carry forward the mission of the Hope House — “to provide hope to the community while strengthening individuals and families on their journey to self-sufficiency.”
However, she also plans to tackle marketing the shelter and thrift store in Shelby, Rush and Henry counties, which the Hope House also serves. The Hope House recently expanded its reach to Henry County, and the organization has a lot of work to do to make Henry County residents familiar with it, Ferris said.
In the past, officials have focused on getting the attention of Hancock County residents, but Mallory hopes she can draw support from surrounding areas, especially those counties where residents might not really the shelter is a resource available for them.
She’s met with WEARhouse staff to discuss how they can better promote the thrift store and its weekly specials, Mallory said.
The Hope House was established in 1991; it can house 35 individuals, including 20 people in family-style rooms, and 15 men in an open dormitory-style area. People typically stay in the shelter for 60 to 90 days, Mallory said.
Self-sufficiency is the main goal for the residents. Residents must be working or seriously seeking work while staying at the shelter, and they are required to prepare their own meals and do chores in their spaces and the common areas. Residents must also save 75 percent of their income and work on getting out of debt.
Andrea Mallory has lived in Greenfield for about six years. She grew up in Wabash County and studied criminology at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. She serves on several boards and philanthropic organizations in Hancock County, including the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Board, the Women Helping Women board, Psi Iota Xi, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hancock County board, Greenfield Main Street and others.
She has worked in law enforcement, retail and other professions. Her goal for the first year of her new position is to continue the mission of the Hope House, which is to “provide hope to the community while strengthening individuals and families on their journey to self-sufficiency.”