Pam’s Promise working on intakes

New executive director takes over transitional housing agency

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Pam’s Promise Transitional Housing is working to serve more homeless women while taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, the organization’s new executive director said.

Five women were in the program when the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing staff to temporarily stop accepting new clients, said Sue Zachary, who began leading the agency in late June.

Three of the women have since graduated and the remaining participants are close to completing the program. Pam’s Promise helps clients learn life skills and find jobs, permanent housing and childcare services.

The agency received $4,000 from the Montgomery County Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund to build a divided office area where staff can interview potential clients while maintaining social distancing. Cases are now being managed over the phone.

“What we’re looking forward to now is, we get that room built and we’ll start doing intakes again,” said Sue Zachary, who began leading the organization in late June.

The pandemic came during a time of transition for Pam’s Promise. Executive director Kristi Craft, board president Jeff Johnson and Johnson’s wife, LeAnnie, the social services director, all resigned earlier this year.

The Johnsons offered the executive director role to Zachary, one of the case managers. Zachary moved to Montgomery County from Illinois in 2018 after marrying her husband, Alan, who is from Crawfordsville. She was an activities director at a long-term care facility in Illinois and sees working in transitional housing as a “blessing from the Lord.”

“I guess what I saw was her heart and passion was for the ministry, and her experience just put her in the perfect position for that kind of role,” said Jeff Johnson, who said he and his wife are starting a mini-farm.

Rhonda Rogers, another case manager, took the social services position. The agency once helped men but is now serving only women because of current staffing levels.

Pam’s Promise is not an emergency shelter, and most clients are referred by other agencies. Clients are housed on three properties throughout Crawfordsville.

A group of volunteers including Jim Farr, Conner McVay and clients from Trinity Life Ministry have spent the summer landscaping the properties. McVay, a recent Southmont High School graduate, also raised $300 for Pam’s Promise through a National Honor Society candy sale.

When a summer fundraiser was canceled due to COVID-19, sponsors donated the money they pledged for the event to support operational costs.

Evonik, Hoosier Heartland State Bank, Nucor Steel, Bob Stwalley, Tanner Insurance and Tri County Bank brought in about $10,000 altogether for agency.

For more information about volunteering or donating to Pam’s Promise, call 765-366-3203. Volunteers are sought for yard work, room cleaning, organizing items and mentoring clients.

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