Jason Pike is involved with several community organizations, but says there is a special place in his heart for the Shepherd’s House homeless shelter in Mount Airy.
Pike is now in his third year of service with the Shepherd’s House, which could be especially meaningful since he has become chairman of its board of directors for 2014.
He assumed that role on Jan. 1 and will serve until Dec. 31. Pike replaced Farah Davis, who was the chairman in 2012.
Pike is a co-founder of MAPS (the Mount Airy Professionals of Surry networking organization) and also serves with the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce and other groups including the Rotary Club.
However, he said Tuesday that his work with the Shepherd’s House is the most rewarding “of any things that I do,” due to its unique mission of providing temporary shelter to persons displaced for various reasons.
“Just the amount of people that we’ve been able to help through the years,” Pike added of the satisfaction derived from his work with the Shepherd’s House, “which is just an amazing thing to be part of.”
Since opening in 2003, the facility has helped more than 1,400 women, children and families and provided in excess of 110,000 meals and 36,000 nights of shelter.
“With the community’s support and generosity, we have been able to feed and shelter Mount Airy’s and Surry County’s homeless for more than 10 years now,” Pike continued.
“It hasn’t always been easy,” Pike said of the financial challenges that the Shepherd’s House has overcome during its 10 years of operation. “We’re doing OK (now).”
The acceptance by the public of the Shepherd’s House in helping to meet those challenges has been inspirational. “Seeing how much the community supports what we do,” Pike said. “The community has been very good.”
With funding always a concern for non-profit organizations, Pike lists it among his main objectives as chairman this year — particularly a campaign to provide a new homeless shelter.
Shepherd’s House officials launched the FAB 500 Campaign last year, aimed at replacing the present facility located in a former house on Rockford Street in Mount Airy.
FAB stands for Faith Action Build, which seeks to enlist the help of 500 businesses, civic groups, churches, families, individuals or others during the campaign. Each entity is asked to commit $1,000 over the next five years toward a $500,000 construction goal.
“We made a good start with that last year and we’d like to continue that and get people signed up,” Pike said Tuesday of his top goal for 2014. “We’re going to need some help from the community to get where we’re going.”
The Shepherd’s House governing board opens each year with a new executive committee. In addition to Pike’s assumption of the chairmanship, Mike Bowman has become the board’s vice chairman. Robbie Gardner has started his second term as treasurer and Alice Connolly her second year as secretary. Bob Meinecke is the board’s sergeant-at-arms.
In addition to the executive committee, the Shepherd’s House Board of Directors includes 20 members of the community. They are the former board chairman Davis, Kelly Hiatt, Kim Morrison, Berta Glenn Springthorpe, John Springthorpe, Carole Dowell, Jim Dowell, Traci Haynes, Jill Welch, Tammy Gravely, Carol Surratt, Lori Willis, Dianna Cox, Bryan Taylor and Dale Watson.
“I am truly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Shepherd’s House Board of Directors,” Pike stated.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.