As I introduce myself and my new role as CEO of Helping Up Mission, I want to share a little of the journey that brought me to HUM. It began 14 years ago when I met Bob Gehman at Citygate—the national associations of Missions like HUM. I was so intrigued to learn more about HUM’s partnerships and programs that I drove down from New York City, where I served another Citygate Mission at the time. From that first time I set foot on campus, I knew Helping Up Mission was a special place.
Over a ten-year period, I was able to visit HUM several times. After each visit, I left inspired by the depth and impact of the Spiritual Recovery Program and the breadth of their community partnerships. I developed a deep appreciation for the unique, holistic approach and community partnership-driven strategies of HUM.
In the fall of 2018, I accepted the offer to join the HUM team as a leader for programs and operations. But there was one challenge—my family and I were living in Arizona where I served as CEO of a faith-based organization offering help and hope for those in need in Tucson. My youngest daughter was a senior in high school and my wife was under contract to teach that school year.
I proposed a temporary solution—if a room was available, I would live on the HUM campus for about 6-8 months while my family remained in Arizona. This arrangement was set up and my work began. I went back and forth to visit them every couple weekends. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but as I look back, I see I was inadvertently pioneering an immersion program at HUM.
I was assigned a room in one of our graduate transitional houses on the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St. I experienced what it was like when there was a power outage on campus at 2 am. I navigated some snowstorms as a resident on campus and enjoyed sliding into the dinner line incognito after a run. We eventually found a home for our family in Baltimore City and got everyone moved from Arizona, but I will always treasure those months in the “HUM Immersion Program.” It gave me a unique perspective on the programs, the team and the value of the community at HUM.
From that vantage point, and after service at HUM over the past several years—it is truly a humbling honor to accept this opportunity to serve alongside a dedicated, diverse team of staff and partners as the new CEO at HUM. It will be a joy to continue to work with Bob in his new role as President Emeritus to continue to build and develop this community of hope we call Helping Up Mission.
If you haven’t had the opportunity for your own “immersion” into our campus at HUM—I’d love to show you around and share more about the impact you have by investing in Helping Up Mission.
Serving with you,
K. Daniel Stoltzfus, CEO
Helping Up Mission