01 Mar 2004
Haven for the HomelessTopics:
Greg Harms (MBA 89) served on the board of the Boulder (Colorado) Shelter for the Homeless for five years before he experienced a career-altering revelation. One day, I realized that shelter work was more fun than my day job, he told the Rocky Mountain News (November 15, 2003). So, he chucked his cell phone industry product development position in 2002 to become the shelters executive director.
During the winter months, the shelter houses an average of one hundred people a night, and demand has grown in recent years. When the economy went south, we saw an increase of 20 percent, said Harms. He likens the shelter, with a staff of 35 and more than 2,000 volunteers, to a small business: Youve got to meet payroll, raise money, all those things other business-people do.
The shelter is in the business of giving people hope, Harms explained. Many of the residents held entry-level positions that were among the first to be eliminated when the economy soured. The shelter helps get them back on their feet with new jobs and a place to live. Harms admits that not all of the shelter residents stories have happy endings, but the ones that do are what keep him going.
Class of MBA 1989, Section G