Jeff Wieser — longtime president and CEO of Homes with Hope — will retire from the multi-purpose housing organization by the end of 2019. Board chair John Walsh announced the news today.
In his 9 years as director, Wieser has been a driving force for HwH. During his tenure he has overseen operations at the Gillespie Center and the Bacharach Community. He also expanded the portfolio of 44 supportive housing units, which the agency owns and operates.
Homes with Hope more than doubled its shelter capacity, providing beds for 115 people each night. And Wieser introduced an after-school mentoring program for the 30 children in HwH facilities.
In addition, Wieser led the merger with Project Return, the housing program for young women ages 18 to 24.
Wieser has helped Homes with Hope become a national role model, demonstrating how a suburban town can effectively respond to homelessness.
“Jeff has been a transformative, innovative leader” in the fight against homelessness, Walsh said.
“He is also a powerful advocate for the homeless beyond our community in his roles in Opening Doors of Fairfield County and as board chair of Supportive Housing Works, a regional collaborative whose mission is to end chronic homelessness in Fairfield County.”
Westport 1st Selectman Jim Marpe called Homes with Hope “one of the community services that makes Westport so special.” He noted that under Wieser’s leadership, the organization has “expanded its affordable, supportive housing options, its relationships with other not-for-profit agencies and its overall community support.”
“As a local resident, Jeff saw the opportunity to leverage his business and professional experience with his passion for helping others, and has helped make Homes with Hope even better than he found it,” Marpe added. “On behalf of the town of Westport, I want to thank Jeff for his untiring service to our community and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”
“Being involved with Homes with Hope over the last 30 years, first on the board and then as executive director, has been the most satisfying professional role of my life,” said Wieser.
“It is easy to be proud of the Homes with Hope organization, and it is easier to be proud of the community that supports HwH so spiritually and generously. I look forward to staying involved in any way that I can be useful to Homes with Hope and Westport.”