Joining the ranks of HomeAgain’s board of directors is local investment manager, Jim Schmidt. Although his skills in asset and liability management will be a great contribution, our agency is most appreciative of his passion for our mission to “help families and individuals experiencing homelessness to secure and maintain a home, again.”
Jim’s interest in homeless services was initially sparked by what looked like a disregard for the displaced, homeless individuals affected by the Monroe Park Conservancy Project. He was taken aback by what seemed to be the limited provisions available and began to explore agencies focused on this underserved community. Finally, Jim was connected with HomeAgain by former board member, Rabbi Jesse Gallop.
In describing what inspired him to become involved with the board, Jim shared, “I like what distinguishes us in the community. We work with those who are truly in need, and our clients are the backbone of our story… Our success rate speaks for itself.”
When asked what he hopes to bring to the board table, Jim described expanding outreach efforts. “I’d like to engage the community at a deeper level. We are all guilty at times of considering homelessness to be an issue only in the city, but it’s clearly a regional issue,” he said.
“The impact of the homeless is present, but the awareness is absent.”
This is not Jim’s first experience volunteering for a group in need of an advocate. In fact, he served with Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) for nine years, where he was appointed by juvenile court judges to provide assessments in cases of child abuse, neglect, and custody issues.
He said, “Making a difference when family crisis involves children has been the most influential work I have ever done, and the strong leadership and outstanding staff of Henrico CASA made that possible. Since then I have been looking for another opportunity like CASA to be involved in with the community. Then, when Rabbi Gallop suggested I take his place on the HomeAgain board, all I learned made me feel this was a great fit. And it is.”
This native of New York, who relocated to Richmond in 1996 with his wife and children, confessed that they enjoy the city life, it’s urban sounds, the local theatre, and many of RVA’s restaurants. When he isn’t traveling or playing golf, Jim is spending time with his family at the beach and in the community with friends. He is “happy to count Richmond as home.”
HomeAgain is excited to welcome Jim to the board and to see what great things he will help accomplish in the coming years!