Staff Spotlight: Meet Gary Grier!

Jul 17, 2019  |  at 10:18 am  |  by awright

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Gary Grier, Senior Project Manager for the Coalition for the Homeless, started with the organization in 2010. Originally from Crosswicks, New Jersey, Gary moved to Houston with his family when he was 15 years old and attended University of Houston for his undergrad and law degrees.

Abbie: Can you tell me a little about your role at the Coalition and what it entails?

Gary: I work as a Senior Project Manager and oversee the regional team here at the Coalition. The regional team ensures that the full slate of The Way Home’s service models are also rolled out to Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties. I also manage the Income Now Initiative, the CoC’s Veterans’ programs/VA Coordination Workgroup, and collaborative and training opportunities through the Case Management Resource Exchange.

Abbie: What made you want to work in the area of homelessness?

Gary: I had worked in the legal system for three years, and found myself wanting to move back to Houston. Once I did, I started volunteering with AIDS Foundation Houston and they had an exciting job opportunity that they were trying to fill at the time. I tested out the waters and it turned into a career path.

Abbie: What are some projects you are working on right now?

Gary: Our community was one of seven communities recently awarded by the Heartland Alliance to be a part of the Pathways Forward Initiative. This initiative works to increase income opportunities for homeless job seekers at national level through a racial equity lens. I was also in the American Leadership Forum Class XLV that graduated a few months ago in April. The American Leadership Forum (ALF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to join and strengthen diverse leaders to serve the common good. I have to say the experience far exceeded my expectations.

Abbie: What would you say your favorite thing about working for the Coalition is?

Gary: You know there really is so much I love about working with the Coalition. I really enjoy working with a diverse group of partners that bring their expertise to the table. I also have the privilege of seeing people I have helped through the Income Now program re-entering the workforce and prospering. I have been in homeless services for over 24 years and something I have learned is to never underestimate the clients.

Abbie: Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

Gary: I am an avid volleyball player!. I have not only played around the country, but around the world – places like Hawaii, France, Germany and Puerto Rico. I’d have to say nothing can beat when we played in Paris last August though. I also taught aerobics for over 18 years until I had to have knee surgery.

Abbie: Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

Gary: I think something many people may not know about me is that I did competitive disco-dancing as a kid. I love to dance! I’ve even taught family members how to ballroom dance for weddings before.