CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Champaign homeless shelter C-U at Home welcomed a new face to the organization as its executive director.
Melissa Courtwright has been a longtime advocate for older adults in Champaign and Vermilion Counties, previously leading programs to help people live independently as they age and to fight elder abuse and exploitation.
“My faith is very important to me, and I’ve always been called to work with the most vulnerable people,” Courtwright said. “C-U at Home’s mission is close to my heart. I’m honored to join that mission and this amazing team.”
Maggie Johnson, chair of C-U at Home’s Board of Directors, spoke of the value the organization gains by hiring Courtwright.
“It’s been a challenging 18 months for just about everyone in the world. We’ve felt that too, and Champaign-Urbana really strengthens us with its ongoing – and growing – support. It’s such a heartening moment to welcome Melissa as our new executive director,” Johnson said. “She has experience with the complex mental health and service issues that surround health aging and experience with many community organizations in Champaign-Urbana. These are going to be a tremendous asset as we go forward.”
Courtwright is starting her job at a busy time for C-U at Home. With cold weather arriving, the organization is preparing for increased nightly stays at its shelter and in its programs. The organization is also planning its One Winter Night fundraiser, scheduled for February.
“C-U at Home lives by a simple, fundamental promise: everyone in this world deserves dignity and safety,” Courtwright said. “I look forward to working with all the other organizations and agencies in Champaign-Urbana that are committed to fulfilling that promise. I know we can continue to work together on building and strengthening the programs that assist our most vulnerable neighbors.”