The Rescue Mission of Trenton, which provides warm meals, shelter, counseling, and vocational assistance to the homeless, has promoted Barrett Young to chief executive officer.
Mary Gay Abbott-Young, the nonprofit’s longtime CEO for more than three decades, has assumed the role of president.
“This is a perfect win-win for The Mission, connecting our noble past with the challenges of today and our vision for the future,” said Niel Siekerka, who chairs The Mission’s board of directors. “Between Mary Gay and Barrett, they share over six decades of experience with our organization – having led us through unprecedented challenges with the compassion, vibrancy and hope that is at the heart of The Mission.”
Siekerka said the transition will help streamline the implementation of the board’s recently authorized three-year strategic plan and “ensure The Mission will continue to grow and change to meet the needs of those in our community who have nowhere else to turn.”
Prior to becoming CEO on Jan. 1, Barrett Young had been The Rescue Mission’s chief operating officer. In his new role, Young will lead and oversee all aspects of a complex organization that last year served 71,992 warm meals; offered shelter to 1,018 homeless individuals; provided counseling and vocational development to, on average, 80 individuals in the residential behavioral health treatment program; and helped 153 previously homeless individuals enter permanent supportive housing.
In her new position as president, Mary Gay Abbott-Young will focus on increasing The Mission’s public advocacy, overseeing grants and funding, and leading key aspects of the organization’s strategic plan.
“We are very fortunate that Mary Gay has agreed to stay on with us in this new role,” Siekerka said. “Knowing that she will be readily available to provide insights and perspective, while also being able to focus on enhancing The Mission’s fundraising and other key strategic initiatives, provides solid footing for our organization as we look to a new era.”
Barrett Young began working at The Rescue Mission of Trenton in 2003 as an emergency shelter associate on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift, Siekerka said. While obtaining his master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Young co-founded the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program – a partnership between The Mission and the University in which previously incarcerated individuals work side-by-side with professors, students, and corporate executives to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and the skills needed to start and run their own successful businesses.
Siekerka said Barrett Young’s leadership abilities have inspired The Mission to create innovative solutions, improve the lives of many of our clients, expand the organization’s capabilities, and create cost-effective measures even during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like inspiring leaders before him who have been challenged by daunting odds in times of immense uncertainty, Barrett has risen to the occasion – showing himself and those around him that he is a leader worth following,” Siekerka said.
Young said he believes it is important to see the potential in the people The Mission serves, even if the individuals themselves sometimes cannot.
“Ultimately, my vision is to keep innovating, improving and helping our clients,” Young said. “I want us to continue to find innovative ways to help those in our society who are most vulnerable. And to never lose our heart and our reason for being here, which is to provide opportunities for individuals seeking recovery, and to help put an end to homelessness – one person at a time.”