HomeFront’s Board of Trustees announced that it has selected Sarah Steward to become the agency’s next Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Steward will succeed HomeFront’s Founder, Connie Mercer, who announced earlier this year that she is stepping down on September 30th after 31 years as CEO. Sarah will take over in the role on October 1, 2022.
Ms. Steward is currently the Chief Operating Officer at HomeFront since 2016. As COO, she served as a visionary leader who, alongside Connie, guided the agency during extremely challenging times. Sarah advanced critical programs and services to aid our community’s most vulnerable neighbors. Her passion for helping others has already transformed the lives of thousands of families experiencing homelessness.
On behalf of the HomeFront Board, President Ruth Scott said, “After the thorough assessment process, the Board has unanimously agreed that Sarah Steward is the best candidate among a very impressive and accomplished group. She brings a vast array of skills and experiences to this role. The board is delighted with the process and the outcome. The nationwide search we conducted was a confirmation that Sarah is the right person for the job. We are incredibly fortunate to have a leader like her to ensure that we continue our critical work in the community, and the Board looks forward to a thoughtful collaboration with her as our new CEO.”
Connie Mercer added, “When Sarah walked into my office seven years ago to interview for the COO position, I knew that I had found the perfect addition to the HomeFront family. Today, after working with her since that time I am proud to hand over the leadership of HomeFront to this intelligent, talented, and caring woman. I know she will lead HomeFront forward with wisdom, skill, and grace.”
Ms. Steward holds a B.A. in Government and Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University. She worked closely with Rush Holt in his role as a member of the U.S. House Representatives for a dozen years, most notably as his Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director. Ms. Steward has been involved in Mercer County government for several years and currently serves as President of the Ewing Township Council. Her loyalty and dedication as a public servant have followed her throughout her career.
In accepting the role of CEO, Sarah Steward said, “Being chosen to lead HomeFront is the honor of a lifetime. Since its founding, HomeFront has been an expression of the caring of our community for our neighbors that are experiencing difficult times. I am humbled that Connie and the Board have placed their trust in me to lead this work in service of local families. Not everyone gets the chance to do important, meaningful work in collaboration with tremendous colleagues and partners and I am grateful that this role gives me the chance to do exactly that.”
HomeFront’s model is comprehensive with 36 integrated programs which provide immediate and long-term solutions for families in the crisis of homelessness. These supports include dignified shelter, service-enriched affordable housing, education, quality childcare, preschool, summer camp, after school programs, employment training and placement, case management, and necessities such as food, clothing, hygiene items, diapers, and furniture. The HomeFront model provides the structure and stability that allows families to invest in themselves and achieve an independent future. HomeFront’s families go on to find stability, above minimum wage jobs, many go on to college and advanced training. It is a holistic approach with real results ripe for reapplication in other communities. To learn more about HomeFront and how you can get involved, visit their website at www.homefrontnj.org.