SARATOGA SPRINGS – Shelters of Saratoga (SOS) board of directors and staff welcome Karen A. Gregory to lead the agency as the new executive director. A veteran of nonprofit leadership for the Columbia-Greene Domestic Violence Program, Gregory has excelled in public and private sector roles throughout her career of more than 20 years.
Gregory joins the organization with a breadth of experience in nonprofit and public service agencies and corporations. As executive director of the Columbia-Greene Domestic Violence Program, Gregory led the agency through its growth with the acquisition of two agency-owned shelters and two transitional apartment buildings. In addition to her nonprofit experience, Gregory served as a law enforcement officer for five years. Most recently, she served in an operational leadership role for Target Corporation.
Gregory’s experience will further SOS’s efforts to materially reduce homelessness. Initiatives aimed at minimizing barriers to housing for the chronically homeless remain a priority for the agency.
“Simply putting a roof over one’s head does not address the supportive care some people need to retain housing,” stated Gregory. “The Housing First model of care removes the pre-conditions and barriers to housing some face. It provides stability through permanent housing then works to address health conditions, substance use and financial stability.”
SOS works to support individuals with housing, care and a path out of homelessness. Each year nearly 700 individuals use one of the four shelters, outreach, drop-in center, and low-income housing programs. Code Blue, a program of SOS, also works to house over a hundred individuals in an emergency shelter during frigid winter weather,
“Financial stress and trauma can disrupt or define one’s path,” stated Gregory. “As a community, it is critical that we work towards supporting livable wages, access to housing and support services to ensure people remain housed.”
Gregory attended SUNY Stony Brook and Zone 14 Police Academy. She is currently pursuing a degree in Educational Psychology. She has remained committed to human services through her volunteerism at St. Paul’s Center in Rensselaer and the YWCA in Troy. In 2017, Gregory received the Resourceful Women’s Award from the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region recognizing her community and professional efforts for advancing the empowerment of women and girls.