Lansing Shelter Director to Become Next VOA Michigan President

Jun 20, 2017

The Lansing branch of Volunteers of America Michigan is one of the largest homeless services providers in the state.  Now, its director is getting  a promotion.  On July 1, Patrick Patterson will become the next president and CEO of Volunteers of America Michigan. 

 


Patrick Patterson: 

“We’re a $20 million corporation this year.  We have 27 different sites of service across the state; we’re ‘lake to lake’ in Michigan.  We just were awarded expansion of veterans’ employment, for example.  So that will get us into Midland and Bay City and 11 other counties.  So, there’s a lot that we do.”

 

Kevin Lavery:

“Your clinic runs a ‘comprehensive care’ model.  The medical and dental clinics you have attached to the Lansing shelter are pretty unusual for a homeless shelter.”

 

Patterson:

“Yes, that was all intentional.  There’s not a lot of money in homelessness, so you always have to go find whatever you can, and I’m referring to public sources.  What’s been so strong about this community is that it’s the VOA family that has really gotten us there.  We’ve launched a major innovation every year for the last four or five years here, and three of those have been in this what we hope is a world-class recovery center for the homeless here, right in downtown Lansing.”

 

Lavery:

“One of the most basic missions you have is the Point in Time Count.  How has it evolved in your time here?”

 

Patterson:

“I’ve always regarded the Point in Time Count as a test of our mercy.  You’ve got to do that, and of course we do others during the year.  It’s required by HUD every two years, but we do it every year because it’s important to get an assessment of the current state of street homelessness, and how we’re doing in terms of those that we have a better relationship with and under the roof and in recovery.  My whole board and raft of volunteers are involved with that.  It’s really inspirational.”

 

Lavery:

“You’ve had statewide responsibilities with the VOA for quite some time; your duties have extended beyond running the operations here in Lansing.”

 

Patterson:

“Absolutely.  I’ve been around for a long time, so it’s nice to have that experience.  I came in supervising thrift (stores).  I’ve always done construction and maintenance statewide, and I’ve had responsibility for community engagement for the last three years statewide.   Certainly I’m familiar with the operations, and that’s really a blessing.”

 

Lavery:

“What have been some of the most positive comments that you’ve received from your clients here in Lansing that might help propel you to do the same thing on a statewide level?”

 

Patterson:

“I feel when folks tell you ‘thanks,’ then you know you’re hitting some mark, that you’re doing some good for the people, and I think that’s so important.  That’s the question that I answer every day: ‘are we hitting our mission and are we getting it done?’”