Housing for New Hope would like to welcome and recognize three new board members - Dawn Bland, Rev. Chris Breslin, and Charles Lee. They all have a common goal to help prevent and end homelessness in our community. Each person brings great ideas to the table and will allow our organization to push forward, linking individuals experiencing homelessness with the services they need. Learn more about each of them and help us welcome Dawn, Chris, and Charles to HNH!
Dawn Bland, Center Studio Architecture
I have held the position of Office Madam at Center Studio Architecture in downtown Durham for eleven years. Before that, I worked in the service industry in Durham/Chapel Hill for ten years. I have first-hand knowledge of what housing insecurity feels like and how hard it is to climb out of poverty in Durham. I feel that our homeless population is largely misunderstood, under-respected, and often invisible.
We often see “homeless” instead of the personality, perseverance, passion, history, kindness, and the current circumstances behind this homelessness. I like to remind folks that we are one Durham. Together. We all need to live life with our eyes wide open to the whole person and Housing For New Hope does this in spades. Not only does HNH find more permanent housing solutions for our Durham vulnerable, but they walk alongside, offering services that will ensure that they have their very greatest chance to stay housed. People often don’t realize that a roof over your head is one of the easier steps – the myriad of services that come after is where the long-term difference is made.
Things that bring me great joy: creating connections in Durham, hiking and playing with my camera in the woods, and hanging with my hubby and two kids. Other current volunteer work includes: The League Of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham (LUEWWD), Bull City Swap, and various autism awareness projects (including Autism Society of NC).
Rev. Chris Breslin, Oak Church
My name is Chris Breslin and I’m the pastor of Oak Church, located in the Lakewood part of Durham. Our mission is to help those around us know their neighbors and be good neighbors by living into Christ’s immense hope, healing, and hospitality.
With my wife, Rachel, and our four small children, I’m animated by the everyday practices which create and sustain healthy and diverse communities around our beautiful and growing city. For us, this happens most often around the table, where we make and cultivate surprising friendships. Over the course of the last several years, some of those friendships have deepened our concern for caring, creative, and equitable housing solutions around Durham.
It is important to me that everyone have a seat at the table, the support of neighbors around them with whom they can break bread, and a chance to be a host to nourish and bless others. Housing for New Hope has been at this good work of providing not just roofs but also tables for decades, and I’m thrilled to come on board to partner with this great organization in this next season.
Charles Lee, Inhabit Real Estate
My name is Charles Lee. I am a real estate agent at Inhabit Real Estate and I have lived in Durham for almost 12 years. I grew up in a military family, so 12 years is the longest I have ever lived in one city. I have grown to love Durham since I have been exposed to so much of its history.
It's exciting to see the growth of our city and how it attracts people from all over the world. As our city evolves, I personally believe it must be a city for everyone. I have had family members face chronic homelessness and I volunteer in dedication to them. I am excited to join an organization that has a legacy of supporting Durham’s most vulnerable citizens.