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KayCee Weeks takes the reins next week after serving on nonprofit's board two years

PHOTO COURTESY OF KAYCEE WEEKS - KayCee Weeks will start new job Dec. 15.Redemption House Ministries has a new leader who will take over next week.

KayCee Weeks, who lived in Prineville as a child and is a current board member for the faith-based nonprofit homeless ministry, will officially assume the role of executive director this coming Sunday. The position was previously held by Greg Sanders, who died unexpectedly in early October.

Weeks now lives with her boyfriend and son in Redmond. She graduated from Redmond High School in 2003, but she spent her elementary and middle school years living in Prineville.

"It is definitely a place that has a big part of my heart," she said, "so I am happy to be working here."

Weeks has worked most recently at MountainStar Family Relief Nursery's Prineville facility. One of the volunteers at MountainStar is the wife of Mike Wilson, Redemption House's board president and interim director following Sanders' passing.

"That was the connection that brought me to Redemption House," Weeks said.

But joining the Redemption House board was not Weeks' first time helping the homeless.

"I think I started working in homelessness when I was in college," she said. "I did two internships with homeless youth day programs in Portland, and homelessness has been part of my career since then."

Weeks worked in the mental health field and later held a job as a shelter manager in Milwaukee, Oregon. In 2016, she worked at a warming shelter in Bend.

"This is definitely a huge passion of mine, and I am really excited about this new opportunity," she said. "I am eager to get started and see what we can do."

Weeks acknowledges that she is dealing with a steep learning curve as she steps into the executive director role and learns the history of the local organization and how things are put into play. However, she expects her familiarity with other homeless organizations, as well as her time on the Redemption House board, will help.

Taking the reins next week, Weeks has two primary goals.

"The number-one goal as an organization that we are focusing on right now is the financial aspect," she said. "I think that has been an ongoing struggle in the past, being mostly volunteer-run. We don't have a development officer, somebody who is out there seeking the funding that is available."

In addition, Weeks wants to work on defining the type of organization that Redemption House wants to be in Crook County. She hopes to establish some hard policies and procedures while reaching out to the public for their input in the process.

Wilson said that Weeks stood out as an executive director candidate for a variety of reasons, especially the way she joined others in keeping the shelter open after Sanders died.

"Her previous experience with homeless shelters was invaluable as she helped guide us through this time," Wilson said. "She got very active with writing and submitting grants, and now she's got us thinking about our policies and practices. KayCee's initiative and passion for this work quickly became abundantly evident, and we all realized that she was our ideal candidate. Her hiring was unanimous and enthusiastic."


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