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Cathe Wiese passes torch to Andrea Pickett, will continue as jobs program director

PMG PHOTO - Cathe Wiese, right, is passing the executive director torch to Andrea Pickett.The longtime executive director of Gresham's My Father's House announced she will be stepping aside to allow another to take the reins of the nonprofit family shelter.

Cathe Wiese, co-founder, is not leaving the organization. Instead she said during a virtual fundraiser Saturday evening, April 17, that she will focus on a new role as program director of the soon-to-be-completed job education and training facility.

"Today marks a new day where I pass on the baton," Wiese said. "I'm really excited to do programs and work with families again — that is where my heart is."

Taking over as the face of My Father's House is Andrea Pickett, who has been learning the ropes as assistant director for many months.

"I am excited and a little bit nervous," Pickett said. "Cathe has done an amazing job building a legacy of hope at My Father's House."

My Father's House is a nonprofit shelter that has served homeless families since its founding in 2001. But it does more than just provide a roof over families' heads. It offers guidance in life skills, job training and aid in building "soft skills" for interviewing and good job performance. It also offers families high-quality child care so the adults can gain training and look for work.

During the fundraiser, Wiese spoke of this being a time of exciting growth — as the organization nears groundbreaking on what is now dubbed "The Journey" — a new $1.7 million, 17,375-square-foot, two-story building that will have classrooms, a thrift store, a drive-thru donation center and a coffee spot.

It will offer shelter residents real-world job experience as they take classes twice a week.

"I am so excited for this next step of My Father's House," Wiese said. "If people don't know how to work, they will fall back in to homelessness."

The plan is to begin construction on the building this July — which soon will have a new name. During the fundraiser, which sought to close the $500,000 gap for the job center, a three-year, $1 million matching grant was announced.

There are no restrictions on the grant, so the money can go toward whatever My Father's House needs to best serve its residents. The only stipulation is that the new jobs building be named Cathe's Love in honor of the woman who has given so much to others.

Learn more and donate at familyshelter.org


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