I am honored and pleased to accept my appointment, by the Board of Directors, to be Exec. Director of Fitzgerald House, Inc. Over the years, I have had nothing but admiration for our Veterans who have served the people of the United States of America and its allies very well. It is my role and responsibility to improve the lives of these homeless Veterans. Our reputation for providing better homes is stellar. We will build upon it and widen the support base to help raise awareness of the plight of the homeless Veterans in America today. Fitzgerald House, Inc. is a young and growing non-profit organization. It has a solid group of experienced and dedicated board of directors, that works tirelessly to make the operation of Fitzgerald house a success.
Much of Fitzgerald House’s success has been as a result of the vision and hard work of several personnel. I believe that it has been the combination of drive, commitment, hard work and enthusiasm that have piloted our organization to its current level of success. For that immense accomplishment, I will be forever grateful to the following personnel, Linval Taylor Chairman, Roy Forbes founding partner and Steve Stutman, Secretary. These men provided seed capital, technological and legal expertise to steer this organization to its current stage of operation.
The Board has given me the directive to take Fitzgerald House to the next level, that is, increasing the size of the organization and its programs significantly. My own vision is to make Fitzgerald House the best and most respected non-profit organization in the U.S.A. Currently, we are operating five (5) homes, three in Brooklyn, NY, One in Queens NY and the other in Suffolk County, Long Island New York. I want to move slowly and calculatedly, but also would like to expand Fitzgerald House’s operations to accommodate 200 Veterans within the next year. There is also a dire need to provide housing for female Veterans and their children in some instances. Over the next five (5) years, I also would like to double Fitzgerald House’s housing projected capacity, so that we can help more Veterans.
With the end of the war in Iraq and the announcement by President Obama that the United States’ role in the war in Afghanistan will be significantly diminished, Fitzgerald House has to prepare to facilitate additional homeless Veterans based on those projections.
Currently, we secure properties by a combination of purchasing and leasing. But, our aim is to have 100% ownership of multi-family buildings for future growth and logistics. It is our goal to serve other boroughs and parts of Long Island.
In order to realize this vision, I will need your help. Among our priorities is the further diversification of donor support. Fitzgerald House has always been blessed with dedicated supporters from all sectors. I regard the Fitzgerald House community — staff members, donors, and colleagues as a team and a family, captivated by our common love for ensuring that our beloved Veterans are living their post-war and/or service years at a standard befitting those who have served our country well.
Thank you for all that you have already done to help Fitzgerald House to be as successful as it is today. I believe wholeheartedly, that if we continue to work together, we can realize our ambitious goals for the future of Fitzgerald House, and, most importantly, for meeting the needs of our present and future Veterans.
Carol F. Gardener