SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Shelters of Saratoga has named Duane J. Vaughn the organization’s new executive director, just over a month after former director Karen Gregory’s departure.
Gregory, who had been on the job 18 months, left in late June after the shelter board voted not to continue her, though she had earned high marks with many city officials for her commitment to helping the homeless. Board leadership wouldn’t discuss the reasons for her departure.
Vaughn has served as executive director for the Tri-County United Way in Queenbury for the last four years, and was previously executive director of WAIT House, a state-licensed emergency and transitional shelter program for homeless youth in Glens Falls, for 13 years.
With the WAIT House, he opened an emergency shelter program in 2003 and a transitional living program for homeless pregnant and parenting youth in 2010.
“We are confident that Duane’s leadership will help Shelters of Saratoga continue to expand and strengthen its mission of providing individuals with safe shelter, supportive services and sustainable strategies to end homelessness in the Greater Saratoga region,” the Shelters of Saratoga board of directors said in a statement announcing the hiring.
Shelters of Saratoga operates two shelters for the homeless on Walworth Street as well as an outreach program and the city’s Code Blue emergency winter homeless shelter program, which continues to search for a permanent home.
“Duane’s many talents, collaborative approach and wide-ranging experience will help us accelerate opportunities for long-term sustained housing for Saratoga Springs’ most vulnerable population,” the board statement said. “He’ll be an asset to the community, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him lead our organization.”
Vaughn, who also previously served on the Fort Ann Town Board, lives in West Fort Ann with his wife and dog.
“I have been blessed to work with such wonderful organizations as the Tri-County United Way and the WAIT House,” Vaughn said. “I am truly excited to begin working with the dedicated staff and board of directors of Shelters of Saratoga. The Saratoga community is invested in solving complex issues for populations that are vulnerable and at-risk, and I am thankful that I will be able to be a part of that collaborative process.”
As he departs, Tri-County United Way praised his leadership and commitment to the community he served.
“His organizational skills and true care for the disadvantaged in our area came at a crucial time. He has become an integral and important leader in our community. His presence and leadership will be missed greatly, but we wish him only the best in his new position,” said David Krogmann, president of the Tri-County United Way board.
Vaughn will start his new job Sept. 7.