Updated: Nov 25, 2020
This year, IPH celebrates a special milestone: the 15-year anniversary of staff member Shahmeeka Chaney-Artis. From her compassionate interactions with guests to her dedicated leadership to her staff, Shahmeeka embodies the mission of IPH every day.
Two years ago, IPH transformed the former St. Casimir’s school into the Hoffman Family Center. The facility houses the Community Connections Program, supportive and flexible setting for community members to utilize a variety of basic needs services. Undoubtedly a monumental and historic project for IPH, it was even more so for Shahmeeka, who attended grade school at St. Casimir’s and would now be a leader in the very space she was once a student.
Today, as Shahmeeka walks the hallways of the Hoffman Family Center, she reminisces on her IPH journey which began in an entry level position working directly with the homeless individuals. Shahmeeka is now a Program Director working in a leadership position that oversees our daytime Community Connections program and Albany Emergency Shelters.
“Five years ago, I would have never imagined this. This building, our staff, my position. This doesn’t feel like work, it feels like something I should do as a person in society.”
Shahmeeka advocated for safe alternatives to daily operations that continue to support the 80+ guests who visit daily when COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges. Because of Shahmeeka’s leadership, guests continue to have access to basic needs services in a safe space. Additionally, her team connects guests to COVID-relief funding, unemployment services, and other resources that hadn’t been utilized prior. Even under pressure from a global pandemic, Shahmeeka knew she had to keep the doors open for those in need.
Over the last fifteen years, Shahmeeka has become the epitome of growth and success as an IPH employee, and a shining light to so many who have worked with her.