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Shelter Network Welcomes New Executive Director – Karae Lisle!

January 31, 2011

San Mateo’s Shelter Network names new leader
January 28, 2011, 02:46 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

Shelter Network, San Mateo County’s leading provider of housing and support for homeless people, has tapped Karae Lisle to be its new executive director.

She replaces Michele Jackson, who served as executive director of the nonprofit agency since 2001 and first started working there in 1994.

The two worked side by side for three days this week leading up to Jackson’s retirement celebration Wednesday night.

Lisle, 50, takes over the organization as it has seen a dramatic increase in demand for services amid the down economy.

In the past year, Shelter Network has served more than 4,300 people including nearly 900 families and more than 1,700 children in San Mateo County.

Most recently, Lisle was fundraiser and chief marketing officer at the Computer History Museum, a nonprofit agency in Mountain View.

Lisle previously worked at Oracle and volunteered for the Battered Women’s Shelter, Special Olympics and Center for Employment Training, among others.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School and is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and San Jose State University.

Her main goal is to provide more services to more homeless people, she told the Daily Journal.

“Homelessness is not always visible, she said. “It is probably significantly greater than people may realize.”

Shelter Network provides emergency housing and transitional housing, which includes a wide range of services for its clients including money management, for instance.

“As a teenager, I developed a strong sense of service, and learned that engaging in community and human services organizations is a critical element of one’s life. I am keenly aware of the education, housing and support necessary for the underserved to move toward self-sufficiency. I am committed to growing Shelter Network’s impact on our community,” Lisle said.

She takes over the organization just as Innvision announced it will close the Clara-Mateo Alliance homeless shelter in Menlo Park. Innvision is mostly a Santa Clara County-based nonprofit that provides some services for homeless people in San Mateo County.

Shelter Network is going to look at how it can help address the situation, Lisle said yesterday.

“It just hit our radar. We don’t want to see more homeless people on the streets,” she said.

Although its budget is nearly $8 million yearly, contributions from the state are down as the government grapples with a $25 billion deficit.

Donor contributions are also down despite more actual people giving, according to Shelter Network.

To learn more about Shelter Network or to donate visit

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