The Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) in Clearwater has announced the resignation of Terrance McAbee from the position of President & CEO, as he relocates his family out of state. HEP is an award-winning social services agency, providing basic needs and comprehensive support services to homeless and very low-income families and individuals, including Veterans. HEP’s Board of Directors has appointed Ashley        Lowery as President and CEO, effective immediately. 

“HEP has been like a home to me and I’m so proud to have seen it progress and develop so much over the years,” said Mr. McAbee. “I know that under Ashley’s leadership, The Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) will continue to be a model of community excellence and a beacon of hope for all those in need.”

Prior to assuming role of President and CEO in 2013, Mr. McAbee served as Director of Marketing, and later Vice President. During his tenure, he oversaw significant construction projects including HEP West Veterans Housing, the Veteran’s Clubhouse, and the renovation of HEP’s Service Center.

“Terrance has made lasting contributions to HEP’s mission by establishing our Pathways to Employment job training program to help residents reenter the workforce and converting the agency’s offsite properties into family housing to fill a growing need in the community,” said Adam Bouchard, HEP Board Chairman and partner at Bouchard Insurance. “There is no one better qualified for Terrance to pass the reigns to than Ashley, who I’ve personally known to be a strong leader, committed to achieving and exceeding organizational goals.”

After joining HEP in 2013 and serving as Marketing Coordinator and Director of Marketing, Mrs. Lowery was promoted to Director of Communications and Development in April 2015. In this capacity, she worked with HEP’s Board of Directors to advance donors relationships and community partnerships, along with overseeing all fundraising and marketing efforts.

Mrs. Lowery is only the third CEO in HEP’s long-spanning history, which first began as the charitable outreach efforts of Everybody’s Tabernacle church in the 1960’s. HEP founders Otis C. “Preacher” Green and Barb Green led the organization until Otis’ passing in 2005. Barb Green served as CEO from 1986 before appointing the position to Mr. McAbee in 2013. Since its founding, HEP has had a track record of achievement and accolades, most recently being named the 2017 Large Not-For-Profit of the Year by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected for this role,” said Mrs. Lowery. “I am excited for the future of HEP and for what we will be able to achieve together in our mission to break the cycle of homelessness for individuals, families and veterans in our community.”

Mrs. Lowery holds a B.S. in Marketing and is currently pursuing an M.B.A degree, both from the University of South Florida – Kate Tiedemann College of Business in St. Petersburg.

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Founded in 1986, HEP aims to offer an integrated solution to the issue of homelessness by providing low-income individuals and families with housing, food, clothing and support services necessary to obtain self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.

As part of its mission to help the homeless, HEP operates a 390-bed facility, where emergency and transitional housing is provided for the temporarily homeless as well as permanent supportive housing for mentally disabled individuals, families with children, and veterans. HEP is a non-profit dedicated to “helping people help themselves.”

For more information, please visit HEP’s website at www.HEPempowers.org.

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