While many volunteer in their free time, few are as dedicated as Todd Shell, regional manager of Supportive Housing and Facilities at CORT in Houston. Shell is affiliated with nearly 40 local, statewide and national charities, and is particularly drawn to causes devoted to eradicating homelessness.
While the overall rate of homelessness has dropped significantly since 2011, thousands are still in need of stable housing in the greater Houston area, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Shell is the current vice chairman of the board for the Texas Homeless Network, which provides support to agencies and communities that are building systems to end homelessness in Texas through education, resources, and advocacy.
“It’s fulfilling to help nonprofits establish long-term programs and solutions to benefit underserved communities,” said Shell. “While donating time or resources is appreciated, these organizations also need help creating sustainable initiatives that lead to stable housing and lifestyle changes for the homeless, and that’s our goal at the Texas Homeless Network.”
In addition to his position at the Texas Homeless Network, Shell is a member of the Advisory Council for the local chapter of U.S. VETS, which aims to provide military veterans and their families housing, counseling, career development and more. As a council member, Shell collaborates with other members and senior staff to support veterans, who make up nearly 20 percent of the national homeless population.
“Of the veterans living in America today, nearly 63,000 are chronically homeless,” said Shell. “Veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, we need to support them in every way possible to ensure a successful transition back home.”
Shell also volunteers his time with the Houston Coalition for the Homeless, New Hope Housing, Harmony House and many more. He hopes that his work will encourage others to find a cause they are passionate about and make a difference in the communities they serve.