Cheryl Clunk


Cheryl has played a lead role in creating and cultivating the three programs housed in the Department of Family Services: the Family Haven, Home Again, and New Heights. As the Director of the Department, she leads a team of six employees serving about 200 homeless families and unaccompanied homeless youth annually with Emergency, Transitional, and Permanent Supportive Housing programs including wrap-around case management services and life-enrichment classes. Highly skilled in collaboration, Cheryl is crucial in the development and success of the Family Haven Alliance – a partnership between five organizations in Sarasota County that provide a streamlined response and comprehensive system of care to families who are homeless. Harvest House’s Executive Director, Erin Minor met Cheryl when she joined the Harvest Church and served as the Children’s Pastor for two years. “She’s incredibly smart, witty, compassionate…When we received a grant from HUD in 2012 to serve families with permanent supportive housing, there was no doubt in my mind that Cheryl was the perfect fit to lead the charge.”

Cheryl exemplifies true leadership in the way she is dedicated to the Harvest House mission. It isn’t uncommon to find her on-campus after hours helping a family check in to an emergency unit at the Family Haven, or developing curriculum for the life-enrichment classes in response to the clients’ needs, or even taking her staff to hold a meeting at the park, helping the team decompress. When asked her about her favorite part of what Harvest House does, she said, “the way in which we truly love people – all people. It touches my heart to the very core to be part of a family that values people for who they are and strives to bring out the best in everyone.”

Cheryl has been a key part of the growth of our mission’s impact over the last five years, but she knows that our work is not done yet. She’s working diligently on creating more drop-in-centers and safe-places for young people. Still, she would like to see more housing units to expand current programs in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

There is usually a waiting list for Family Services – a constant reminder that our community still needs us. 86% of Harvest House clients who moved into permanent housing have not returned to homelessness in the last 2 years, and we believe these clients benefitted most from the loving community found here at Harvest House. This community allows people to heal and feel a belonging in ways they may have never experienced before.

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