A letter from Michael Reinke

Dear Friends,

On August 17, I was given the tremendous honor to serve as the new Executive Director of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC). I thought I would take a moment to share with you why I submitted my application.

I want to tell you a story about a man I know in Indiana. In the late 1990s - early 2000s, I served as the executive director for an overnight shelter and day center. During this time, I met Sampson, a 61-year-old man who had volunteered with us. Last year, after a series of unfortunate events, he lost his housing and needed help. With an additional seventy dollars, he would be able to give the housing authority the necessary security deposit for an apartment of his own. Though we had not seen each other in seven years, he found me through social media and gave me a call. Working with a network of individuals who had volunteered for me and had served on my board, we were able to find Sampson the necessary deposit and he moved into his apartment the same day. Over the past 20 years, I have served as executive director of four local and statewide nonprofit organizations, and as director of development for institutions both of higher education and health care. This professional experience, coupled with my graduate education (an M.B.A. and a Master of Divinity), equipped me to serve as executive director, but it was my lifelong passion for working with and on behalf of individuals and families who are most at risk and most vulnerable, people like Sampson, that made me feel IFC would be a great place to be.

I began providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness in my senior year in high school when I worked the evening shift for a shelter operating out of our church. After college, working to end poverty became my vocation. I ran the Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center in New York City, providing a variety of services to the young, the elderly, and everyone in between. I served as the executive director for Shelter, Inc., providing housing solutions in South Central Indiana. Under my leadership, Shelter, Inc. opened a day center for homeless and low-income individuals and families, serving over 200 people a day within the first six months; doubled the number of transitional housing units; and was awarded the first Section 8 SRO grant in the state of Indiana. I also served as the executive director for the Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues (ICHHI) where we wrote the balance of state applications for HUD funding, bringing over $27 million dollars of housing assistance into the state. I chaired our local coalition of housing advocates in Bloomington and led the state coalition to lobby on Capitol Hill. In the final legislative session before I left Indiana, the Republican state legislature and the Republican state governor signed into law the first state funding for affordable housing in Indiana.

While my administrative, fundraising and executive experience have prepared me to lead the IFC, it is my commitment to social justice that truly inspired my application. When Sampson and I were talking for the second time after it had become clear that we were going to find the money for the security deposit, he said something which was very true. He said, "I'm sixty-one years old and I can't stay at a shelter anymore." My immediate response was no one should have to stay in a shelter. I wanted to be IFC's Executive Director because everyone should have a place to call home.
Do not hesitate to contact me at if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Michael Reinke, Executive Director 
919-929-6380 ext. 14