Housing for New Hope founder to step down

Terry Allebaugh founded HNH in 1992
Jan. 23, 2014 @ 09:05 PM

After 22 years as executive director of Housing for New Hope, founder Terry Allebaugh is ready to move on.

Allebaugh, 59, said he feels that he has run his course as founder and leader of the nonprofit that helps homeless men and women find homes, but that he still believes there are other purposes he can fill. For the past couple of years, Allebaugh said, he has had “a sense I have one more assignment in me” before retirement.

“It’s time for me to do it,” he said.

As word spread of Allebaugh’s planned departure, people who are active in dealing with homelessness reflected on what impact it will have.

Sam Whitted, a Housing for New Hope tenant advocate and board member, said he was devastated when he first heard the news.

“It was just one of those feelings like an elephant standing on my chest,” said Whitted, who has known Allebaugh since 1998.

“Terry, I think he’s a visionary and he envisions himself, there’s another great cause out there calling him. He hears the call, just doesn’t know what it is. He’s taken Housing for New Hope to the top of the mountain, so to speak,” Whitted said.

Whitted graduated in 1999 from Phoenix House, which provided transitional housing for men and around which Allebaugh founded Housing for New Hope in 1992. Whitted then went on to work with Allebaugh and Housing for New Hope.

“He’s a great leader and motivates you to do things you don’t think you can do,” said Whitted, who also now serves on the board of the N.C. Coalition to End Homelessness. “I’ll miss my boss, founder of New Hope and also my friend. Knowing he’ll still be here in Durham gives me some closure,” he said.

The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, served on the Housing for New Hope board from 1997 to 2007, including as chairman. He said he understands Allebaugh’s need to do other things and move on.

“I also see it as a great loss to Housing for New Hope because of his tremendous leadership,” Hawkins said. “What I appreciate about Terry is he’s not a manager, he’s a visionary. Homeless ministry is close to his heart – he has a passion for it.”

Hawkins said that Allebaugh also played well with others in the nonprofit community and believes in partnership. “He has heightened our sensitivity to needs of the homeless, and for the poor in Durham. He’s been a collaborator,” Hawkins said.

Allebaugh leaves a strong legacy behind, according to people involved with Housing for New Hope.

Allebaugh will work at Housing for New Hope through the end of May, take a few months off from working, and hopes to be in a new job in September focusing on advocacy or policy issues related to poverty and homelessness.

“I don’t know where this journey is going exactly,” he said.

Allebaugh and his wife, the Rev. Lori Pistor, live in Durham and aren’t planning on moving, he said. Pistor is interim pastor of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church.

The Rev. Katie Crowe, pastor of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church and a Housing for New Hope board member who is overseeing the transition team, said there is deep gratitude for what Allebaugh and others have built, and the organization will miss his imagination for maximizing the potential of every moment. Whoever replaces Allebaugh will not just be a new director, she said, but also a collaborative partner and a leader in the Triangle.

Whitted said that Housing for New Hope has always been a pioneer in the plight to end homelessness and he’d like to see that legacy continue.

“We’re the forerunners of things to come,” Whitted said. “We’re striving to end homelessness. I would like to see Housing for New Hope cross the finish line. The great work that he started, whoever takes his place just needs to continue on and explore new things, be cutting edge.”