The head of Charlotte’s chief shelter for homeless youths, including gay and transgender teens, is leaving the city to take a job in Columbia.
Brennon Graham announced Wednesday he’s leaving The Relatives shelter at the end of the year, to take over as head of Growing Home Southeast in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 1. He has been executive director of The Relatives since 2005.
Growing Home Southeast has goals similar to The Relatives, with programs focused on finding homes for at-risk youths, while also helping struggling families with such things as transitional housing.
Under Graham’s leadership, The Relatives became known as one of the state’s chief allies of LGBT youths who were disowned or kicked out of homes by their unsympathetic parents.
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The Relatives was a nine-bed crisis shelter for children when Brennon took over, but it slowly grew to a complete support system for youths, including street outreach and a crisis center. Nearly 5,000 youths and families were served during his 11 years as executive director.
“Together, we have built an organization large enough to foresee Mecklenburg County’s unmet needs, and nimble enough to fill many of those gaps quickly,” Graham said in a statement. “None of this would have been possible without your partnership. For that, I humbly thank you. I sincerely hope our paths cross again in my future work.”
Over the next several months the board of directors of The Relatives will begin the search for a successor.
“I know I am leaving behind a strong board, an exceptional team of staff, and a great organization that has impacted the lives of thousands of people. I have every confidence that The Relatives will become something even greater for youth and families in our community,” Graham said.