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Non-Profit Organizations

May 12 – Attorney and School Board Member Julie Wade named Executive Director of Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter

Category: Non-Profit Organizations

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

May 12, 2017 - Savannah attorney and Savannah-Chatham County public schools board member Julie Wade has been named executive director of the Park Place Outreach — Youth Emergency Shelter. The shelter provides support and temporary residential services for at-risk children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area.  Wade will succeed Linda Hilts, who’s retiring after 20 years. 

According to Wade, who began her new position this week, “I am honored to be selected for this position, and to build on the excellent programs Linda Hilts began and fostered over the past 20 years,” Wade said. “She became the voice of homeless and unaccompanied youth in our community, and I am eager to continue to work on their behalf.”

Park Place Outreach board chairman Todd Cellini praised Wade’s legal background and her experience in student and child advocacy, in making the announcement.   “As a sitting board member of the Savannah-Chatham public school system, she has an extensive understanding of our largest population of at-risk children," Cellini said. "Having served in various board positions for several non-profit organizations, she also has vast fundraising experience as well as expertise in grants compliance.”

Under Hilts’s leadership, Park Place Outreach helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more found stability through its non-residential programs. She developed many of the organization’s ongoing services, including the Street Outreach Program team, which offers peer mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to older youth, up to age 21, who are in need but might not wish to come to the shelter.

“My goal over the next few weeks is to meet with the board members and staff, along with community members and supporters,” Wade said. “By helping to ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will be able to focus from day one on continuing to provide a safe and loving environment to the youth who come to Park Place Outreach for assistance.”

Wade, a native of Atlanta, attended Georgia public schools from kindergarten until college. She attended the University of Georgia and then the University of Georgia School of Law. Currently, she is a lawyer at The Wade Law Firm in Savannah, with a focus on federal criminal defense and civil litigation. Additionally, Wade serves on the Board of Education for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, a position she has held since 2011. Wade will continue her service on the Board of Education as she assumes this new position with Park Place Outreach.

Previously, she served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Georgia from 2007 to 2008 as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, prosecuting violations of federal law, including child exploitation, firearms, narcotics, fraud, and immigration.

She is chair of the board of directors for Girls on the Run and chairwoman of United Way Women’s Legacy Council. She also serves on the boards of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham Foundation.

Wade is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia. She has been honored by the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 and as a Next Generation Rising Star by Savannah Magazine and Business in Savannah. She recently received the Coastal Center for Developmental Services’ Vicki Loughrey Volunteer Advocacy Award as well as the John B. Miller Service Award from the Savannah Bar Association.

Ms. Wade and her husband have three children who attend public school.

Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come into the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. 

With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, Park Place Outreach has helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more find stability through its non-residential programs, according to the organization. 

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