Alison Azbell is a Champion for Safe Housing

Posted by Monica Hoel

Alison Azbell started her career as a radio personality. “After graduation I moved home and worked in country radio for about 6 years.” After that, she turned the dial and got a master’s degree in Public Relations and Marketing (2017) from Syracuse University. A mass communications major at Emory & Henry, Alison made headlines when she traveled to Zambia to study and intern under the direction of a former E&H mass comm professor, Dr. Twange Kasoma.

These days she is using her expertise serving as the Executive Director of a nonprofit called The Meeting Place Mission in Morganton, North Carolina, that helps the homeless transition back into permanent housing. 

“At The Meeting Place Mission, we serve those who are homeless and at imminent risk of homelessness. My job as the Executive Director is to oversee our three programs: The Suzy Fitzgerald Emergency Shelter for Women and Children, Burkemont Men’s Transitional Living facility and F.A.C.E.S (Families Adjusting Changing Evolving Safely).” Her responsibilities include fostering relationships in the community pertaining to collaboration and recruiting landlords for transitioning clients to permanent housing. Incredibly, she is also responsible for all of their grant funding and fundraising events.

Alison is not daunted by the challenge. “There is limited affordable housing in our area so creating housing stabilization plans and reducing barriers for those facing homelessness can be extremely difficult when considering that the number of homeless continues to rise not only in our community specifically but also around the country. Our organization’s biggest accomplishment to date was receiving a grant for $30,000 in 2018 to implement a Rapid Re-Housing program that had not been in our county in two years (because we do not receive any federal funding) and we housed over 40 individuals including children in less than 9 months.”

Alison is also looking forward to establishing new programming that will serve currently under-served community members. “What I am most excited for in 2020 is a Pilot Day Program we are implementing for women because Burke County does not have any type of day program for homeless women.”

Alison has has a 2-year-old daughter named Josie Mae.

  • Alison Azbell, E&H Class of 2012
    Alison Azbell, E&H Class of 2012

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