Helping Michigan's Most Vulnerable

Friday Feature: Sharon Dade

Love in action
Sharon's story

Your name: Sharon Dade

Your role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Vice President of Social Services

What brought you to this position? I was working for the City of Lansing as Deputy HR Director with the corner office overlooking the Capitol. In 2001, 911 happened and I decided I wanted more meaning to my career though I did not know what that meant. I wanted to solve real problems. I was introduced to Volunteers of America Michigan through the emergency services work in Lansing. I lived through homelessness as a young adult in Detroit so I was familiar with the challenges. Just after the introduction to Volunteers of America Michigan, I was lead spiritually to visit homeless programs in Los Angeles. Specifically, I spent time on “skid road” and Hollywood Boulevard. I came back realizing in Lansing, we have a problem we can solve. That realization led me to Volunteers of America Michigan, and I have been here for over sixteen years.

What is your biggest takeaway from working with Volunteers of America Michigan? Love people without judgment and meet them where they are.

What is your biggest challenge in this position? Living a balanced life that ensures that I love myself. I am grateful to have kind people around me that remind me of this truth.

Where is your dream vacation spot? A nice cabin in woods with my dog, a journal, paint and canvas and some music.

What is your favorite book? The Bible

How do you spend your time outside of the office? My children, my dogs, my spiritual walk and music.