This month’s e-mail comes to you from one of our Board members, Marcus Guynn.  If you would like information about joining Cornerstone Community Housing Board, please contact me.  Stay safe!  Sheila

I am excited to be a new board member and GEM donor for Cornerstone Community Housing. I truly believe in the mission and intent of the board which at its foundation is one of non-judgment and redemption.

I joined the board in early 2020 after a conversation with Board Chair, Nathan Barbo, who is also a personal friend. I was drawn to the board because of that mission, which aligns with how I try to live my life. My mom ensured that I understood that I had been “blessed”, in her words, to be born into the situation that I was, which nearly ensured that “rock bottom” for me likely wouldn’t be too bad. I had loving parents, who provided me with a solid education and a relatively comfortable life. My mom made it her mission though, to help people who were less fortunate in whatever way she could, most notably in starting a school in our hometown with the goal of “bridging the gap” between the education that inner city children received and that of more privileged populations. In watching her dedicate much of her life to this work, I engaged with children my age and younger who for no fault of their own had been born into significantly worse situations than me. Well intentioned kids, who but for being exceptional and/or luck just wouldn’t have the opportunities to flourish and reach their full potential.

This planted in me an understanding that fundamentally life is unfair – no one picks the life conditions into which they are born, but those conditions usually truly shape how our lives unfold, so it’s up to those of us who happen to be on the lucky side of the divide to do what we can to help those on the other side of the spectrum.

As fellow donors, I’m sure you share some of that same thinking and I’m proud to be in a network of such like-minded folk. And since being an active member of the board I’ve had a few opportunities to see the good work that this organization does, and the genuine men it helps. Before this pandemic I’d met the men at various functions and got to spend some time 1:1 with them. For the most part their situations mirror those kids I knew a long time ago, they’d been born into rough situations and had lived hard, unfair lives…they’d made some unfortunate choices, but most of us have…the difference oftentimes is in our safety net/support system.

As a management consultant and former hospital administrator, I’m excited to bring some capacities around strategic planning, operations, financial management and a network of other young professionals, to the board with the hope of ensuring the work we do is able to continue for as long as its needed. My thoughts around what I’d like my

contribution to be fall in 3 broad categories – 1) activities that make the men’s time in our care more enjoyable, 2) activities that set them up to be able to  successfully transition out (in the case of Earl’s place), and 3) improving the overall financial condition of the organization such that the work can continue and to support advancement in items 1 and 2. To that end I’d like to personally thank you for your financial support of this organization, ask that you continue to do so and spread the word to others who might want to get involved. Thanks!

Marcus Guynn