Camp Haven is announcing Gordon Stewart as the nonprofit’s new board president. The local nonprofit works to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe environment that helps them break free from destitution and despair and become contributing members of society.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Gordon’s experience taking over the reins as Brian Korkus, past president, steps into the vice president role,” said Chuck Bradley, Camp Haven executive director. “His dedication to the work that we do to help these men is admirable, and I am confident that he will help lead us in the right direction.”
Stewart and his wife Linda have owned a home in Vero Beach since 1994 and in 2007 became full-time residents, originally from Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.
After making Vero home, Stewart opened Motor City Classic Cars, a classic car company. Stewart has a stable of classic cars in his 16,000-square-foot showroom on 42nd Place, turning his lifelong hobby into a viable business.
Stewart recalled noticing more and more homeless men out on the streets looking for handouts every time he traveled through town. Moved by the look of helplessness he saw on their faces, Stewart reached out to Camp Haven to learn more about helping these lost souls.
Several years later, Stewart has hosted a fundraiser, given a $100,000 Challenge Grant, served on the board of directors, established an endowment fund, and served as the building project director for the recently completed Multipurpose Services and Programs Building.
As former president Brian Korkus steps into his new role as vice president, Stewart said, “He’s done a fantastic job through some very tough times and tough situations. I give him a lot of credit for everything he has done. He’ll be a tough act to follow.”
Looking ahead, Korkus noted that as Camp Haven moves to their next phase of developing and supporting the residents of Camp Haven, they will evaluate and update the nonprofit’s three-year plan.
Stewart’s challenge now will be to expand Camp Haven’s financial base to support their work because they do not receive any government funding. To do that, continued Stewart, “People need to understand what Camp Haven is. We don’t just feed homeless men. We help them learn how to support themselves and their families. We help them get back to their families, and we help them get back to work.”
The critical factor, explained Stewart, is the training and psychological counseling. “It’s a real program that you have to migrate through, and it’s totally different than what anybody else is doing.”
“I look forward to working with both Gordon and Brian on marketing for brand awareness to expand our endowment and ensure the ongoing viability of Camp Haven by insulating it from economic downturns,” said Bradley.
To learn more about Camp Haven, visit CampHaven.net.