New Shelter Director Takes Office

August 23, 2013

For immediate release:

The board of directors of the Tallahassee-Leon Shelter last night at a regular meeting elected Jacob Reiter to lead the homeless center’s efforts to build a 21st century emergency intake program.

The Shelter is the only facility of its kind between Jacksonville and Panama City. Although various other agencies offer services for homeless families and individuals, the Shelter is the only entry point in this area for homeless persons’ access to the support system.


Executive Director Jacob Reiter

Reiter, who has worked in the Tallahassee homeless services community since 2007, took over as acting director earlier this year after the Shelter’s founder and former director, Mel Eby, retired.

United Way President and CEO Heather Mitchell, notified of Reiter’s appointment, said, “Jacob has been quietly leading the Shelter’s transformation for the past six months. He is the right person for this job.”

Reiter studied environmental policy at the University of Central Florida before volunteering with AmeriCorps (known as the domestic Peace Corps), and the National Coalition for the Homeless placed him at the Shelter in Tallahassee. The move enabled Reiter to pursue his master’s degree in sociology at Florida State University.

When the Shelter first opened in 1987 and incorporated in 1988, it adopted a mission statement that noted the Shelter existed to respond to the emergency need of people for shelter, food, medical assistance and other crisis intervention. However, the Shelter’s new mission statement reflects a broader role and a more comprehensive approach to helping the homeless recover their lives and self-esteem.

The new mission statement says “The Shelter is a 24-hour comprehensive service center that serves as a point of entry into assistance by coordinating services and responding to immediate needs of individuals and families until appropriate permanent housing can be arranged.”

“That defines the challenges that lie ahead,” Reiter said.

Reiter said he looks forward to addressing the goals the board and he have set for the Shelter, and promises to be diligent in implementing those goals.

Jacob Reiter 305-904-7845
Deborah Holt, Board Chair 850-545-8177