Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 2000
Charlotte, NC 28208
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As a department in Mecklenburg County's Health and Human Services Agency, Community Support Services maximizes community partnerships and collaborative opportunities to better provide services for military veterans, people experiencing homelessness, people seeking substance use treatment, and people needing prevention and intervention for community or domestic violence.
Community Support Services transforms lives and community by supporting veterans, ending homelessness, treating substance use, and preventing and intervening in community and domestic violence.
To be the innovative leader in providing veteran services, and in preventing and intervening to end homelessness, substance use, community and domestic violence.
Strategic Business Plan
Stacy M. Lowry, Director of Community Support ServicesHer responsibilities include financial management, monitoring and oversight of service delivery within the department, community collaboration, advocacy and improving access to services, and building/maintaining community partnerships. First employed with Mecklenburg County in November 1998, Lowry later left the County for 11 months in another position, then returned. She became director of CSS at the department's creation in 2006.
Lowry earned a Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She received her clinical social work licensure (LCSW) in 2000 in North Carolina.
She served as a part-time faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the Social Work Department for nine years. Her background includes experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields.
Ronnie Devine, Assistant Director of Community Support Services
Devine is the Community Support Services department's first Assistant Director, a new position created in 2018. His promotion means he will have oversight of the department's strategic business plan and the communications team among other duties as a member of the CSS Leadership Team. His start date is Aug. 1, 2018.
Previously, he served as Violence Prevention Manager for the department. He's worked at CSS for nine of the total 14 years he's been employed with Mecklenburg County. In that role Devine developed and managed the relationships, policies, plans, methods, and tools that guide our community's violence prevention. He served as a community liaison and coordinator for the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) project, which aims to reduce gun violence while increasing safety in Mecklenburg County. He coordinated the Do the Write Thing Essay Program. This national program is designed to encourage students in middle schools to write about youth violence and drug abuse in their communities and suggest ways in which these problems can be resolved.
Devine received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Education from South Carolina State University. He has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, and completed the Municipal and County Administration Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Elyse Hamilton-Childres, CSS Prevention and Intervention Services Division Director
Hamilton-Childres leads the multi-intervention and prevention programs in providing long-term solutions to ending violence. She is responsible for the domestic violence, substance use and violence prevention programs. Hamilton-Childres start date is Aug. 6, 2018.
Prior to joining Mecklenburg County government, she worked for the State of North Carolina as the Southern Piedmont Region Director for the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement. She provided technical assistance, training and consultation to state-funded domestic violence and sexual assault organizations in 23 counties. She has also worked as a victim advocate with Safe Alliance. Her hometown is Hickory, N.C. and she completed her undergraduate studies at Davidson College. She has a Master of Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill, with a concentration in management, policy, and community practice. Hamilton-Childres has been a leader with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Domestic Violence Advocacy Council for three years. She serves on the board of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Council on Aging, and she helped start the Charlotte Area Macro Social Work Network.
Peter Safir, CSS Homeless Services Division DirectorHe is responsible for providing direction and oversight to 15 staff working in four homeless service program areas, and for providing leadership and assuring collaboration with community agencies and partners toward the goal of ending homelessness.
Safir joined the County in July 1987 serving as County Director of Mental Health through 1999. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in Social Work and also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Michigan. Safir completed 15 hours of graduate course work at the UNC School of Public Health while serving as the County Director of Public Health from 1999 to 2004. He has worked in the area of homeless services full time since 2004.
Janene McGee, CSS Veterans Services Division DirectorShe is responsible for the certified veterans services officers who help eligible Mecklenburg County military veterans and their families apply for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, and state and local agencies. She joined Mecklenburg County in July 2016.
McGee is a native of Georgia, who grew up in North Carolina. Before coming to Mecklenburg County, she served as Region I manager for the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. McGee's duties included training, mentoring, and providing support and assistance to 27 counties in western North Carolina. She served as the interim Region III manager for the Raleigh, Fayetteville and Wilmington areas, overseeing 26 counties. She also served as lead veteran service officer for the Morganton and Hickory Veteran Service Center, the Canton Veteran Service Center and the veteran service center at the Asheville VA Medical Center.
She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. She trained and worked in Signals Intelligence as a Morse Code Operator. She later served in the Active Reserves and in February 2003 was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Staff Sergeant. She is an accredited veteran service officer for North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion. McGee holds a Master of Arts degree in Educational Media, Instructional Technology/Computers from Appalachian State University. She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration-Management from American InterContinental University Online.
Karen Pelletier, CSS Business ManagerShe is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department which include budget, oversight of service contracts, supervision of administrative staff, and special projects.
Pelletier began working her current position in January 2013. She had been employed with Mecklenburg County previously. Pelletier has a master's degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina.