Pedigo named executive director of Pitino shelter

·3 min read

May 26—Harry Pedigo, executive director for St. Benedict's Homeless Shelter, has taken on the additional role of executive director for the Daniel Pitino Shelter.

The position at the Pitino Shelter was previously held by Mischele Johnston. However, according to board member Susan Montalvo Gesser, Johnston has taken on another executive director position with Catholic Charities and has relocated to Corpus Christie, Texas.

Gesser said the board has been hoping to create more opportunities for streamlined services and collaboration between local shelters and has been happy with Pedigo's work running St. Benedict's, as well as taking on the St. Gerard Maternal Home under the St. Benedict's umbrella, which was previously under the operation of Catholic Charities.

She said the board believed Pedigo would be the perfect candidate for the position, and with him continuing at St. Benedict's, it provided more chance for the shelters to work together.

"I've watched Harry do wonderful work at St. Benedict's," she said. "At Catholic Charities, we've tried to get the shelters to work together better, and that has come along since I started ... but we'd like to see even more of that."

Pedigo said he has always admired the Pitino Shelter as a pillar in the Owensboro community, and he hopes to continue its work and improve upon it and St. Benedict's services with a more streamlined approach between Shelters.

The Pitino shelter, he said, heads several vital programs for combating homelessness in the community, including its rapid rehousing program. He believes collaboration will make it more accessible to clients at St. Benedict's and other area shelters.

He said it also gives the shelters a chance to join together in fundraising efforts, projects, coordinating services and being overall strategic partners.

Additionally, Pedigo said he hopes to improve the Pitino shelter's footprint in the community and outreach efforts.

"At the end of the day, it's all about helping people," he said. "I think as long as I continue to empower those who work under and with me, and with our boards working together, I think it's going to be great."

Laurie Hicks, chairperson for the St. Benedict's board of directors, said the board is "thrilled" about the collaboration.

She said Pedigo will be taking on a more big-picture approach to directing both shelters, while operations directors at each shelter will work on more day-to-day management.

"We're just letting Harry get over there, get his feet wet and see what's going on," she said. "We have utmost faith in Harry; he is phenomenal, and the shelter has really grown under his leadership, so anything we can do to help other people, even if it's sharing Harry ... I think things can only move forward for us and for the Pitino shelter."

Greg Mulligan, chairman of the Pitino board, said the two shelters are similar, but different.

St. Benedict's, he said, is an emergency men's shelter, while Pitino offers families shelter for up to a couple of months, until they can secure more permanent housing.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360