Homeless man


Back in 1995, when a young 7-year-old daughter went out to eat one day with her father and mother they encountered a homeless man outside the restaurant asking for money or food. The daughter wanted to know why the man didn’t have money or food. Not having a good answer, the father did not how to respond. This spurred the father to find an answer for his daughter’s question.

He researched and found a national program called Room In The Inn.  That man was Rick Gilbert and since then, and for the last 24 years, Rick and his family have worked tirelessly on behalf of the homeless through Room In The Inn.  They instituted Room In The Inn’s Winter Shelter Program in Mint Hill, North Carolina.  This program provides safe shelter, warm meals, and fellowship for people struggling with homelessness during the coldest months of the year; in this area, December through March.

Rick had always wanted to do more and through his passion to help serve others he created Home Again Foundation, Inc.








Board of Directors

Rick Gilbert

Executive Director, rick@homeagainclt.org

Rick Gilbert, along with wife and two children, are the coordinators for Room in the Inn at St. Luke Catholic Church. For over 24 years, his efforts have helped feed, house, build relationships with hundreds of the local homeless population thru the Urban Ministry Center (Now Roof Above) sponsored program. Rick has worked at Sam’s Club for the past 30 years. The associates, managers, corporate, and members have nicknamed him “The Mayor”. Rick never meets a stranger, and it has become a joke between family and friends that you cannot go anywhere without someone knowing him. Rick has been married for 34 years to his wife, Debby. Rick is from Upstate New York where he was raised on a dairy farm. He has lived in England and Texas, courtesy of Debby’s enlistment in the United States Air Force. Rick and Debby have now lived in North Carolina for the past 30 years. Rick has always made sure that his children come first and has strived to ensure that they know the importance of seeing the individual and not their situation.

Rick began turning his dream into a reality in 2018 after speaking with family and friends. Through working with the Room in the Inn program for over 24 years, he saw there was a desperate need for of more than just one night during the harshest months of the year. After build relationships with many neighbors that participated in the program, he saw the need for affordable housing. One of the neighbors quickly became an inspiration to Rick to see the dream come true. This individual lost his battle to sickness because he was living on the streets and was not able to afford rent in the Charlotte area. Rick believes everyone deserves to have a place to call home. Rick’s vision is to see an end to homelessness. He is striving to have Home Again Foundation to be the game changer in the Charlotte area and then eventually nationwide.

Rick Gilbert, Executive Director, Home Again Foundation

Mike Silvestri

Chairman, mike@homeagainclt.org

  • Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina in Psychology and Business
  • Extensive knowledge of the insurance industry; licensed NC claims adjuster
  • Board member of Sabrina’s Second Chance
  • Vast knowledge of construction and building codes
Mike Silvestri, Chairman, Home Again Foundation

Christine Keely

Treasurer, christine@homeagainclt.org

Christine is the Vice President, Branch Manager for TowneBank in Charlotte, NC. Christine is on a mission to help Military Veterans, she has a unique 20-year background in customer service, leadership, project management and business development.
A proven leader who uses experience, mentoring and inter-personal skills to lead high-performing teams. Christine developed a strong sense of devotion for the veteran community through volunteering and mentoring. During her time as Co- Chair for Fifth Third’s Veterans BRG, this experience gave her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for our region; one veteran at a time.

Christine Keely, Treasurer, Home Again Foundation

Rachel Cody

Board Secretary and Director of Marketing and Communications, rachel@homeagainclt.org

Rachel is the little girl who wanted answers as to why there were people hungry with no food and people without homes to sleep at night. That passion of serving others and doing more has never left.
Rachel has a background in Marketing, previously working 10 years as a marketing manager for a fortune 500 company. She also assisted and led community outreach for the market she worked in.

Vickie Craighead-Davis

Chief Housing and Program Officer, vickie@homeagainclt.org

Vickie comes to Home Again Foundation from holding the title of former Shelter Director of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and Director of Neighbor Services for The Urban Ministry Center both organizations merged which allowed Vickie to provide 10 Years of Homeless Services. The Newly Merged organizations are currently known as “Roof Above” today.

As Director of Shelter Services, she was responsible for overseeing the implementation of emergency shelter services and basic needs for individuals experiencing street homelessness at the Charlotte homeless day center which included housing case management.
Vickie has a passion for Case Management services, she has mastered the art of responsibly ensuring timely housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Her experience during her tenure allowed her to master the housing first model and practice harm reduction while connecting with individuals experiencing homelessness and providing them with the motivation, encouragement and support needed to end their homelessness situation. Vickie’s passion, commitment to Homeless Services and overarching understanding of maximizing the human potential aligned her with Home Again.

Vickie is dedicated to developing retention programs that will be housed on site that will help individuals maintain housing by creating a sustainability tenant service program focused on housing supportive services, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy.
Today Vickie works within Case Management with (Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) providing supportive Services for Veteran Families. Vickie’s return to Case Management was no accident as she continues to demonstrate her passion to stay on the front line with her feet in the ground to ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness receive the necessary services and support to obtain, sustain and maintain housing.

Eric Thomas

Board Member, eric@homeagainclt.org

Hi, my name is Eric Thomas. I am best known from my days as the Chief Meteorologist for WBTV over the past 33 years between 1988 and 2021. It was always a privilege getting up every day knowing I had been given the responsibility to serve the greater community that would help them plan their lives when the weather was quiet, and potentially save their lives when the weather was dangerous.

Since retiring at the end of 2021, I have fulfilled my dream of returning to the other side of the camera and embarking on my photography and filming exploits. I have always enjoyed telling stories through the lens of a camera. Not long ago, Rick Gilbert hired me to tell the story of the Home Again Foundation which I gladly did. It came naturally to me as most of my time shooting video had been for other important nonprofits promoting their causes such as breast cancer, pediatric cancer, sarcoma, children with disabilities and the agencies helping foster children find permanent, safe and loving homes.

But in the case of Home Again Foundation, Rick Gilbert and I formed a special bond, and he asked me to join his board of directors, I gladly and humbly accepted his invitation. It is my hope, with my background, that I can help spread the word and educate our community on the growing crisis and homeless population in our region.

Eric Thomas, Board Member, Home Again Foundation

Debby Gilbert

Board Member, debbie@homeagainclt.org

Born and raised in central New York, Debby has worked with the homeless for over 20 years. She graduated from Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) with an associate degree in Human Services and State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland with a Bachelor of Science degree in health science with a concentration in community health. She then severed 4 years in the US Air Force as a medical logistics specialist. Upon separation from the Air Force, Debby relocated to Indian Trail, NC with her husband Rick and continued her career in the medical field working a case manager. She was recruited by Griffin Home Health Care and started her career in the medical equipment field in 1995. She worked for Griffin Home Health Care and Carolinas Medical Equipment in a variety of management/ Director roles before taking on her current position at Atrium Health at Home. Looking to do more with her passion to help others Debby became involved with the Room in the Inn program at St Luke Catholic Church and eventually took over coordinating the program with her husband Rick and children Rachel and Brad. She even encouraged her mother-in-law to help out! In addition to Room in the Inn Debby has also served on the Servant Leadership Team at St Luke and has been a Girl Scout leader. In her spare time Debby enjoys reading, ceramics and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Debby Gilbert, Board Member, Home Again Foundation

Adam Hargett

Board Member, adam@homeagainclt.org

Adam M Hargett is an assistant vice president for Woodforest National Bank in Indian Trail, North Carolina. He has been in his role with the bank since 2006. Before beginning his banking career, he attended college at UNC-Charlotte and received a bachelor’s degree in financial management. He loves serving his community in several different capacities. He has been teaching financial literacy to families in the charlotte and surrounding areas for over a decade now. During his time teaching classes, Adam’s passion for affordable housing started devolving more and more. He realized that in our community there is a huge opportunity to provide houses for everyone that is affordable. With that passion, he began volunteering with The Matthews Chapter of Habitat for Humanity in 2009. He led the charge with his company, and they sponsored an entire home build. Adam spends countless hours and days on the job site along with the future homeowner. Seeing someone achieve their dream of home ownership is one of the greatest feelings. The reason he wanted to be even more involved with Habitat was to be able to allow more great individuals and families the opportunity to change their lives with home ownership. During his time with Habitat, he received an opportunity to be selected to the board of directors in 2014. He spent several years helping grow the organization and even helped develop a succession plan that would last for years to come with the organization. In 2018, he was offered an opportunity to become the vice chair and served in the role until May of 2023. Adam has been able to see so many lives changed forever by having their home ownership dreams become a reality and he hopes to see so many people achieve their financial and housing goals.

Adam Hargett, Board Member, Home Again Foundation

Garry McFadden

Board Member, garry@homeagainclt.org

Sheriff Garry L. McFadden was elected to serve as the 45th Sheriff of Mecklenburg County and was sworn into office on December 4, 2018. Prior to being elected as Sheriff, Garry had a distinguished 36 year law enforcement career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department where he served for over 20 years as a legendary homicide detective.

Garry’s unconventional methods and deep ties to the community helped him to solve hundreds of murders over the course of his illustrious career. As a detective, Garry had one of the highest solve rates in police department history which lead to him starring in his own television series, “I Am Homicide.” The series highlights some of Garry’s biggest cases and how the perpetrators were caught. Sheriff McFadden can still be seen on television in the series “Homicide City” on the Investigation Discovery (ID) network.

Sheriff McFadden is originally from Sumter, South Carolina but affectionally calls Elliott S.C. home – also home to his beloved high school Mt Pleasant High “Striking Rattlers” and came to Charlotte in 1977 to attend Johnson C. Smith University of which he is a proud alumnus. Since the start of his career Garry has been an advocate for change and committed to building bridges and breaking down barriers between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Garry’s record of community service is well documented, and he has received numerous awards for his long standing and continuous work in Mecklenburg County communities with various organizations such as, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, NAACP, NBA Legends, MoMo – Mother of Murdered Offspring, Cops & Barbers, Beauty After The Bars, Charlotte Black Mental Health, The Sons of The American Revolution; along being honored as Charlotte’s Citizen of The Year 2015 just to name a few. In 2015, Garry was recognized by President Barack Obama for his work on the 21st Century Policing Initiative and his involvement in the development of an outstanding community program titled “Cops and Barbers.”

Garry is a husband, father of three adult children and a proud grandfather. Sheriff McFadden is approaching his fortieth year in law enforcement and is still committed to influencing change by being “the difference.”

Garry McFadden, Board Member, Home Again Foundation

Diane Yarborough

Board Member, diane@homeagainclt.org

Diane received a BA in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and after graduation, headed south – to the Sunshine State. There she spent about 20 years inside the Human Resources and Operations divisions of one of the most recognized companies in the world – The Walt Disney Company at The Walt Disney World Resort.

She worked as a Training Manager, and an HR Manager in Resorts line of business and launched the Disney Cruise Line as an HR Manager for shoreside operations as well as for the opening of Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay. She received her MS from Stetson University in School Counseling and Family Consultation during that time as well.

Disney was a rich and complete education in guest service, leadership and operational excellence and gave Diane an attention to detail and a focus on excellence in leadership and operations that is engrained in her soul. The other experience she gained from her Disney experience is the power of branding, marketing, messaging, and the way to reach an audience. She had the pleasure of opening some of our most treasured resorts and businesses, celebrating the openings of park attractions and Disney films.

In Charlotte, she worked in the Financial Services, the Power sector, senior housing and for retail in Human Resources, Training and Organizational Development and now runs her own company, Cranberry Way, a culture architect firm that excels at developing innovative, and engaging employee programs to attract and retain top-tier talent. She leads this work through collaborating with company executives who wish to revitalize their organizational culture, create memorable candidate and employee experiences.

She loves bringing that special spark to her clients and has her expertise in re-engaging employees and leaders with a touch of wonder and a hint of magic.

She currently chairs the Advisory Board for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Charlotte and have been involved in and chaired the Servant Leadership Team at St. Luke, in Mint Hill. She is also serving as a board member for OM Sanctuary, a holistic retreat center in Asheville, NC. She and her husband Doug have lived in Mint Hill for over 15 years and have two sons, Trey (16) and Greyson (11).

Jim Strauss

Director of Finance, straussjw1@gmail.com

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