January 1, 2019
Story by Jordan Pupa | Photography by Tracy Rowell
Wanda Vereen has devoted 24 years of her life to helping others. She has been employed with House of Hope of the Pee Dee for the past 13 years, a ministry that serves homeless men, women, and their children. She currently serves as Case Manager, which involves intensive case management for the Courtney McGinnis Graham Community Shelter, a ministry of House of Hope of the Pee Dee. Wanda provides case management that supports the individual’s needs and connects residents with local resources to better meet those needs.
Family has always been very important to Wanda. She grew up in a large family. Her mother was a homemaker and her father had a honorable discharge from the U.S. Army after an injury sustained in the War. He worked and retired from the Postal Service. She remembers her childhood as being very sheltered, though her mother and father made sure they were all involved in after-school activities, clubs, church and sports. Wanda states, “I remember my mother being the one everyone turned to for prayer and guidance.”
Wanda has been married to her husband, Michael, for 24 years and they have three children. Stephen is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Derrick is a graduate of Charleston Southern University, and Olivia is a Junior at Coker College.
A colleague once said to Wanda, “If I had one word to describe you it would be ‘compassionate.’ According to Ann Farenden, (National Professional Advisor), most definitions talk about compassion as being conscious of others’ distress, suffering, and misfortune, but with a desire to alleviate it. This involves demonstrating characteristics such as empathy, sensitivity, kindness and warmth. You definitely exemplify all of these characteristics. Ever since the very day I met you I’ve witnessed your many acts of kindness towards others. It seems like you have a genuine desire to see others thrive in life. You give of yourself and do whatever it takes to be a helping hand to someone. You are heaven sent and full of unconditional love.”
Wanda knows that serving the homeless is her purpose and is always willing to share a smile to brighten someone’s day.