History of MESH
MESH began as an ad hoc organization in winter 2005 when the Reverend Canon Wade Renn, an Episcopal Priest and former Interim Pastor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, began thinking of colder days ahead as temperatures began to drop. As he toured Montclair, he noticed where some people slept – huddled in doorways, curled up on benches and vulnerable to the harsh winter elements. That year, MESH handed out sleeping bags to our community’s most needy people.
In July 2011, MESH incorporated in the state of New Jersey and was granted 501(c) (3) tax exempt status as a charitable, not-for-profit corporation by the Internal Revenue Service. Under the leadership of Wade Renn and a newly-formed Board of Directors, we have invested your generous donations to lay the foundation for MESH to expand its mission and program to serve Montclair’s homeless and near-homeless neighbors. Dr. Gwen Parker-Ames was appointed Executive Director and has volunteered both her time and talent to move the organization forward under the guidance of the Board. In 2012, MESH partnered with local churches, synagogues and other community members to provide a nutritious evening meal, 6 days a week, to Montclair's most needy adults. MESH continues to provide overnight respite at local churches and synagogues during extreme weather.
With confidence in the new leadership of MESH and its vision for the future built soundly on its past, Reverend Renn stepped down from his role as President of the MESH Board in spring 2012. He continues to serve as President Emeritus. Rev. Charles Ortman, Senior Minister of the United Universalist Congregation in Montclair whose extraordinary carer experience in leading the charge against social injustices in our community was appointed President of the MESH Board of Directors in 2013. MESH continues to pursue its mission as a local, faith-based organization dedicated to engaging the Montclair community in providing basic and essential services to Montclair’s most vulnerable homeless adults.
MESH continues to pursue its mission as a local, faith-based organization dedicated to engaging the Montclair community to provide basic and essential services to Montclair’s most vulnerable homeless adults.