A-SPAN Parts Ways With Controversial Executive Director


(Tuesday, March 4, 2008 1:53 PM EST)

The Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN) has parted ways with its executive director.

“A-SPAN's board agrees that Brian [Carome] and the organization are not the right fit for each other going forward,” Andy Keyes, the board's chairman, said on March 3. “We're grateful for his energetic service for the last six months.”

Carome was hired in 2007 to succeed Lora Rinker, who helped start the non-profit organization and served as its executive director.

In his brief tenure, Carome was aggressive in his dealings with the county government.

Last December, he criticized government policy toward the homeless before the county's legislative delegation, and later took his complaints to the media.

In February, the county government terminated its contract with A-SPAN to operate the government's emergency winter shelter in Courthouse.

The government's decision, in part, was due to statements Carome and other like-minded advocates had made to the media.

The government hired Volunteers of America to operate the shelter.

Keyes said the organization would undertake a “careful, comprehensive search” for a new executive director.

“We will continue to work passionately and energetically for the clients,” he said. “We have a wonderful staff, and we're in good hands in the interim.”

Keyes saluted Carome's “passion for helping the homeless” and “his dedication to improving service for homeless persons.”

“We wish him the best, personally and professionally,” Keyes told the Sun Gazette.

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