Josh O'Brien – Senior Director of Emergency Shelters

Josh O’Brien, Pine Street Inn’s senior director of emergency shelters, has a dedication to helping others in his genes. “My parents were live-in house managers for a Volunteers of America group home,” Josh says. “I grew up watching them help others.”

Josh has carried on the family tradition of service. After working in several shelters in Massachusetts and Maine, Josh joined Pine Street in 2014. “I always thought Pine Street was the guiding light and leading force behind ending homelessness in New England,” Josh says.

Josh notes that no two days are alike. “I see my role as a support to guests and staff in whatever way they need,” he says. “That could be working on a housing pathway for a guest or providing an opportunity for guests to talk about their experiences.”

This flexibility translates to staff as well. “If a guest has a question, our staff takes responsibility for finding the answer, even if they can’t provide it themselves,” Josh says. “This is one of the many things that sets Pine Street apart.”

After 10 years at Pine Street and almost 30 years of providing services to those experiencing homelessness, Josh remains hopeful. “The best possible job we can do is to provide hope for those who may feel like they have nothing left,” Josh says. “Some days are tougher than others, but I’ve never had a day without a hopeful or helpful experience.”