Tara Snider – Director of the Men’s Inn Shelter

Tara Snider has been a staff member at Pine Street Inn for seven years. While she has held various positions, Tara is currently director of the Men’s Inn shelter and works to improve our guests’ experience.

“As a woman overseeing a men’s shelter, people often ask me if that presents a challenge,” Tara says. “The short answer is that people are people. I treat our guests with kindness and they give it back.”

Tara’s career in human services began 17 years ago in Maine. “I started working at a shelter in Portland, but later became a program manager for a substance use treatment clinic,” she says.

“Seeing people struggle with substance use and behavioral health issues and wanting to get help builds empathy,” Tara says. “I learned how to find people resources. It made me want to learn everything I could to provide better services for people struggling.”

When she joined Pine Street, Tara noticed a difference. “Coming from a city shelter in Maine, our resources were very limited,” Tara says. “Pine Street has more flexibility to assess issues and find resources.”

As director of the Men’s Inn, Tara and her team help prepare guests to be successful once they leave shelter. “Our guests are trying to build their lives back.” Tara says. “Our shelter team plays a key role in their success. We want to make sure that guests are treated with kindness and respect.”

One of the shelter team’s goals is to help guests find permanent housing. “Housing doesn’t come quickly and it’s easy to give up and stay in the shelter. I work to connect guests with resources to help them get into housing. It’s important not to give up.”

Tara continues, “At the end of their shelter stay, they’re holding the keys to their new apartment. They’re so excited. That’s the beautiful part of this work. I love what I do.”