Founder of Women's Shelter to Speak Tonight

Debra Person, founder of Exodus 3 Ministries, will speak at the end of the Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT) meeting at the South Side Innovation Center at 6 tonight.

She will address community members about the purpose and mission of the Christian-based shelter for women that she plans to open by the end of this year and that recently received nonprofit status.

Person, 49, says it’s up to the community and South Side residents to help.

“Since I’m back home, I know there is a need,” Person said. “This is a community effort. We want to open this year — to be able to house up to seven women.”

Helping women has been Person’s calling ever since she faced difficult times in her own life. After admitting herself into a faith-based women’s shelter called The Serenity House at the Schenectady City Mission, Person decided to use her experiences and education to help women understand the power of faith.

“The number one thing it will take is prayer,” she said. “I’m living proof.”

Debra Person is the founder of Exodus 3 Ministries.

E3M’s Community Induction Event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, at the Grace Baptist Church, located at 423 Valley Drive. It will feature the following speakers, according to Person:

• Michael Saccocio, executive director of Schenectady City Mission

• Pastor Gary Welling, of Grace Baptist Church, chaplain at the Justice Center, and chairman of the E3M board of directors

• Raymond Gausman, pastor of Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church and vice chairman the E3M board of directors.

The first half of the event will be a meet-and-greet with everyone, followed by speakers and presentations. The night will end with a question-and-answer session, food and beverages, Person said.