The Los Angeles Mission’s Board of Directors said Tuesday it has named a new president and CEO of the Skid Row homeless service provider.

The Rev. Troy Vaughn will succeed Herb Smith, who is retiring after leading the mission for 14 years, according to a statement. Vaughn, who was selected after a nationwide search, has served on the Mission’s board of directors for the past year.

Vaughn knows the issues facing the homeless from his own personal experience, according to the statement, which said that after a stint in the Marine Corps, he came home to Los Angeles, fell into drug abuse and became homeless on the streets of Skid Row for several years.

“I felt called by God to leave my cardboard box and check into a program that got me off the streets,” Vaughn said. He then achieved life-long sobriety and, over the next two decades, worked to help others get off the streets permanently, according to the statement.

“It is with great enthusiasm and honor that I join the Los Angeles Mission’s Leadership Team,” said Vaughn. “I believe the Mission has been built on the solid foundation of Christ and His Gospel. In addition, it is obvious that the Los Angeles Mission programs have been painstakingly constructed to transform lives by those who have preceded me in this position. I am encouraged that the Mission has consistently taken the lead to substantively address Los Angeles’s ever-changing homeless crisis. I believe the Mission is perfectly positioned to be the trustworthy and credible lead organization serving the homeless.”

Vaughn will continue to serve as the executive director and co-founder of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership. He is also founder, president and CEO of Christ-Centered Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating housing and employment opportunities for the disenfranchised. Additionally, he will remain the senior pastor of Inglewood Community Church.

Vaughn has an Executive JD from Concord Law School, an MBA and a BS in Advanced Legal Studies from Kaplan University. He also has a Master’s Degree in Divinity and Theology with a minor in urban planning from Kings Seminary in Van Nuys and a Doctorate in Theology from the Master’s School of Divinity, according to the mission statement.

The Los Angeles Mission has served the needy of Skid Row for more than 80 years, providing emergency services such as shelter, food, clothing, as well as medical and dental services. The Los Angeles Mission also offers long-term programs including education, job training and placement, transitional housing and counseling.

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