New Siren DirectorChelsea Cummings developed a passion for helping people while assisting homeless veterans in the Lansing area in securing housing. A grant writer for Volunteers of America at the time, she found great satisfaction in providing those in need with an opportunity.
Cummings saw her own opportunity this summer when she came across a posting for SIREN/Eaton Shelter’s executive director position. After researching SIREN and its mission, she jumped at the chance to lead an organization whose mission fell in line with her calling.
“I love empowering people by giving them the resources they need,” Cummings said.
Cummings was officially named SIREN/Eaton Shelter Executive Director on Sept. 12, taking the reins of Eaton County’s only shelter for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse. She will be charged with ushering in an organizational change in terms of staff while continuing its mission to promote the elimination of domestic violence and homelessness by providing temporary housing, support, advocacy, education, and information to the community.
“I love working with communities and am looking forward to creating more awareness as to who we are and what we can do,” Cummings said.
She has spent the first couple weeks getting to know the Eaton County community better in addition to learning more about the domestic abuse side of the organization. Her background is mainly in housing as she served as a property manager for low-income housing for a number of years before joining the staff at Volunteers of America. She said she has leaned heavily on SIREN’s veteran staff members to keep the transition running smoothly.
Cummings said she is eager to put her grant management experience to use in securing more federal funding for the organization.
SIREN has served 227 families, which includes 264 adults and 232 children, already in 2016. SIREN staff members Janet Washburn said the organization has served close to 1,300 people in 2016 when you factor in its shelter diversion program. SIREN is able to assist those in need in Eaton County through 13 different grant and community-funded programs.
Still, SIREN has to turn away 700 to 900 people each year due to lack of funding. Cummings said a focus on increasing grant opportunities and community donations will hopefully provide an opportunity to help more people in the community.
For more information about SIREN/Eaton Shelter, which is located at 520 Robinson Road in Charlotte,  visit or call (517) 543-0748.