The ongoing success of our Dave’s House programs is driven by our incredible Board of Directors, who volunteer their time and expertise to help individuals in Central Florida overcome the challenges of both homelessness and serious mental illness.
Philanthropy Committee Chair Lori Trainer is a dedicated advocate for the homeless, possessing an energizing enthusiasm and a passion for helping some of our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families. “Giving people a home is where my heart is,” she said. “Over the years, I have worked with so many people who have experienced traumatic life events that have contributed to mental instability. Helping homeless individuals and families who are working so hard to get back on their feet again is extremely fulfilling.”
Her career in the multi-family housing industry introduced her to the positive impacts stable and affordable housing has on the lives of people. She manages transitions and acquisitions for Pinnacle, one of the largest management companies in the United States. Previously, she worked for one of the largest affordable housing developers in the U.S., responsible for new construction lease ups. She also served as vice president of public relations and managed the company’s nonprofit division. There, Trainer worked to house over 500 homeless individuals and families who were looking to start their lives over again.
“A home provides stability. Equally important, it gives people a sense of worth,” she said. “That point was emphasized to me when a formerly homeless individual said to me, ‘Now that I have a home, I am able to look people in the eyes again and be proud of who I am. That’s what having a home has done for me.’”
Helping people regain that sense of dignity is what fuels Trainer’s community advocacy for the homeless. She serves on numerous community committees and task forces that are working to provide affordable housing for the homeless in Central Florida. “With affordable housing full, and market rate housing financially out of reach for the homeless, it’s an ongoing battle that needs long-term, sustainable solutions,” she said. “I am honored to be part of the group of community leaders and elected officials who are working to create solutions, including ways to make affordable housing attractive to developers.”
Trainer also serves on the Board of Directors for Matthew’s Hope. She served on the board of Community Coordinated Care for Children for nine years. “I say that I’ve never met a charity that I didn’t like. But I absolutely love Dave’s House. I so admire the residents for their strength in facing their challenges and working to improve their lives,” she said. “They are supported by some of our community’s true heroes – the mental health provider case managers who are driven by their love for other people.”
She is president of the Florida Apartment Association, past president of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and past president of the AAGO Foundation. She is a delegate to the National Apartment Association as well as the vice chair of their Corporate Social Responsibility Committee; formerly she was regional vice president for the group. She received the International Property Management Representative of the Year award twice for her work on the International Crime Free Program; she was instrumental in bringing this program to Central Florida law enforcement agencies.
“I love the Central Florida community and love contributing to making it happier, healthier and more unified,” Trainer said. “Together, we are helping people overcome obstacles so that they can get back on track and make the most of their lives.”