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The Hospitality Center of Racine, which serves people who are homeless or near homeless, has a new executive director: Seth Raymond.

Part of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Hospitality Center is a thriving ministry. It evolved from a casual day program with coffee and snacks to the largest hot meal program in Racine, and for three years, served as an overnight emergency shelter during the winter.

Seth Raymond, who currently serves as assistant rector for Christ Church in Whitefish Bay, will take over the position on Jan. 3 after Henry Perez left the position in November.

“It is a needed ministry in our community,” Perez said. “It serves an underserved community and an essential service to the community.”

Kevin Stewart, missioner for community engagement for the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, is excited to have Raymond on board.

“On behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee and the Hospitality Center, I’m delighted to welcome Seth to the Hospitality Center,” said

Hospitality Center Mission Impresses Raymond

Raymond, 31, has an undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Music Education, a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and he is pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“I just love the mission of the Hospitality Center: To welcome people in…regardless of their background,” Raymond said. “There’s such a welcoming there and feeling of warmth. Being hospitable to people… to serve people without barriers brings people together.”

Raymond lives in Milwaukee and grew up in Denver. His past employment includes working with adults with developmental disabilities.

“I’ve worked with people living between the margins,” he said.

Raymond’s Focus: Bring People Together

The Hospitality Center serves nearly 1,000 meals a week both with volunteers and partner organizations.

Raymond plans to focus on the people the Hospitality Center serves and be engaged with the guests there to understand their needs. But he also intends to build strong connections within the community. He has been heavily influenced by theologians that have focused on making communities stronger from the bottom up, meaning he wants to help people that might not be seen, he said.

“One of the things I’m most impressed with is that Racine has its eyes open in how we revitalize the community and the Hospitality Center is at the heart of that in some ways,” Raymond said.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.