Getting homeless older adults off the streets or out of the woods is a resounding theme when you talk with Rev. Dr. David Schwab.
An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ for 50 years and long-time advocate for supporting United Church Homes’ affordable housing services, Rev. Dr. David Schwab leads the effort to raise $1 million as chair of the housing services element of UCH’s $20 million Campaign for Abundant Life.
Advancing the Mission
Dave is passionate about connecting individuals who care about housing for people in need by sharing stories of older adults who are no longer homeless. Over 2,800 individuals have homes today in their own apartments in one of the 61 communities in 13 states and two Native American nations that UCH owns or manages because of the promise for affordable housing for older adults that UCH offers as part of its historical ministry.
“What is more important than a safe home?” Dave asked. “I’m committed to helping people in search of a safe, caring place for older adults.”
Dave’s conversations with potential donors are propelled by his own support of this ministry and his personal donations over 20 years to UCH. In 2018, Dave was honored with the Rev. Dr. Ben M. Herbster Award for his contributions to housing services from United Church Homes. This award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Rev. Dr. Ben M. Herbster, who was the first president of the United Church of Christ and a member of the Board of Directors for United Church Homes.
Dave loves to share the journey “to home” for people like Emma, who had been homeless for three months prior to the opportunity to move into an apartment at a UCH community. UCH staff and other community members rallied around Emma to encourage her to take this step toward safe, secure, affordable housing and helped provide everything she needed to furnish her new apartment that she now calls home in a new community of friends and neighbors that she now calls family.
Dave feels “it is God’s will that everyone should have a home where they can live out their life in abundance.”
As a member of the United Church Homes Board of Directors since 2011, Dave takes his leadership role seriously and doesn’t let any stone go unturned. He considers all opportunities for funding for this critical need. If he happens to meet you at a local diner in Cincinnati, for example, don’t be surprised if he talks to you, so he can deliver his simple message. His strategy aligns with his “call it like you see it” communication that is reciprocated with a high level of trust from those he encounters because he effortlessly talks about the need — the problem. He then isn’t afraid to include an “ask,” which includes an opportunity for people to help be part of the solution:
“If you give $1,000 per year to transform one person’s life, I’ll show you how your gifts are changing the world, and who doesn’t want to help change the world?” We like to call it Dave’s Formula 1 for success: $1,000, 1 person, 1 apartment, 1 life.
As of Sept. 30, over $327,000 has been donated for housing services through the Campaign for Abundant Life as part of the total dollars raised of $16.6 million toward the $20 million goal. Thank you, Dave, for helping us transform aging!