Four years ago, Jordan Green moved to Walla Walla with his family to help support a new church that had been launched from his hometown of Hillsboro, Ore.
Like many, Green quickly fell in love with the Valley.
“We felt like this was the place for us to be, to serve and to become part of the community,” he said.
Green now serves as executive director at the Walla Walla Alliance for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and resolving unmet needs of the homeless population.
But navigating leadership was a bumpy ride at first. When Green jumped into his role at the end of 2020, COVID brought additional layers of challenges.
“Probably the hardest thing about working in this sphere is maintaining optimism,” he said. Working with an incredible staff who are passionate about their work got him through.
“Our staff is a resilient and passionate bunch. ... They are out here on the front lines making a real difference in people’s lives,” Green said.
Green started his career in the automotive field. After working as a technician, he went on to manage dealership service departments. While it may seem like a jump to some, he says he uses the same tools in his current role.
“It’s such a blessing to be able to work in a field where my professional experience and my ministry callings coincide,” he said.
Six years ago, when he arrived in Walla Walla, he stepped into a role of serving other leaders and members of a small church called Sweet Life, and the experience shifted his priorities in a big way.
Coming from a business-oriented career path, spending time serving others changed his focus. He now works with individuals learning how to thrive.
“At the emergency shelter, I get to meet new people regularly. There are so many stories and experiences to hear about in a place like this,” he said. “Being able to share those with others and break apart old stigmas is the thing I love most.”
In his free time, Green still uses his background in working with cars as full-time tinkerer. He loves to build, restore and customize nearly anything with wheels.
“While my career has shifted, my love of tinkering surely hasn’t. Old bicycles and motorcycles are my favorite subject matter,” he said.
He also mountain bikes, plays the bass guitar and watches James Bond movies.
His wife, Katie, is pregnant with their third child and first boy, Isaiah. Katie has a knack for caring for kids. She developed the skill as an active member at church and through part-time nanny work.
Their oldest daughter, Emma, is also a tinkerer and an artist. Green says Grace is equal parts poised ballerina and destructive daredevil. The family also has two small, scrappy dogs that have been adopted from local shelters. The Greens say they spoil them rotten.
With a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old, we just knew this was the place we wanted to raise our kids,” he said.
In his work, he says he hopes to continue being a voice for the voiceless. Right now, that means homelessness, mental health and substance abuse, but he wants to reach other facets of the community as well.
“My work in the sphere of homelessness can be trying, but there are so many people who play a meaningful part. I feel incredibly lucky to able to do what I do and in a time such as this,” said Green.