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Hope Village hires new executive director

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 8, 2003
Stephen Johnson was formally introduced today as the new executive director of Hope Village for Children a home in Meridian for abused and neglected children.
Johnson's announcement was made during a ceremony marking the relocation of the Once and Again thrift store from 2119 Front St. to 2516 Front St. The store benefits Hope Village.
Johnson, formerly social work supervisor of the adolescent unit at East Mississippi State Hospital, was hired by the Hope Village Board of Directors after Carrie Ponder, the home's first executive director, resigned. Johnson will begin work Monday.
Johnson said his experience with federal, state and local agencies, as well as service providers, will help "us develop programs that maximize the use of available services, minimize duplication and develop models that can be sustained and recreated."
Johnson and his wife, Gloria, have lived in Meridian for more than 20 years. She is employed by the Meridian Public School District. They have two sons one is a Meridian High School student and the other is a Meridian Community College student.
Johnson has 25 years of experience in administrative and treatment services for children, adolescents and families. He has a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology and a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern Mississippi.
He received training at the Theraplay Institute in Chicago and The Judevine Methods in St. Louis to help children and care givers overcome attachment problems caused by neglect, abuse, mental illness and autism.

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