After more than three decades, Larry Riley swapped a career running newspapers for a job leading a nonprofit. The new executive director of St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho, a 73-year-old social services nonprofit based in Coeur d'Alene, took over as leader in May 2019, leaving his former position as publisher of the Coeur d'Alene Press.
Riley says the transition was a natural fit, noting that running a newspaper in this day is not unlike running a nonprofit; plus, he brings experience serving on the directors board of other nonprofits.
The North Idaho agency is part of St. Vincent de Paul's national council and offers programs such as subsidized housing, employment and social services for low income, veteran and homeless clients. Riley says the agency serves more than 5,000 unique clients each year across the state's five northern counties: Kootenai, Benewah, Shoshone, Bonner and Boundary.
"We want to provide services that have a return-on-investment for the client," he notes. "A lot of times people need housing to get on their feet, but at the same time we want to teach them life skills that will help them get out of dependency."
As he moves forward in the leadership position, Riley says bringing more affordable housing to North Idaho is a top priority for St. Vincent de Paul.
"Because of the growth of Kootenai County and this area of North Idaho, it's exceeding the ability to house the number of people coming here. Because of the cost of housing you have a lot of people who are getting priced out of even the rental market."