LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the appointment of Tameka Laird as director of the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience & Community Services (RCS), which works to fight poverty and promote compassion, stability and empowerment for residents and communities.
She replaces Eric Friedlander, who led the office for four years before Gov. Andy Beshear named him Acting Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services.
“Tameka Laird is an indispensable member of our Office of Resilience & Community Services and a respected leader in our work to lift up residents who often are in their greatest need,” Mayor Fischer said. “A problem-solver and natural innovator, Tameka is the right person to lead the RCS team as they bring compassion to life each day.”
The Office of Resilience & Community Services manages essential programs and services for residents, especially low- and moderate-income individuals. These include Meals on Wheels, the Low Income Heat Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), programs to prevent homelessness and to aid homeless individuals, financial stability and security programs, and support for Neighborhood Place.
“I’m honored to lead the outstanding staff of the Office of Resilience & Community Services,” said Laird, adding that she’s inspired by Louisville’s own Muhammad Ali, who once spoke about the need for systemic change to lift up those in greatest need. “Wars of nations are fought to change maps,” Ali said. “But wars of poverty are fought to map change.’”
Laird has been part of the RCS leadership team for three years, serving the past year as assistant director. In this role, her efforts included working to coordinate community programs to better support homeless individuals. This initiative resulted in $1.5 million dispersed over the past year to support three new low-barrier shelters, lockers for homeless individuals’ belongings, and outreach initiatives.
Prior to joining RCS, Laird was a grants manager for the federal Office of Management and Budget.