Mary Ellen Mitchell
Co-Director

Mary Ellen Mitchell is a co- founder of Lydia’s House. As a collegiate volunteer, she became interested in the root causes of homelessness at the Open Door Community in Atlanta. Shortly after her graduation from Emory University, she moved back to Cincinnati, her home, and became an on-site volunteer at Grace Place, a provider of transitional housing for women and children. Professional development continued for her in Washington, DC where she worked for Jubilee Housing, a nonprofit provider of housing and supportive services. She returned to Cincinnati in 2006 and went on to hone skills in fundraising and development and complete her MA at Xavier University. Mary Ellen has been married to Ben since 2008, is a member of Bellarmine Chapel and is the mother of three young children. She lives in Norwood where she's helped renovate 5 houses, 2 parks and sometimes preaches at local churches.

Meridith Owensby
Co-Director

Meridith is a co-founder of Lydia's House. She has 15 year history in transitional and low-income housing provision. She became interested in the root causes of homelessness as a collegiate volunteer at the Open Door Community, a homeless service provider in Atlanta, Georgia. Meridith continued her work with the Open Door after graduation, becoming a live-in resident and the Volunteer Coordinator for the ministry. Professional development continued in Washington, DC. Meridith worked as a Social Services Manager at Miriam’s House, a home for homeless women with HIV. She brings many gifts and talents to Lydia's House, including case management and guest support, liturgy and celebration, and operations and finance prowess. She enjoys yoga and the arts, is an oblate with the Transfiguration Sisters and is a member of the Winton Community Free Methodist Church.

Laura Menze
Resident Services Director & Occupational Therapist

Laura graduated with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from University of Indianapolis in 2009. Before practicing occupational therapy at Lydia’s House, she served individuals with serious mental illness involved in the criminal justice system with a focus on developing life skills and promoting mental health. She volunteered with Lydia's House from the beginning assisting with accounting and mental health consulting. She joined the Lydia's House staff in 2017 and now provides occupational therapy services to current and former Lydia's House guests, including at Virginia Coffey Place, an 8-unit permanent supportive housing building for former Lydia’s House guests. In addition, she manages finances, oversees the cars and homeownership program, and tracks outcomes. She lives several blocks from Lydia's House and worships at Christ the Savior Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Norwood.

Ebony Pratt
Non-Profit Leadership Fellow

Ebony Pratt is a recent graduate from the Master of Public Affairs program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a concentration in Non-Profit Management. Born and raised in North Carolina, Ebony has relocated to Cincinnati and will be serving as the Non-Profit Leadership Fellow for Lydia’s House. Ebony enjoys running, shopping, and attending church. Before returning back to school, Ebony worked in the non-profit field as the community engagement coordinator, volunteer manager, and community outreach specialist with Susan G. Komen Northwest NC – the local breast cancer Affiliate, and with United Health Centers – a local federally qualified community health center in the Triad area. Ebony is passionate about working with individuals who are facing homelessness and food insecurity. While also taking an interest in mental health, education and sex health/education, specifically in the black community.

Macey McAtee
Mercy Volunteer

Macey McAtee has just completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is doing a year of volunteer service through Mercy Volunteer Corps and will be a part of our team for a year. She has relocated to Cincinnati from Iowa. This year will give Macey the opportunity to hone in on core skills for the field of social work as well as prepare her for her future in attending graduate school to obtain her Master’s in Social Work. She has been an intern in a case management position assisting families to reach stability within their social system and at the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center as a youth counselor working with troubled youth. Macey enjoys yoga, concerts, and napping. She is passionate in expanding her understanding of causes of homelessness and empowering women.