DARE Center names new executive director

Share this post or save for later

Brett Hartford is the new executive director of Lawrence’s DARE (Drop-In and Rest) Center, its board of directors announced Wednesday.

Hartford began serving in his role at the DARE Center on Nov. 14, following the retirement of founder Loring Henderson, according to a news release from the organization.


Operating under the Lawrence Coalition for Homeless Concerns Inc., the DARE Center’s mission is to provide resources and a place to rest for people experiencing homelessness and their advocates.

“We are excited to have Brett Hartford lead The DARE Center into its next phase,” Tony Kaufman, of the DARE Center’s board of directors, said in the release. “Hartford brings robust expertise of work directly engaging and supporting individuals experiencing homelessness. His in-depth understanding of the support systems necessary for this community, coupled with his adeptness in volunteer engagement, strategic partnerships, and fundraising, underscores his alignment with our organization’s mission.”

Hartford, who’s from Lawrence, previously served as the executive director of Just Food, the Douglas County food bank, for a brief time. Prior to that, he worked with City Relief, a nonprofit organization that supports individuals facing homelessness in New York City, for a decade. 

Hartford’s work with several nonprofits has been focused on making resources accessible to people, according to the release.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the community in Lawrence and provide leadership to the DARE Center’s mission of providing rest and resources to our neighbors experiencing homelessness and their advocates,” Hartford said in the release.

Learn more about the DARE Center on its website,

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

This post is by the Lawrence Times news team.

If you have news tips, questions, comments, concerns, compliments or corrections for our team, please reach out and let us know what’s on your mind. Find our contact info (and a quick contact form) at this link.

Follow us so you won’t miss the local news that matters most to you:

Latest Lawrence news:

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times

Lawrence Indigenous, queer communities and allies mourn death of nonbinary Oklahoma teen

Share this post or save for later

Members of Native American and queer Lawrence communities joined in solidarity for a vigil in honor of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student from Oklahoma who died this month after suffering injuries from a fight in the girls’ bathroom at school — the bathroom state law required them to use.


Previous Article

Lawrence firefighter battling throat cancer months before retirement

Next Article

Lawrence Lights, the drive-thru holiday display and community fundraiser, to return