WESTPORT — Homes with Hope’s longtime President and CEO Jeff Wieser will retire from his position by the end of 2019, Board Chair John Walsh announced March 26.

Wieser, a board member of the Westport-based organization since its early days, has led Homes with Hope as executive director for nine years. During that time, he has overseen the operations at the Gillespie Center and the Bacharach Community and expanded the portfolio of 44 supportive housing units, which the agency owns and operates.

During his tenure, Wieser administered the merger with the Project Return program, which houses women ages 18 to 24. Homes with Hope’s mission is to eliminate homelessness in the Westport and surrounding area.

“Jeff has been a transformative, innovative leader in the fight to eliminate homelessness in Westport and southern Fairfield County,” said Walsh. “During his nine years as executive director, HwH more than doubled its shelter capacity providing beds for 115 individuals nightly. Jeff also introduced numerous creative initiatives to better serve our clients such as the after-school mentoring program providing learning support to the 30 children residing in HwH facilities.”

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe called Homes with Hope “one of the community services that makes Westport so special” and noted that under Wieser’s leadership, the organization “has expanded its affordable, supportive housing options, its relationships with other not-for-profit agencies and its overall community support.”

Wieser will stay in his position until a replacement is found. A search committee has been formed and will focus on finding a local leader who understands both the Westport and Fairfield County communities.

“Being involved with Homes with Hope over the last 30 years, first on the board, and then as executive director, has been the most satisfying professional role of my life,” said Wieser. “It is easy to be proud of the Homes with Hope organization, and it is easier to be proud of the community that supports HwH so spiritually and generously. I look forward to staying involved in any way that I can be useful to Homes with Hope and Westport.”