Skip to Main Content

Columbia Housing Commissioner George Green to Rotate off Board; Says Life Experiences Led Him to Service

Commissioner George Green

Columbia Housing Commissioner George Green to Rotate off Board; Says Life Experiences Led Him to Service

As Columbia Housing Commissioner George Green prepares to conclude his 10 years of service on the Board, he says his work with the agency has been among the most rewarding experiences of his life. Green has been a Columbia Housing resident since 1996; he has served two 5-year terms as the Resident Member of the Columbia Housings Board of Commissioners. The Resident Member seat allows ongoing input on the Board from the agency's resident-population.

Green says, "The most rewarding for me is when a resident overcomes personal challenges to succeed despite their current circumstances. I saw that as a member of this Board. It just goes to show you, it never too late to get it together and turn it around."

Green wants people to see his own challenges as an example of how 'turning things around' can change the trajectory of one's life.

As a youth, George Green will tell you that he often found himself on the wrong side of the law. After stints in juvenile detention during his adolescence, Green would spend the next 30 years in and out of prison. A drug addiction ruled his life back then. Then he met someone who invited him to church. He says that invitation changed his life.

Green says "I was going to church faithfully every Sunday, but I was still homeless for a while. That is when I heard that you could get a place to live through the Columbia Housing Authority. I applied and eventually got a place at the Oak Read High-Rise.

Green credits Donna Gilbert, Columbia Housing's retired Director of Resident Services with seeing something in him that he did not see in himself. "She got me active in the Resident Executive Council-first as the Parliamentarian, then as Vice President. I would open and close the meetings with prayer. Before I knew it; I was traveling with the Authority to retreats and big meetings doing the Invocation and Benediction on stage in front of audiences of thousands. That's when I realized that my life experiences-as challenging as they were-- had prepared me to lead in this moment." Green was selected to serve on the Board of Commissioners in 2011. His 10-years of service will end February 28, 2021.

As Commissioner Green prepares to end his term, Columbia Housing CEO Ivory Mathews applauds his contributions to the 7-member board. "We are indebted to Commissioner Green for his committed leadership. He has taken the lead as the liaison in our efforts to communicate our 'residents-first philosophy' and to foster good working relationships with our 16,000+ residents. He has served with distinction," concludes Mathews."

As for Commissioner Green, he says he will continue to look for ways to serve the community through his volunteer efforts with Columbia Housing's Resident Executive Council. "We have a great leader in Ivory Mathews," says Green. "I want to do what I can to help her continue to succeed. A lot of residents feel that way. I will continue to lead and serve at Columbia Housing... just in a different way."

Applications are currently available on the City of Columbia's website for Columbia Housing residents interested in filling Commissioner Green's vacated seat.  Please click here to apply.

Follow Us At

Facebook logo  Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logo  

Please visit our website at for more information about Columbia Housing!