Sheila McDowell, Associate Executive Director of Intake and Emergency Placement
Sheila McDowell began her career in human services working part time in Green Brook Manor Nursing Home while still in high school. She decided then that working with people was what she wanted. Sheila began working in the nonprofit sector in 1991 with the ARC of Somerset County as a residential counselor. Her next stop was A Very Special Place on Staten Island and then Community Access Unlimited in 1996 as a coordinator at the Roselle 1 supervised apartment program. Sheila has held several positions at Community Access Unlimited; Team Leader, Assistant Director of Residential Services, Director of Residential Services, Senior Director, Assistant Executive Director, Managing Assistant Executive Director of Intake and Emergency Placement and now Associate Executive Director of Intake and Emergency Placement.
Sheila became involved in Intake and Admissions while a Team Leader when she accompanied her Assistant Director to the Princeton Developmental Center to meet individuals for the new homes CAU was opening in New Providence and Summit. This involvement led to Sheila taking a lead role at CAU. When CAU opened its first Emergency Capacity System home in 2005 and later participated in the pilot of the Children’s Placement Enhancement Project, Sheila was appointed to help develop and oversee the challenging programs. Sheila sees her role as a way to assist persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find a place where they can flourish in their daily lives.