1937 – 2005
Exemplary builder of health and human care programs
A leading figure in the social services system in San Diego County, Howard H. Carey played an instrumental role in the delivery of a broad spectrum of comprehensive health and human care programs to underserved and vulnerable populations.
Best known as president and CEO of Neighborhood House Association, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing community needs in the San Diego region, Carey helped the organization grow from a staff of 35 and budget of $400,000 when he joined in 1972 to more than 800 employees and a budget approaching $100 million.
A graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1957, Carey completed four years of military service with the U.S. Navy before pursuing his MSW at Atlanta University with a special emphasis on community organization. He later earned a doctorate in leadership and human behavior from United States International University in 1977.
At the helm of Neighborhood House Association, he oversaw a broad array of programs ranging from child development services, youth gang diversion, employment services, adult physical rehabilitation, mental health programs, and housing and rental assistance. The organization became the first housing counseling agency in San Diego County to be certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It now serves more than 2,000 homeowners, renters, and landlords each year.
Other programs include Senior Brown Bag, which supplies thousands of low-income older adults with supplemental bags of groceries each month, and Connection Program, a collaborative initiative with other public and private agencies focused on preventing teenage pregnancy.
In addition to his work with Neighborhood House Association, Carey served as the inaugural chairman of Neighborhood National Bank, a San Diego community bank created to encourage development in inner-city areas. In this role, he helped implement the bank’s strategic plan, raise capital, negotiate with regulatory officials, and hire key staff members. In 1996, he became a founding member of Union Bank of California’s community advisory board.
Carey embraced other roles in the community, including serving on San Diego Unified School District’s court-ordered Integration Task Force; with United Way’s Community Services Division board of directors; as a founding member of the Volunteer Bureau Board; with the board of directors of the San Diego Police Foundation; and as a state representative and board member of the National Head Start Association.
Carey received numerous accolades for his work, including a citation in 1977 from United Way of San Diego for dedication, extraordinary service, and outstanding commitment to human care ideals. In 1988, he received the Ben Polak Award of Excellence, honoring his professional leadership in the field of human care services. The San Diego Police Department recognized him in 1989 with an award for exemplary leadership and dedicated service.