Friendship House CEO Sleeps On Roof

Alpha Media Ryan Piers

A local CEO is spending his nights sleeping on a roof.

Friendship House‘s Robert Montgomery became CEO in September, faced with the need to make cuts.

“And I didn’t want to be the guy to come in and cut stuff and the budget too without having some skin in the game,” Montgomery said.

Since Sept. 24, Montgomery been sleeping on the nonprofit’s roof, and will not spend a night in a warm bed until his efforts raise $500,000.

His rooftop home includes a couple tents, a space heater, a grill, a mattress and some other small items.

Montgomery says the cold nights have helped him better understand those he serves.

“Some of the people who are in this community are homeless and they don’t have an option to come down off the roof when it’s raining,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery’s charitable act has helped raised $90,000 so far.

Run by less than a dozen people, Friendship House provides many programs including medical services, after school programs, a food pantry and financial training to those in need.

The agency also serves those with homes and jobs, but cannot afford health insurance.

“To think that somebody in that situation can just up and go get a job, it might be possible physically, but emotionally outside of our realm of even understanding what they are going through,” Montgomery said.

Friendship House cares for about 10,000 people a year.

Anyone who wants to help Montgomery can contribute to Friendship House programs by calling 671-5200 or visiting their location at 800 NE Madison Ave. in Peoria.



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