Our Team
Our programs are effective because the people we serve play an important role working in the facilities, starting with daily chores and progressing to more duties.
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-17302,bridge-core-2.2.1,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-25.6,qode-theme-bridge,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.7.0,vc_responsive

Our Team

Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis

Executive Director, Michele Knapp

Email Michele.

Born in Ohio, I have lived in Statesville since 1983. I graduated from West Iredell High School in 1994. I then attended Mitchell Community College where I graduated in 1998 with 3 associates degrees: Accounting, Information Systems and Information Systems-Program. Immediately after graduation, I began my career at Fifth Street Ministries as the bookkeeper. Three years later, I was promoted to Finance Officer. Over the next 20 years, I worked alongside both Gary and Patti West, where I learned non profit management, personnel, public relations, and grant writing skills. In addition to management and leadership skills, I was able to witness their compassion and love for the individuals that we serve.

I am the mother of 2 children, Brett (25) and Breanne (16) as well a grandmother to Paislee (6). Currently I am enrolled at UNCC, working toward a Masters degree in Business.

I am so honored to have the trust and support of Board of Directors to lead Fifth Street Ministries as we continue our mission to compassionately serve those in need. We have a great team and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Fifth Street and this community we call home.

Office Administrator, Debra Fredericks


Call 704-872-4045


Debra will most likely be the first face you see as you enter the shelter. And, she’s always smiling. Debra moved to NC in 2006, ready to let go of winters in Detroit Michigan.

She started volunteering in in the kitchen in 2016 and worked her way on to the staff in October of 2018. Debra loves helping people and welcoming them. She saw a need and

decided that volunteering will forever be part of her life. She says, “I’ll still help here even when I retire!”

Volunteer Coordinator, Heather Myers

Email Heather.

Born and raised in Sayre, PA I moved to Troutman NC in 2012. My educational background is nursing and human resources degrees.
I am a mother of 4 boys Thomas (31) Sean (29) Douglas (28) and KC (26) who have blessed me with 5 beautiful grandbabies.
My journey with 5th street began in 2013 when I started volunteering in the kitchen serving meals. My 1st impression of 5th street was this is not a “homeless shelter” this is HOME. Staff and guest made me feel welcomed and loved and appreciated from the moment I walked through the door.

The more I volunteered the more I wanted to do. I involved my boys and grandbabies with volunteering. It was a blessing to have 5th street in our lives.
After many years of volunteering throughout every aspect of 5th street I approached Patti West and Michele Knapp and asked, “what more can I do”? They offered me a position as volunteer coordinator, and I accepted without hesitation. They knew I needed 5th street more than 5th street needed me. People ask me how can I work at a shelter and my response is how can you not? I do not have a job I have a second home; I do not go to work I go spend time with my family, this is not my career it is my life. 5th street ministries is FAMILY.

Director of Development, Amy Freeze

Email Amy.

I grew up in China Grove (NC, not Texas—like the Doobie Brothers song). I attended Catawba College, playing tennis for the first two years. After college, I went to Duke Divinity School to earn my Masters of Divinity. In 2008, I was ordained an elder in the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church. I have served as the Associate Pastor at First UMC Newton, as Pastor at Broad Street UMC Mooresville and as Pastor at Christ UMC Drexel. In every place, her heart was always on mission.

In 2017, I began working with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity as the Senior Development Manager. From there, I went on to become the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Cabarrus County. And in 2021, I joined Fifth Street Ministries as the Director of Development.

My husband and I live here in Statesville. Stephen is a purchasing manager at Kroehler Furniture in Conover. We have a daughter, Molly, who will be twelve this summer. She is currently in the seventh grade at the new Oakwood IB Middle School. The only other member of our little family is our rescue dog, Lizzy.

Victim Advocate, Emily Cowan

Email Emily.

I have lived in Iredell County my whole life, I grew up in Troutman and now call Statesville home.  I started out at My Sister’s House in 2009 as a Social Work intern, working on my bachelor’s degree through the distance ed program at Appalachian State University.  After graduating I stuck around filling in as needed until becoming the Shelter Manager in 2011.  In 2016 I moved into the Victim Advocate position where I now have the opportunity to work within the community assisting victims alongside the many helping agencies in Iredell County.  Being a part of Fifth Street I have learned that kindness matters, love wins, everyone deserves a chance, and we can all make a difference.  I always knew I wanted to help people, and My Sister’s House has given me the greatest opportunity to do so.  For that I am forever grateful.

My husband, Rydell Cowan Jr., and I will celebrate our 10-year anniversary this year.  Our greatest blessings are our three children that keep us busy and tend to keep us on our toes; Makena, Macee, and Ryder.  I am blessed with a family that values the work I do, and we enjoy any opportunity to give back and help others.