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Citizen of the Year serves others

Mayor Jim Paine, left, said Rev. Barb Certa-Warner, founder of Harbor House Crisis Shelters, was the clear choice for Citizen of the Year for her nearly two decades of serving the city's most vulnerable residents. Shelley Nelson

Superior's Citizen of the Year was a clear choice: the Rev. Barb Certa-Warner.

Of the 20 nominees put forth, "Rev. Certa-Warner stood out so clearly as having done so much with no clear incentive other than just helping people," Mayor Jim Paine said Wednesday.

During his State of the City speech Tuesday night, Paine recognized the Faith United Methodist Church minister who launched Harbor Houses Crisis Shelters to help women and families facing homelessness.

Paine presented Certa-Warner with a key to the city, created by Epicurean on Connors Point, and a plaque recognizing her contributions to the city.

"For nearly two decades, Rev. Barb Certa-Warner has been putting her faith into action and taking responsibility for the most vulnerable in our community," Paine told the crowd gathered for his speech Tuesday night. "Finding a lack of homeless services here, she didn't just demand action from community leaders. She founded Harbor House herself and rallied her community around mothers and children, victims and survivors. More than just providing safety and civility, she provided opportunity by employing many of Harbor Houses former residents."

Certa-Warner said when the mayor called Monday, he told her she could say a few words.

"I was thinking he knows I'm a pastor and he's giving me the mic," she said.

Joking aside, she said: "I really do feel strongly that I have been called to serve, and I'm called to serve this community with all that I have and all that I am ... I just feel really honored to be Citizen of the Year."