Rapid Re-Housing at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

August 05, 2015

A big focus of this year’s NAEH conference was the success of Rapid Re-housing and the components needed to build and sustain an effective system of Rapid Re-housing. National experts presented on a wide range of topics from diversifying funding sources to converting transitional housing to Rapid Re-housing.

The recently released HUD Family Options Study, a frequently cited multi-year analysis which compared vouchers, transitional housing, Rapid Re-housing, and usual care; provided increased support at the conference for the benefits of Rapid Re-housing as an intervention. In the study, those individuals offered Rapid Re-housing experienced homelessness in shelter and transitional housing approximately 1 month less on average than those offered usual care. In addition, Rapid Re-housing was the lowest cost intervention, with families who were offered Rapid Re-housing using $3,000 less in assistance than those in usual care and showed comparable or better outcomes.

Find more information about the Family Options Study.

While the message was clear, Rapid Re-housing continues to be one of the most cost-effective and successful interventions, it was also clear that there are a number of challenges in changing practices One of the highlights was “Going to Scale with Rapid Re-Housing: How Virginia Changed Its Approach to Homeless Families” a presentation by Kathy Robertson of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development which showed how Virginia was able to use Rapid Re-housing to help reduce family homelessness by 22.6% and family homelessness by 25% from 2010 to 2014. Through the development of a Rapid Re-housing provider learning collaborative geared to help shift policies, procedures, and cultures, Virginia was able expand its provider base from 4 providers to over 60.  In addition, they assisted communities in refocusing resources, set up system design clinics, and implemented a Rapid Re-housing provider certification process.

Other very helpful Rapid Re-Housing presentations included:

Rapid Re-Housing 101 for Providers and Community Leaders

Making It Work: Linking Rapid Re-Housing and Employment

Understanding the Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing

Innovative Funding for Rapid Re-Housing

Find Housing Fast: Housing Identification for Rapid Re-Housing

Become and Even Better Rapid Re-Housing Program

Help People Stay Housed: Rapid Re-Housing Case Management

For more information you can also visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness website at naeh.org.


Building Community for People With Disabilities Experiencing Homelessness

Join us for a special discussion about special considerations for resolving homelessness for people with disabilities.

Panelists:
Kathy Flaherty
Connecticut Legal Rights Project

Sandra Roberts
Center for Disability Rights

Eileen M. Healy
Independence Northwest

Erin Kemple
CT Fair Housing Center

 

KEYNOTE: COVID-19, Systemic Racism, and Homelessness

People experiencing homelessness and the people who serve them have been hit this year with a perfect storm: a new public health crisis layered on top of the long-standing crisis of homelessness on top of the even longer-standing crisis of systemic racism. These intersecting challenges feel insurmountable, but they can be overcome. The first step is to understand how we got here, and then identify the steps we can collectively take to weather and to overcome them. National Health Care for the Homeless Council CEO Bobby Watts will share his national and historical perspectives on the intersecting crises of COVID-19, systemic racism, and homelessness, and provide his thoughts for the blueprint for tackling these crises.

Keynote speaker:
Bobby Watts
President and CEO
National Healthcare for the Homeless Council

 

TRAINING: Critical Time Intervention in Rapid Re-Housing Programs

Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is a time-limited evidence-based practice that mobilizes support for society’s most vulnerable individuals during periods of transition. It facilitates community integration and continuity of care by ensuring that a person has enduring ties to their community and support systems during these critical periods. This workshop will provide an overview of CTI and focus on the benefits of using a housing-focused CTI case management model in Rapid Re-Housing programs. During the workshop we will discuss how to measure the impact of CTI, share successes and discuss challenges and lessons learned along the way. In addition to CTI, other best practices and recommended tools and strategies providers can use to improve the success of their Rapid Re-Housing programs will also be discussed.

Panelists:

Dr. Carolyn Hanesworth
Mercy College

Jessica Kubicki
Supportive Housing WORKS

Randy Grant
New Reach

 

When Kids Experience Homelessness

Identifying and resourcing minors experiencing homelessness relies on a patchwork of providers from Runaway Homeless Youth grantees, McKinney Vento liaisons and the Department of Children and Families. This presentation, discussion and response session will combine advocates, service providers and young people to take a critical look at the current system of services and suggest change. The strength of peer-to-peer networks will be emphasized in the context of school-community partnerships and youth leadership opportunities.

Panelist:
Marina Marmolejo
DreamKit

Tim Maguire
Youth Continuum

Chris Venable
Journey Home

 

MUNICIPAL WORKSHOP: Sustainable CT Homeless Certification

CCM and Sustainable CT join CCEH in presenting a draft of proposed actions for a new Homelessness certification framework for feedback from your membership. Our goal would be to present our work to date as a proposed roadmap for how towns and cities across the state can take concrete steps to address homelessness in their towns and surrounding communities. This session will be a “roundtable” format to provide input on the framework and more broadly on how we can support municipal staff in meeting the needs of residents confronting homelessness.

Panelist:
Alyssa Norwood
Program Manager
Sustainable CT

Lisa Noriega
Environmental Intern
Sustainable CT

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You: Helping Clients Face Their Health Fears

The COVID-19 pandemic has made even clearer that the key to health is regular health monitoring, screening, and testing. At the same time, people experiencing homelessness have had many of the same fears and anxiety with COVID-19 testing that they have exhibited when faced with testing and health monitoring for other health conditions--from cancer to HIV/AIDS to Hepatitis C. While these fears and anxiety are understandable--people experiencing homelessness are already under significant stress and also worry about how they will manage health conditions given their lack of stable housing--they nevertheless serve as barriers to getting people the care and treatment they need to improve their health status. This workshop will discuss how health fears have served as a barrier to helping people experiencing homelessness confront and address health issues, as well as on strategies to empower clients to overcome fears and confront their health needs.

Panelist:
Kasey Harding
Community Health Center

Linda Casey
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Jim Pettinelli
Liberty Community Services

Nancy Sienkowski
Community Health Network of CT

Traci Burdick
Community Health Network of CT

 

KEYNOTE: Crisis in the Rental Market

Although it has long been assumed that homelessness is primarily due to the lack of affordable housing, research conducted by Zillow has found a clear link between rates of homelessness and rising rents. Specifically, Zillow’s research has found that homelessness increases in communities when average rents in that community rise above 32% of average household income. While Connecticut has not yet reached this tipping point, rents in Connecticut have been trending in this direction. Dr. Cheryl Young, Senior Economist at Zillow, will present Zillow’s research linking rising rents and homelessness, discuss the state of the rental market in Connecticut, and suggest steps that Connecticut can take to address rising rents to prevent increases in homelessness. Following her presentation, national housing policy experts, Ann Oliva and Jill Khadduri, will describe policy solutions and opportunities at the state and federal levels to help communities avoid reaching this tipping point and thereby keep rates of homelessness low.

Speaker:
Dr. Cheryl Young
Senior Economist
Zillow

Ann Oliva
Center for Budget and Policy

Jill Khadduri
Abt Associates

Police - Social Worker Partnerships in Homeless Outreach

This panel will explore the potential of close working partnerships between law enforcement officers and social workers to engage and serve CT residents experiencing homelessness. We will hear from communities where these collaborations are already working, and present new training content CCEH is producing in partnership with DESPP to encourage more collaboration across the state.

Panelists:
Aubrey Lee Minkler
City of Bristol

Officer Matthew Gotowala
City of Bristol Police Department

Lori Walling
CHD

Officer Michael DiGiovancarlo
City of Waterbury Police Department

Using the Past to Drive Today’s Change

In what ways have we grown as a society with regard to racial injustices in housing and how might history be repeating itself? Join us for a discussion on moments in history that have had major impacts on the housing and homelessness racial disparities we are seeing today, and learn about present day challenges and housing victories. Hear from a nationally recognized historian, statewide organizer and leader, as well as a local catalyst for change.

Panelists:
Bishop John Selders
Amistad United Church of Christ

AJ Johnson
Urban Hope Refuge Church

Fiona Vernal
University of Connecticut

 

KEYNOTE: Housing as a Right

During the 2019 state legislative session, State Senator Saud Anwar introduced Senate Bill 105, An Act Establishing a Right to Housing, articulating a state government obligation to protect Connecticut residents from eviction and housing loss, to assist people out of homelessness, and to reduce rent burdens. Although the bill did not pass (the legislative session came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic), its introduction was an important first step in having Connecticut join a global movement to secure a right to housing. At the helm of that movement is Leilani Farha, founder and Global Director of the Shift, an organization working to help more communities and countries establish a right to housing.

At the first plenary session of CCEH’s Housing Equals Justice conference, Ms. Farha, the former Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing for the United Nations, will discuss how housing is increasingly being treated as a commodity and a financial asset rather than a basic human need, why it is critical that housing is recognized as a human right, and what establishing a right to housing entails. Following her remarks, State Senator Saud Anwar will share what led him to the view that Connecticut must establish a right to housing and what the prospects to secure that right are in the upcoming legislative session. U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes will then speak about the opportunities and challenges to secure a right to housing at the federal and national level.

Speaker:
Leilani Farha
CEO
The Shift

Representative Jahana Hayes
U.S. House of Representatives

State Senator Saud Anwar
Connecticut State Legislature

Can They Do That? Understanding and Protecting Tenants Rights in Connecticut

Join us for a Jeopardy-style quiz show, where experts on fair housing explain supports available to individuals facing eviction and then play out real-life scenarios involving clients of homeless services who have experienced questionable or exploitative practices from landlords.

Panelists:

Fionnuola Darby-Hudgens
Director of Operations
The Connecticut Fair Housing Center

Amy Eppler-Epstein
Staff Attorney
New Haven Legal Assistance

Jessica Lebrancis
Staff Attorney
CT Fair Housing

Michelle Dumas-Keuler
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Welcome Keynote: Homelessness in 2020

Where are we now and how did we get here? A look at the challenges our sector has ahead of us during the pandemic.

Keynote:
Nan Roman
President and CEO
National Alliance to End Homelessness

TRAINING: The Homeless Students' Bill of Rights (McKinney-Vento Training)

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act provides for the delivery of services that remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youth in schools. Local homeless liaisons ensure that homeless children and youth are identified, enrolled immediately in school, and linked to services. Whether new to this role or not had an opportunity to attend a prior orientation, this session will be beneficial and provide information to assist school staff in the liaison role. While this webinar is targeted at liaisons, much of the information provided may be valuable to others working with children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Panelist:

Louis Tallarita
Education Consultant
CT Department of Education

MUNICIPAL WORKSHOP: Mayor’s Homelessness Prevention Task Force

CCM Homelessness Task Force Chairs Ben Blake and Erin Stewart join CCM’s Joe Delong and CCEH's Richard Cho in a roundtable discussion celebrating the role that municipalities played in staving off the spread of the pandemic within our state among those experiencing homelessness and to explore where we go from here. The session will kick off with introductions from Joe, Mayor Blake and Mayor Stewart and will include a presentation on the current state of homelessness in CT municipalities and the proposed Sustainable CT framework (in draft form for feedback) before opening up to discussion between mayors and first selectmen about measures towns and cities can take together to end homelessness in their communities.

Panelists:
Joseph DeLong
Connecticut Conference on Municipalities

Mayor Erin Stewart
City of New Britain

Mayor Benjamin Blake
City of Milford

Lynn Stoddard
Sustainable CT

 

ROUNDTABLE: The Changing Landscape of Homeless Outreach During COVID-19

This roundtable discussion will ask homeless outreach providers how their work has changed in 2020, and allow people with lived experience to share what homeless outreach services meant for them.

Facilitator:
David Gonzalez Rice
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelists:

Michele Conderino
Open Door Shelter

David Horst
NLHHC

Marianne Farr
The Friendship Center

Samm Williams
Open Door Shelter

Sharice Coleman
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County

 

Help, Not Handcuffs: Improving and Reducing Police Responses to Homelessness and Behavioral Health Crises

Homelessness presents challenges to police officers. Learn about innovative alternative approaches police are taking.

Speaker:
Brian Preleski
Connecticut State's Attorney

Kimberly Karanda
DMHAS

Nydia Rios-Benitez
DMHAS Office of the Commissioner

Susan Graham
Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE)

Sgt. Michael Fumiatti
New Haven Police Department

Wanda Jofre
Community Mental Health Center

Stop the Revolving Door

Join us for presentations from key partners in the creation and implementation of one of CT's newest programs focused on reducing the intersection between incarceration and homelessness. Panelists will share background, goals, and progress related to the Department of Correction Re-entry Housing Assistance Program (D-RHAP). Topics will include project history, program goals and design, roles of collaborative partners; and preliminary data, outcomes, and stories.

Moderator:

Mary Ann Haley
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelists:

Eleanor Michael
CT Office of Policy and Management

Michael Aiello
Court Support Services Division

Nicole Thibeault
CT Department of Corrections

Ron Steed
New London Homeless Hospitality

A Tour of the Homeless Response System

Join staff from 211, a local diversion center, and a local shelter for a special tour of the homeless response system. This tour will help you understand how our members partner to assist clients facing homelessness.

Moderator:

Madeline Ravich
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelists:

Tanya Barrett
United Way of Connecticut

Bobbi Riddick
New Opportunities

Kandyce Aust
South Park Inn

Jane Banks
South Park Inn

Maryann Herbert
Real Estate Agent

KEYNOTE: Justice Starts at Home: A Conversation on Criminal Justice, Housing, and Segregation

While Connecticut has made significant criminal justice reforms in the last several years—leading to significant reductions in incarceration levels—Connecticut continues to see significant racial disparities in its criminal justice system, as well as continuing challenges with meeting re-entry needs among people leaving prisons. Many believe that these disparities and challenges stem from issues that relate to housing access: the criminalization of homelessness, the lack of housing options for people leaving the criminal justice system, and residential segregation that results in disparities in policing patterns and outcomes. These intersections compel us to ask: Is the next frontier of criminal justice reform to improve housing access and equity? During this plenary panel, national experts and state leaders will engage in a rich conversation on this question, discussing the relationship between policing, criminal justice involvement, homelessness, housing access, and segregation.

Moderator:
Kelan Lyons
CT Mirror

Panelists:
Donald Whitehead Jr
National Coalition for the Homeless

Monica Bell
Yale Law School

Brandon McGee
Connecticut State Legislature

Angel Quiros
Connecticut Department of Correction

Marc Pelka
Connecticut Office of Policy and Management

Changing the Narrative that Pets are a Barrier to Housing

This panel will launch our new statewide program for flexible emergency assistance for households experiencing homelessness with pets. This fund is generously funded by the PetSmart Foundation, and will be accessible to cover veterinary costs, pet deposits, vaccinations, and other associated costs that prevent people from staying in or finding housing. We will focus on the importance of keeping households with their pets and the unnecessary trauma separation can cause amidst an already stressful housing crisis. We will also discuss the specifics of the program and how to access the funds through CCEH.

Panelists:
Kelly Balthazor
PetSmart Charities

Garrett Parsons
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati

Theresa Geary
Connecticut Humane Society

Training: Shelter Diversion

This workshop will explore problem-solving tools that you can use to support clients in finding housing solutions.

Speaker:
Marcy Thompson
ICF

Family Homelessness

Join us for a special discussion about special considerations for working with families experiencing homelessness.

Panelists:

Monica Torrijos
CHR

Lisa Limone
New Reach

Nancy Ramos
New Reach

Jessica Remmey
Mental Health Connecticut

Shanaya Metz
Mental Health Connecticut

Marlenis Garcia
Catholic Charities of  Fairfield County

Denise Kilic
Alpha Community Services YMCA

Normaliza Paucar
Family and Children's Agency

Ashley Butler
CHR

Danielle Dixon
CHR

Felicity Eles
Shelter Now

Bobbi Riddick
New Opportunities

Kaitlen Mcgriff
CRT

Alysia DaSilva
Columbus House

Nancy Cannavo
The Gathering Place

Sheyla Ramos
Access Agency

Silvia Narvaez
Beth-El Center

Nadine Joyner
Spooner House

Trisha Shah
Always Home

Willem Donahue
NWCT YMCA

Margaret Frias-Negron
Christian Community Action

Christine Thebarge
St. Vincent DePaul

Jim Mourneault
St. Vincent DePaul

Faith Roldan
Friendship Service Center

Eliminating Shelter Waitlists

People who cannot be diverted from shelter end up on long-waitlists when there is no room in shelters. This panel discussion will explore ways to eliminate the shelter waitlist.

Panelist:
Kay Moshier McDivitt
National Alliance to End Homelessness

Jessica Kubicki
Supportive Housing WORKS

Housing Plus Services: Understanding and Meeting the Health and Support Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness

Join us for a special discussion about how we understand and meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

Speaker:
Robert Plant
Beacon Health Options

Steve DiLella
Connecticut Department of Housing

Sarah Gallagher
The Corporation of Supporting Housing

COVID-19 Guidance

The pandemic has been a game-changer for the homeless response system. Join experts for a discussion of guidance on best practices during this difficult time.

Moderator:

David Gonzalez Rice
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelists:

Dr. Lynn Sosa
Connecticut Department of Public Health

Emily Mosites
U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Leigh Shields-Church
Connecticut Department of Housing

Steve DiLella
Connecticut Department of Housing

Kara Zichichi
Connecticut Department of Housing

Building Our Movement

It takes a village to end homelessness. Join us for a vibrant discussion about how we can mobilize people throughout Connecticut to advocate for our work.

Panelists:

Sue Murphy
Liberty Bank Foundation

Tiheba Bain
Women Against Mass Incarceration

Matt McDermott
CONECT

Anderson Curtis
ACLU-CT

Hamden Virtual Town Hall

Join a special panel showcasing how one of Connecticut's 169 towns is finding innovative ways to meet the needs of town residents facing homelessness.

Moderator:

Richard Cho
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelist:

Adam Sendroff
Town of Hamden

Phil Costello
Cornell Scott Community Health Center

William C. Onofrio
Hamden Police Department

Lisbette De La Cruz
Columbus House

Theresa Ott
Hamden Public Schools

 

Colleges and Universities

This session is designed for Special Points of Contact (SPOCs) and Connecticut colleges and universities.

Panelist:
Stacey Havlik
Villanova University

Shelley Stoehr-McCarthy
Southern Connecticut State University

Joel Dodson
Southern Connecticut State University

Teresa Montanari
Southern Connecticut State University

Jacob Chamberlain
Southern Connecticut State University

 

PANEL: Building our Movement

It takes a village to end homelessness. Join us for a vibrant discussion about how we can mobilize people throughout Connecticut to advocate for our work.

Panelists:
Matt McDermott
CONECT

 

KEYNOTE: Get Out The Vote Rally

The stakes have never been higher. Join us for a special conversation about why this upcoming election matters so much and hear how grassroots advocates are adopting innovative approaches to getting out the vote during COVID-19.

Moderator:

Sarah Fox
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Panelists:

Jerry Jones
National Field Director
National Alliance to End Homelessness

Ann Faust
Coalition on Housing and Homelessness

Bob Joondeph
Disabilities Rights Connecticut

Deni Young
LEAD

Clayton Burkhardt
LEAD

Youth Homelessness

Join us for a special discussion about special considerations for working with homeless and unaccompanied youth.

Panelist:
Omar McDew
New Britain High School

Glori Bowman
Youth Continuum

Katie Durand
CT Department of Housing

Angel Cotto
Youth Action

This is a test of hovering .

Linda Casey

Director of HMIS and Strategic Analysis

Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Linda brings more than twenty years of management and information systems experience in the private sector, leading strategic product planning and delivering innovative solutions. With experience in diverse environments ranging from healthcare technology start-ups to mid-growth and established organizations, Linda has collaborated with pharmaceutical companies, military and government agencies, international telecom companies, and hospital systems to solve business challenges through the use of technology and organizational efficiencies. Linda holds a BA in French from Cornell University and an MS in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University School of Business. She recently completed the Master of Public Health at UCONN that leverages her data and analytical skills with her passion for improving the lives of others.

Kathy Flaherty

Executive Director

Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc

Since 2015, Kathy has served as Executive Director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (CLRP) (www.clrp.org) a statewide non-profit agency that provides legal services to low income individuals with mental health conditions, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recovery, and civil rights. Kathy spent 13 years as a Staff Attorney at Statewide Legal Services of CT, Inc., the centralized intake hotline for all the Connecticut legal services programs.
Kathy combines her personal experience as a recipient of mental health services and her legal background to speak to issues affecting those living with mental health conditions.
Kathy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers-CT (the state’s lawyer assistance program) www.lclct.org ; she is a former member of the Advisory Board of the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE) (www.cableweb.org.) Kathy is the former co-chair of the Keep the Promise Coalition (http://www.ctkeepthepromise.org/), a coalition of advocates (people living with mental health conditions, family members, mental health professionals and interested community members) with a vision of a state in which people with mental health conditions are able to live successfully in the community because they have access to housing and other community-based supports and services that are recovery oriented, person-driven and holistic in their approach to wellness. She is currently a member of the steering committee of the Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance (http://bit.ly/CCDLA), an alliance of people of all ages with all disabilities who pursue a unified agenda in support of building a great life in the community.
A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School, Kathy has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the rights of the underserved.
Kathy lives in her hometown of Newington with her husband, Jim Valentino.

Sandra Roberts

Information and Referral Advocate

Center for Disability Rights

Sandra Roberts was raised locally in Clinton, CT and currently lives in New Haven, CT. She was born with a physical disability and was one of the first students to be mainstreamed in the public schools. She earned her Bachelors in Social Work in 1990 from Southern Connecticut State University and her Masters in Social Work in 2002 from Southern Connecticut State University.

In 1990 she was hired by Center for Disability Rights currently located in West Haven and has worked there performing various roles like Peer Counseling, Individual Advocacy, Independent Living Skills Training and Youth Transition Coordinator. Her current role is Information and Referral Advocate.

Sandra realizes the challenges personally of locating affordable and accessible housing. She also sees the challenges in the disability community of assisting consumers with all disabilities in finding housing given the enormous waiting lists for affordable housing and waiting lists even for homeless shelters and their inability in accommodating disabilities.

Leigh Shields-Church

Coordinated Access Network Manager

Connecticut Department of Housing

Leigh has over 18 years of experience in homeless and housing services, beginning her career in an emergency shelter in Seattle, WA. Prior to working at the Dept. of Housing, Leigh directed the New Haven Shelter Plus Care program and provided clinical care at the CT Mental Health Center with the affective disorders team. She completed a BA in Public Administration and Political Science from Stonehill College, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut.

Lisa Noriega

Environmental Intern

Sustainable CT

Lisa is a graduate student pursuing an MS with Bard College's Center for Environmental Policy. She is interning with Sustainable CT for the Summer and Fall of 2020 to assist with the development of actions to further advance municipal sustainability. Lisa is a southern California native, graduating with her Bachelor's degree in environmental science and resource management in 2018 from California State University, Channel Islands. She then began her career managing energy and sustainability for the same university, doing work that ranged from on-campus activism to creating and implementing sustainability certification programs.

Glori Bowman

Housing Coordinator

Youth Continuum

Glori moved to Connecticut and began working for Youth Continuum. In her tenure with the agency, she has been a Group Home Supervisor and is currently a Housing Coordinator, overseeing the Youth Navigation and Crisis Housing programs. Glori has previous experience supervising a secure detention facility for female juvenile offenders, a residential program for males with problem sexual behaviors, and a residential program for children with physiological and behavioral problems.

Traci Burdick

Community Health Worker

Community Health Network of CT

Traci Sedacca Burdick is a Certified Community Health Worker at Community Health Network of Connecticut, Inc. (CHNCT), the medical Administrative Services Organization (ASO) for the state's HUSKY Health program. Traci is a native of Florida and moved to New England in 2008. She has worked in the healthcare field for over 15 years and has developed a strong passion for the underserved, and a heart for homeless individuals and their families. Traci earned her undergraduate degree from University of Phoenix in Business Management and her graduate degree from University of Phoenix in Business Administration. In her spare time, Traci enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with close friends and family.

Angel Cotto

Researcher

Youth Action

Angel Cotto is a youth with lived experience of homelessness who works for the Youth Action Hub as an action Researcher in Connecticut. He has worked with neighborhoods, organizations, and statewide workgroups advocating for different youth, educational, and LGBTQ+ rights and community issues. Angel facilitates the Reaching Homes CAN/Homeless response workgroup and co-chairs the youth partnership task group. Much of Angel’s work is around implementing youth partnerships across the state including the technical advising he provided during Connecticut’s 100 Day Challenge. He hopes to grow the work of the Hub and replicate it in other areas of the nation.

Kathleen Krider

Senior Director of Community Engagement and Resource Management

Access Community Action Agency

Her deep roots in the community have shaped her professional and personal path, bringing a rich knowledge of the people andplaces Access calls home. Her background includes many years in the early childhood field, working at Mt. Hope Montessori, the Town of Mansfield andEASTCONN before coming to Access in 2016.
She holds a BS from UCONN in Sports Medicine, having spent 20 years giving medical care to athletes before turning her attention to her second career. Currently, she serves on several boards and planning committees dedicated to the cooperative food and food justice movement.

Kara Zichichi

Coordinated Access Network Manager

Connecticut Department of Housing

Kara Zichichi (formerly Capobianco) is one of the Coordinated Access Network Managers for the State of Connecticut Department of Housing. Prior to joining the Department of Housing, Kara worked for over 10 years in the homeless services field at non-profit agencies in New Haven and Fairfield. Her most recent position was the Administrative Director at Operation Hope of Fairfield, managing their Affordable Housing Programs and Community Based Services. Kara currently holds a LCSW and attended Quinnipiac University (BA, Psychology), and the University of Connecticut (MSW). She has also held clinical positions at Wheeler Clinic and was an adjunct professor in the Quinnipiac University MSW Program. She is also currently a part time 2nd grade teacher while working from home due to COVID-19.

Ann Oliva

Visiting Senior Fellow

Center for Budget and Policy

Ms. Oliva is a Visiting Senior Fellow with the Housing team. Prior to joining the Center, she was the Senior Policy Advisor at the Corporation for Supportive Housing. From 2007 to 2017 Oliva was a career federal official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), most recently overseeing the Department’s multi-billion dollar homelessness and HIV/AIDS housing portfolio as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs. She also worked as Director of Programs at the Community Partnership in Washington, D.C. and as a human services consultant in multiple communities nationwide. In 2015, Oliva was named one of the 50 Most Influential Leaders in HUD’s 50-year history and was honored with the True Colors Fund’s True Leader Award. Moreover, she was a finalist for a "Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal" (Sammie) for the distinction of management excellence in 2011, and was part of an interagency team that won a Sammie for reducing veteran homelessness in 2012.
Oliva has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from the University of Pittsburgh.

Lisbette De La Cruz

Senior Manager of Outreach and Engagement

Columbus House Inc.

Lisbette is the Senior Manager of Outreach and Engagement for Columbus House Inc. in New Haven, CT. She holds a Master’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. She has worked in homeless services for 20 years providing direct care and management at the Columbus House. Currently, she oversees the Outreach and Engagement program, a collaboration between multiple agencies in New Haven region, works closely with the New Haven Region Coordinated Access Network, coordinates the annual Point in Time Count, and supervises the seasonal Overflow Shelter and the Hamden Warming Center during the winter months.

William Onofrio

Police Sergeant

Town of Hamden Police Department

William works as a police sergeant for the Town of Hamden Police Department. He is the commander of the HPD Community Liaison Unit and Neighborhood Initiative Unit. The Community Liaison Unit focusses on quality of life issues facing the towns citizens and businesses as well as community relations efforts. Sergeant Onofrio and the police department have partnered with Hamden Community Development and begun to assist with outreach efforts to assist the homeless and those struggling with food security in Hamden.

Michael Aiello

Program Manager II

Court Support Services - CT Judicial Branch

Michael is currently a Program Manager II in the Court Support Services Division with the State of Connecticut Juridical Branch. Michael has 23 years of services with the Judicial Branch OAS/Court Support Services Division in various capacities including; program compliance, adult and juvenile residential services, DNA program, Jail Re-Interview, Electronic Monitoring, community based Sex Offender Treatment, Toxicology. 7 years working for a community non-profit in New Haven, with the last 3 years being a Coordinator of a Transitional Housing program. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and MPA from the University of New Haven.

Bobbi T. Riddick

Assistant CAN Coordinator

New Opportunities Inc

Born in Waterbury, youngest of 3 daughters of two Natives of the South. Graduate of Lincoln University in PA, current MBA student at UCONN. A walking example of strength and diligence to serve in the community. Work experience with underserved youth in Philadelphia and in New Jersey. Upon return to CT; provided re-entry services for Department of Corrections , substance abuse counselor , and Mentor for youth. Desire to provide service low-income households in CT and to empower advocacy among the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) through out CT.

Brian Preleski

State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain

CT Division of Criminal Justice

Since 2011, Brian Preleski has served as State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain. Brian has helped to lead efforts to reduce prosecution and incarceration among people with behavioral health needs including those experiencing homelessness, including launching the Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) initiative in New Britain.

Randy Grant

Program Manager

New Reach Inc

Randy Grant is the Program Manager of the Family Stabilization Department for New Reach Inc. in New Haven. In this role, Mr. Grant supervises staff who work directly with homeless families participating in Rapid Re-Housing and Diversion programs. He has also overseen the pilot program of incorporating the Critical Time Intervention (CTI) Model into New Reach’s Rapid Re-Housing Program. Mr. Grant has been managing CTI based programs for over 5 years. Previously, he held positions as a case manager and program manager for homeless individuals and families at the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake in Utah.

Phil Costello

Clinical Director of Healthcare for the Homeless Program

Cornell Scott Community Health Center

Phil serves as the Clinical Director of New Haven’s Healthcare for the Homeless Program managed through Cornell Scott Community Health Center in New Haven. In this role, he leads medical and case management teams that work with people who are formerly or currently experiencing homelessness. Phil’s team partners with community agencies, soup kitchens,and shelters to provide medical care to New Haven’s homeless and formerly homeless population. He also provides medical care to people in substance use rehabilitation programs and to people who have recently been released from incarceration. Phil and his team work throughout the city to provide onsite services including outreach, first aid, specialty referrals and prescriptions. Phil has been integral to several innovative initiatives; enlisting community pharmacy support to get needed over the counter hygiene products and medication to the homeless at no charge to them, Initiating the Volunteer Medical corps of New Haven which leverages active and retired medical providers along with leigh volunteers, and pier support volunteers, to augment the medical and case management services provided to those living on the streets of New Haven, and the initiation of the Hope for Humanity for the Homeless which was formed to empower and give voice to the homeless in Connecticut giving them a seat at the planning tables for policy and procedure and the training and support to be effective advocates on a local state and national level.

Emily Mosites

Lieutenant Commander

US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Emily Mosites is an epidemiologist and a Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She holds a masters and PhD in epidemiology with a focus on infectious diseases. She is currently the senior advisor for homelessness and health to the Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at CDC and leads the CDC COVID-19 Response Homelessness Unit.

Nancy Sienkowski

Manager of the Intensive Care Management Department

Community Health Network of CT

Nancy Sienkowski, RN, BSN, CCM is an Intensive Care Management (ICM) department manager at Community Health Network of Connecticut, Inc.® (CHNCT), the medical Administrative Services Organization (ASO) for the State of Connecticut’s HUSKY Health program. Nancy has been an ICM manager for six years, working with her team to provide care coordination to HUSKY Health members with complex health conditions, using a person-centered approach. After graduating from Skidmore College, Nancy worked at Yale New Haven Hospital before moving into home healthcare. Nancy held a variety of positions with home healthcare, ranging from Director of Clinical services up to administrator.

Leilani Farha

Global Director

The Shift 

Leilani is the Global Director of The Shift, an international movement to secure the right to housing and the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (2014-2020). The Shift was launched in 2017 with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Cities and Local Government and works with multi-level stakeholders around the world including with several city governments in North America and Europe.

Leilani’s work is animated by the principle that housing is a social good, not a commodity. She has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies, and the first UN Guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She is the central character in the award-winning documentary PUSH regarding the financialization of housing, directed by the Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten. PUSH is screening around the world and to continue its momentum Leilani and Fredrik now co-host a podcast – PUSHBACK Talks - about finance, housing and human rights.

Jahana Hayes

U.S. Representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut

U.S. Congress

Representative Hayes was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2018, making her the first African-American woman and the first African-American Democrat to ever represent the state of Connecticut in Congress. Hayes first garnered widespread notoriety while serving as a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, when she was selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, before going on to earn the distinction of 2016 National Teacher of the Year (NTOY), leading to an invitation to the White House by then President Barack Obama. In her capacity as NTOY, Hayes traveled the country and the world as an ambassador for public education engaging all stakeholders in policy discussions meant to improve outcomes for students.
She is a graduate of Naugatuck Valley Community College, Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Saint Joseph and the University of Bridgeport. Having earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in history and secondary education, a Master’s of Arts in curriculum and instruction, and a degree in administrative leadership.

Theresa Geary

Director of Operations

Connecticut Humane Society

As the Director of Operations, Theresa is responsible for directing and overseeing the daily operations in all three of the adoption centers and the Fox Memorial Clinic. This includes animal care, pet intake, adoptions, medical care, behavioral care and facilities maintenance.
Prior to CHS, Geary was VP of Operations at Dumb Friends League in Denver, known nationally for its innovative work and leadership among leading animal welfare organizations. Prior to working in Denver, she was the Director of Operations at the New York City Animal Care and Control and held positions at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of Boulder, and the Larimer Humane Society. Geary holds a B.S. from the University of Connecticut in Animal Science.

Pastor AJ Johnson

Community Organizer

Christian Activities Council

Pastor AJ Johnson is a faith-influenced voice for urban resurgence and revival and a pace-setting champion for justice and community-wide uplift. As a trailblazer, Johnson leads The Urban Hope Refuge Church, an influential church where passionate worship and community activism meet in Hartford, Connecticut. Johnson works at the Christian Activities Council as a Community Organizer. He spearheads Small Business Night Out, a network of minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs; Calling all Brothers, a widely hailed male mentor-ship and leadership organization and Brothers Johnson 1929 Hat Company, a clothing brand reflecting strength, loyalty, and distinction.

Reverend Doctor John L. Selders

Minister

Amistad United Church of Christ

The Right Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr. is an ordained minister serving in the United Church of Christ, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ.
Bishop Selders has done his academic and theological reflection attending Life Christian Bible College, Webster University, Eden Theological Seminary and Anglican Divinity School. In addition to being a talented award winning songwriter, musician and performer with local, national, and international credits, he is also the Bishop Presider of The Inter-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations and Ministries (ICLCM) and is the Co-Convening Bishop of The Sacred College of Progressive Episcopates (SCPE). Bishop Selders is a founding member of Moral Monday CT, a grassroots statewide organization committed to a wide range of social justice issues.

Garrett Parsons

Pet Program Coordinator

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati

Garrett Parsons, LSW - Garrett serves pet owners experiencing homelessness as Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati’s Pet Support Coordinator. For the past 4 years, Garrett and a team of dedicated volunteers have kept hundreds of pets with their families and out of animal shelters. In his work, Garrett ensures pet owners struggling in the Greater Cincinnati area have access to the resources they need. He also tries to bridge the gap between animal welfare and social services so the community can work together to keep families together. Garrett is active in the animal welfare community working with domestic and wild animals.

Monica Bell

Associate Professor of Law & Sociology

Yale Law School

Monica C. Bell is an Associate Professor of Law & Sociology at Yale Law School. Her areas of expertise include law and inequality, policing and the criminal legal system, welfare and public benefits law, housing law and residential segregation, and race and the law. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, American Journal of Sociology, NYU Law Review, Law & Society Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and other journals. She has also published writing in popular outlets such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Washington Post, and The Appeal.

Marc Pelka

Undersecretary of Criminal Justice Policy and Planning

Connecticut Office of Policy and Management

Marc Pelka is Undersecretary of Criminal Justice Policy and Planning at the Office of Policy and Management, an agency providing information and analysis to formulate public policy for the state on Governor Lamont’s behalf. His responsibilities rest at the intersection of criminal justice data analysis, policy development and implementation, administration of state and federal grants, and convenings of state and local officials as well as stakeholders. Prior to this position, he worked for ten years at The Council of State Governments Justice Center, where he helped state policymakers from across the country use a Justice Reinvestment approach to avoid corrections costs and reinvest in public safety strategies. Reinvestments states made as part of this approach included community behavioral health treatment as well as victim services. Prior to this experience, he held public affairs and policy positions in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from New York University a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School

Adam Sendroff

Community Development Manager

Town of Hamden, CT

Adam Sendroff is the Community Development Manager for the Town of Hamden, CT. He is a former chairperson of the Hamden Board of Education, of which he was a member for 10 years. Adam previously worked in academic publishing for over two decades, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health.

Ofc. Matthew Gotowala

Police Officer

City of Bristol, CT

Officer Gotowala has served the city of Bristol for nine past years as a Police Officer and for and the last three years as a School Resource Officer and Community Officer. He currently patrols Bracket Park and works directly in Bristol Central High School. For the past three years he has also worked as part of the City of Bristol Youth Commission.

Amy Eppler-Epstein

Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law

Yale Law School

Amy Eppler-Epstein is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She has been a staff attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance since 1986, focusing primarily on housing law, with forays into family law/domestic violence, immigration, and re-entry work. Over the years she has argued before the CT Supreme Court to establish a right to shelter under the state constitution; advocated with nationwide impact to protect the rights of tenants post foreclosure; won a $2.845 million judgment in fair housing litigation in federal court; created a coalition to reform CT’s sex offender registration laws; developed a pro se DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) clinic to help immigrant youth; created an innovative method of legal services delivery through a school-based clinic; and litigated to protect licensed home day care providers from eviction.

Kasey Harding

Director of The Center for Key Populations

Community Health Center, Inc

Ms. Harding has been an employee at Community Health Center, Inc. for fourteen years. She began her career at CHCI as the Director of the HRSA funded Ryan White Program providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Over the last ten years, Ms. Harding has diversified the portfolio of the Center for Key Populations by assuming administrative and programmatic responsibility for the Healthcare for the Homeless Program (WYA), Early Childhood Programs, Migrant Farm Worker Programs, CT Strong Adolescent Program, Hepatitis C Programs, Substance Use Disorder Programs, LGBTQ Health Initiatives and Health Advocacy Programs. Ms. Harding was also responsible for the development and implementation of new HIV Prevention Programs and the initiation of CHCI’s Centers for Disease Control funded PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) Program. All of these programs are designed to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations that experience disparities in health coverage and engage them in comprehensive healthcare services. Most recently, Ms. Harding has been a leader in the establishment of CHCI’s Weitzman Learning Academy, offering webinars, one on one coaching and custom site visits to assist agencies in implementing funding related to Substance Use Disorder Services, HIV, homeless programs, programs for the recently incarcerated and other key services.

Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens

Director of Operations

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center

Ms. Darby-Hudgens returned to the Center in 2017. She has spent her professional career with the goal of pursuing meaningful, social justice work, with a focus on civil rights advocacy. At the Center, she promotes an awareness of fair housing issues across the state and works to help Connecticut residents advocate for their own fair housing rights. Finn’s research on exclusionary zoning and fair housing policies past and present history have been published in many formats, and contribute to her expertise in Connecticut’s land use policies. She earned her B.A. from Trinity College and her M.P.A. from the University of Connecticut.

Saud Anwar

Connecticut State Senator

State Senator Saud Anwar was elected in February 2019 to represent the residents of the 3rd State Senate District towns of East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington and South Windsor. Saud was first elected to public office in 2011 as a member of South Windsor’s Town Council. He has served two terms as South Windsor mayor, once from 2013 to 2015 and once from 2017 to 2019. Saud is a medical doctor with specializations in treating lung diseases and critical care medicine, occupational and environmental medicine. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Manchester Memorial and Rockville General Hospitals. Saud was trained in pulmonary and critical care medicine at, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from, Yale University.

Stacy Havlik

Associate Professor

Villanova University

Stacey Havlik is an associate professor in the Department of Education and Counseling at Villanova University, where she is the graduate counseling program director. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate level counseling courses. She received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Maryland. As a former school counselor, she specializes in training pre-service school counselors and other school personnel to be leaders and advocates in meeting the diverse needs of all students. Her research interests include investigating the academic, social/emotional, and career/college development needs of students experiencing homelessness and first-generation college students. She has published and presented her research nationally and internationally and has been featured on national media outlets sharing her findings. She is currently a consultant for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) Single Point of Contact Pilot Program where she provides trainings for states across the country developing SPOC programs.

Marina Marmolejo

Master of Public Health

DreamKit

Marina Marmolejo, MPH is an anti-poverty advocate that is changing how we engage with communities experiencing homelessness. Marina is courageously innovating in a space that has seen very little innovation over the last decade. She believes homeless agencies are overworked and understaffed, and the current antiquated systems cannot adapt to the rapidly changing needs of folks experiencing homelessness. Marina sees the power of technology, real-time data, and human-centered design to create sustainable solutions for this vulnerable and incredibly resilient population. After graduating from the Yale School of Public Health, Marina founded DreamKit, a web-based app that financially supports youth experiencing homelessness to build skills and reconnect with their community.

Louis Tallarita

Education Consultant

Connecticut Department of Education

Louis Tallarita, LMSW is an Education Consultant with the Connecticut State Department of Education and currently serves as the McKinney-Vento State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth program.

Kelly Balthazor

Regional Relationship Manager

PetSmart

With more than twenty years’ experience in corporate philanthropy, social responsibility, and grantmaking, Kelly Balthazor started her nonprofit career in fundraising and corporate partnerships. In 2016, Kelly joined PetSmart Charities as a Regional Relationship Manager where she directs the owned pets grant portfolio for the East Region. As the largest animal welfare funder in North America, PetSmart Charities annually distributes over $35 million in grants and adoption rewards to fulfill their mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.

Carolyn Hanesworth, PhD, LCSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Mercy College

Carolyn Hanesworth is a Critical Time Intervention Trainer, Researcher, and Consultant. In addition to her work with the Center for the Advancement of Critical Time Intervention, Dr. Hanesworth is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She has worked as a service provider, leader, and consultant for organizations serving homeless children and families in Texas and New York City for the past 25 years. Recently, she served as the Project Director for the CTI for Rapid Rehousing Pilot Study in Connecticut, where she assisted in adapting and implementing CTI for Rapid Rehousing recipients.

Jessica Labrencis

Attorney

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center

Ms. Labrencis joined the Center as a fair housing enforcement staff attorney in 2014. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Labrencis was an associate attorney at a law firm in San Diego where she represented employees in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour cases. She received her B.A. in English from Stonehill College, and her J.D. magna cum laude from California Western School of Law, where she was a member of the Public Service Honors Society.

Kay Moshier McDivitt

Senior Technical Assistance Specialist

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Ms. Moshier McDivitt has more than 20 years experience developing and administering rapid re-housing and homelessness programs, as well as leading a local homeless coalition and Continuum of Care. As a Technical Assistance Specialist, she develops and delivers training and technical assistance on best practices, including rapid re-housing, retooling transitional housing and building a crisis response system. Additionally, Ms. Moshier McDivitt developed the Alliance’s Rapid Re-Housing Learning Collaborative, which helps rapid re-housing providers build their capacity and adopt best practices. Before joining the Alliance, Ms. Moshier McDivitt served as the Community Homeless Advisor for the Lancaster County (Pa.) Coalition to End Homelessness, providing leadership for the county’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and Continuum of Care. She also served as Vice President for Programs for Tabor Community Services Inc., during which time she oversaw a number of model program initiatives focused on ending homelessness, including prevention and rapid re-housing approaches. Ms. Moshier McDivitt received her degrees in Social Work and Sociology from Eastern Mennonite University.

Nan Roman

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Ms. Roman is a leading national voice on the issue of homelessness. Under her guidance, the Alliance has successfully identified and promoted innovative strategies for ending homelessness that have been adopted by communities across the country. In her role, Ms. Roman works closely with members of Congress and the Administration, as well as with officials and advocates at the state and local levels. She collaborates with Alliance partners to educate the public about the real nature of homelessness and effective solutions. She has researched and written on the issue of homelessness, regularly speaks at events around the country and frequently serves as an expert on the issue for the media. Her perspective on homelessness and its solutions comes from more than 20 years of local and national experience in the areas of poverty and community-based organizations.

Aubrey Minkler

Program Coordinator of Community Service

City of Bristol, CT

Aubrey Minkler currently works as the Program Coordinator of Community Service for the City of Bristol. The Bristol Office of Community Service aims to empower city residents through short term case management and outreach. Prior to this roll Aubrey worked as the Assistant Program Coordinator of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Program at Community Mental Health Affiliates in New Britain. She also recently worked as the lead facilitator on the Peer Fit Pilot Project through Dartmouth University. The project aimed to study the cardiometabolic risk reduction in patients with severe mental illness.

Tiheba Bain

Executive Director

Women Against Mass Incarceration

Ms. Bain is Founder and Executive Director of Women Against Mass Incarceration, a grassroots organization empowering justice involved women and girls. Currently she is on staff at The National Council for Incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Tiheba is a public speaker who played an integral role in passing legislation SB13 for incarcerated women and girls in the State of Connecticut. She sits on the African American
sub commission of the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity. Tiheba also participated on the State Collateral Consequences Task Force. In the past she sat on the mass incarceration sub-committee for Governor Ned Lamont’s Transitional Policy committee.
Ms. Bain hosted the second annual Free Her conference. She also spoke at Columbia University, Yale University, UCONN, John Jay College, the CT Public Defender National Conference and at IMRP Annual Building Bridges Conference. Recently Ms. Bain was inducted into the CT Hall of Change for her exemplary work in the community. While obtaining her dual undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women and Criminal Justice, she co-wrote a chapter of the book Race Education and Reintegration. Ms. Bain also is an alumni of Heyman Center for Humanities Justice-in-Education Scholar program, at Columbia University.

Jessica Kubicki

Director of Programs

Supportive Housing WORKS

Jessica Kubicki, LCSW, joined Supportive Housing WORKS in January 2016 as the Rapid Exits Manager and transitioned her role to the Director of Programs in May 2017. She also serves as the Leader of the Norwalk Housing First Team which focuses on the collaborative efforts of providers within Greater Norwalk to provide services and resources to the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals and families. Jessica provides leadership in maintaining a strong housing placement system, collaborates with providers through the Housing First Collaboratives within the four sub-communities of Fairfield County, and assists in the implementation of statewide housing policies and procedures within the Coordinated Access Network. Jessica also provides clinical and programmatic support to the Rapid Re-Housing Program.

Michelle Dumas Keuler

Human Rights Attorney

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Michelle Dumas Keuler is a Human Rights Attorney with the State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”). Founded in 1943, the CHRO is the nation’s oldest state based civil rights organization. The Commission is charged with investigating and prosecuting cases of employment, housing, public accommodation and credit discrimination. As a Human Rights Attorney, Ms. Dumas Keuler represents the agency in its prosecution of employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination cases before agency Human Rights Referees and in state court. Ms. Dumas Keuler has extensive experience training in the areas of housing and employment discrimination, employer best practices and sexual harassment discrimination. She has trained countless landlords, tenants, housing authorities, state and municipal employees and employers regarding discrimination statues and their enforcement by the CHRO. She also implemented and supervised a Fair Housing Testing program at the CHRO funded by HUD. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and Western New England University School of Law.

Angel Quiros

Commissioner

Connecticut Department of Corrections

Commissioner Quiros started his career with the Connecticut Department of Correction in 1989 as a Correction Officer. He has gone on to work in the following capacities for the agency: Lieutenant, Captain, Unit Manager, Major, Deputy Warden and Warden. He served in the position of District Administrator from 2011-2019.
Commissioner Quiros has extensive experience in the development of correctional institutional policy and possess in-depth, hands-on institutional skills developed by serving in a variety of correctional settings.
He is a Management Trustee of the Connecticut State Retirement Commission, as well as a Criminal Justice Consultant for The Moss Group.
In March of 2019, then Commissioner Rollin Cook appointed Angel Quiros to the Office of Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Rehabilitative Services Division (OARS). This division is comprised of 14-correctional facilities. As Deputy Commissioner he also oversaw the Parole and Community Services Division.
Mr. Quiros served as Interim Commissioner of the department from July through August 2020.
Governor Ned Lamont announced on September 2, 2020, that Angel Quiros was his nominee to be the 11th Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Correction. Commissioner Quiros is the first Latino to serve as Commissioner of the State’s prison system.
Commissioner Quiros holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Springfield College. He is married, and the couple are parents to one adult-aged son.

Steve DiLella

Director of Individual and Family Support Program

Connecticut Department of Housing

Steve is the Director of the Individual and Family Support Program Unit at the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH). Steve has been with the State working on ending homelessness for the past twelve years. During this timeframe, Steve has managed all state funded homeless service programs including homeless outreach, homeless diversion, emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing, as well as assisting in the creation of Connecticut’s Coordinated Entry System. Connecticut has over 5000 units of permanent supportive housing and over $3 million dollars of funding for rapid rehousing for homeless individuals and families. Within the 5000 units of permanent supportive housing are various special initiatives that target homeless individuals and families that are high cost users of institutional settings. Steve has also pushed the Connecticut homeless service system toward a housing first and low barrier model and has instituted harm reduction policies in all homeless programs. In addition to Steve's roles with DOH, he serves as the Co-Chair for the Connecticut Balance of State Continuum of Care, which has leveraged significant resources over the past ten years to create more permanent supportive housing units for the disabled homeless population.

Rachel Givens

Graduate Student

University of Connecticut School of Social Work

Rachel lives in Wolcott, CT and is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut. Rachel graduated in May 2020 from UConn with a BA in Human Development and Family Sciences and minors in Gerontology and Psychological Sciences. The highlight of undergrad for her was participating in an intergenerational learning program through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UConn where she took classes with students over the age of 50 and formed friendships with her classmates of all ages. Rachel was also a member of several service organizations during undergrad. Rachel is now enrolled at UConn School of Social Work as a Master of Social Work student with a concentration in Community Organizing. She is also working a job on campus in the Field Education department. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks and gardening.

Sarah Gallagher

Managing Director of CSH’s Eastern Region

The Corporation of Supporting Housing

Sarah is currently Managing Director of CSH’s Eastern Region. She has expertise in health/housing collaborations, data matching, interagency collaboration, homeless programs and reentry. Previously she served as CSH’s Director of Strategic Initiatives leading CSH’s efforts to scale and replicate proven supportive housing models as part of the Government Affairs & Innovation team at CSH as well as the Director of CSH’s Connecticut Program, overseeing all of CSH’s training, lending, technical assistance, and systems change work throughout the state. Sarah worked with State agencies to increase the use of supportive housing as a public policy solution, including project management of the Frequent User Services Engagement Program (FUSE), a supportive housing pilot program aimed to break the cycle of homelessness and incarceration for frequent users of jail and shelter, and assisting the State, and health care and supportive housing providers to integrate health care and housing for vulnerable populations. Previously, Ms. Gallagher served at the first Executive Director of Journey Home, the local homeless funding and planning body for the Capitol Region, where she oversaw the development and implementation of the community’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. Sarah was also the Executive Director for Discharge Planning at the New York City Department of Corrections, where she oversaw the discharge planning programs on Rikers Island and worked with City agencies in order to overcome barriers that people face when leaving jail. Ms. Gallagher holds a Master degree in Urban Policy and Management from the Milano Graduate School at the New School and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.

Jim Pettinelli

Executive Director

Liberty Community Services

Jim is the Executive Director of New Haven’s Liberty Community Services, a greater New Haven-based nonprofit that provides a range of housing and support services. He previously served as Assistant Director of CIRA's Community Research and Implementation Core, where he was instrumental in helping to form CIRA's model New England HIV Implementation Science Network. Jim is dedicated to helping people experiencing homelessness, substance use disorders, mental health issues, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Shelley Stoehr-McCarthy

English Professor

Southern Connecticut State University

Shelley Stoehr-McCarthy has taught in the English Department and First-Year Studies at Southern Connecticut State University since 2017. She was awarded SCSU's Outstanding Teacher Award for Part-Time Faculty in 2018 and the Connecticut Board of Regents Systemwide award for Best Adjunct Teacher in 2020. In 2019, Shelley had an idea for a program in which SCSU graduate students would help youth experiencing homelessness to apply for college. Since then, she and several colleagues in the SCSU English Department have begun partnering with local service providers Y2Y New Haven and Youth Continuum New Haven to develop and begin implementation of Shelley's vision.

Michele Conderino

Executive Director

Open Door

Since June 2019, Michele Conderino, MSW, has served as Executive Director of Open Doors. During her time here, Michele has helped lead Open Doors to the greater adoption of innovative and evidence-based practices to end homelessness.
Prior to her role at Open Doors, Michele has worked for nearly two decades in homeless, human services, and mental health services, including as the Regional director for Northern Fairfield County and Director of Homeless Services at Catholic Charities overseeing outreach services.

Samm Williams

Outreach Case Manager

Open Door

Samm has been a part of Open Doors since 2018 and recently took on the role of outreach case manager for the greater Norwalk area. Before launching the new outreach program, she worked as a support supervisor at Open Doors, overseeing the evening and night functions of shelter. Samm's philosophy is that outreach is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle: "It’s a reminder of a past of my own. I was homeless on the streets of NYC at 19 years old, and I had an aunt who was also street homeless in NYC and died at a bus stop days before she planned to get her life together. Ending street homelessness is important to me because it saved my life."

Fiona Vernal

Associate Professor of History and African Studies

University of Connecticut

Fiona Vernal, (PhD, Yale University), is Associate Professor of History and African Studies and director of the new initiative, EPCOH: Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories at the University of Connecticut. Building on oral histories, archival research, and iterative exhibitions, her research chronicles African American, Puerto Rican, and West Indian settlement in the Greater Hartford region.

Kelan Lyons

Criminal Justice Reporter

CT Mirror

Kelan Lyons is CT Mirror’s Report For America Corps Member, covering the intersection of mental health and criminal justice. Before joining CT Mirror, Kelan was a staff writer for City Weekly, an alt weekly in Salt Lake City, where he covered an array of topics including economic development, immigration and state and local politics. Prior to reporting in Utah, Kelan was a courts reporter for The Bryan-College Station Eagle, covering criminal and civil trials and hearings in the Brazos County Courthouse and won a first place feature writing award from the 2018 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for his story on how a 35-year-old cold case still affects the community. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. He is originally from Philadelphia.

Matt McDermott

Lead Organizer

CONECT

Matt McDermott has served the Lead Organizer of CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut) for the last 8 year. CONECT is a broad-based organization – multi-racial, multi-faith, urban and suburban – made up of 29 congregations from East Haven to Stamford that organize together to take action on issues of common concern to their families and communities and for the greater good. McDermott has led CONECT though successful campaigns on issues as varied as immigrant rights, health insurance rates, school discipline policies, police accountability, and numerous local issues.

McDermott joined CONECT with more than 12 years of prior experience organizing in the greater Chicago area. McDermott served as lead organizer of Lake County United, senior organizer of United Power for Action and Justice, lead organizer of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).

McDermott is a graduate of the University of Michigan Residential College with a BA in history. A native of the South Side of Chicago, McDermott lives in the New Haven area with his wife and two daughters.

Donal Whitehead Jr

Executive Director

National Coalition for the Homeless

Donald Hugh Whitehead Jr. is recognized as a leading expert on homelessness, having served as the Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, Assistant Director at St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Program Director at Ohio Valley Goodwill, Grant Manager at Goodwill of Greater Washington and Director of Communications at Greenpeace Ohio. Donald served two terms as President of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless, two terms on the Board of Directors for Faces and Voices of Recovery and two terms on the Georgetown Center for Cultural Competency.

Timothy Maguire

Director of Housing Operations

Youth Continuum

Tim Maguire, M.S., M.S.W. completed his undergraduate studies at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. In 2005, he was awarded a B.S. for a dual major of psychology and criminal justice, with a minor in Spanish. In 2007, he completed his M.S. at the University of New Haven in Connecticut with a degree in criminal justice, concentrating in forensic psychology and victimology. Mr. Maguire recently completed his second master’s degree, an M.S.W. from Fordham University in the Spring of 2020. He has been previously employed as a juvenile probation clinician with a Connecticut Court Support Service Division program, and during his 13 years working with Youth Continuum has been a group home resident advisor, the Work to Learn Program Coordinator for youth in the criminal justice system, and a case manager for youth in housing. Currently, Mr. Maguire is Youth Continuum’s Director of Housing Operations, overseeing the agency’s CAN/Navigation systems, shelter and housing programs for housing unstable youth, DCF housing programs, and YC’s Youth Action Board. In his role, he manages a team of approximately 30 staff, including housing coordinators, youth navigators, case managers, life skills specialists, resident advisors and the Youth Action Board Coordinator. In 2019, he was awarded the Community Advocate of the Year by Yale University for his work with youth in New Haven, and is currently the chairperson of the Greater New Haven Youth Engagement Team Initiative (YETI).

Robert Plant

Clinical Psychologist

Beacon Health Options

Robert W. Plant, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who received his masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Rochester and completed psychology fellowships at Yale University Medical School. Dr. Plant is the Senior Vice President for Analytics and Innovation at Beacon Health Options and has held various positions overseeing behavioral health programs and statewide systems for the State of Connecticut and various private non-profit organizations. At present Dr. Plant is leading analyses of the homeless population and their service needs in conjunction with the Department of Social Services CHESS Initiative and The Governor’s Task Force on Housing and Supports for Vulnerable Populations. Professional and research interests include self-determination theory, social determinants of health, real-world implementation of evidence based practice, measurement based care, health equity, treatment of opioid use disorders and research using “big” data. Recent Publications include the Handbook of Adolescent Behavior Problems (Gullotta, Plant, & Evans, Springer, 2015), “Impact of Mobile Crisis Services on Emergency Department Use Among Youths with Behavioral Health Service Needs” and “A Pay-for-Performance Initiative to Reduce Pediatric Psychiatric Inpatient Length of Stay” (both in Psychiatric Services). Dr. Plant is a frequent lecturer and presenter at local and national conferences.

Marcy Thompson

Homeless Services

ICF

Marcy Thompson leads the Homeless Services practice at ICF and has more than 17 years of experience in the homelessness services and policy field. In her current role, Ms. Thompson leads a team of expert consultants and technical assistance providers in helping to support communities around the country with system change efforts, implementation of coordinated entry, and increasing program and system capacity to create more effective homelessness response systems. Ms. Thompson also works closely with HUD and it’s federal partners to develop policy guidance and tools on topics such as problem solving strategies and diversion. Prior to coming to ICF, Ms. Thompson was at HUD for more than a decade and most recently served as a Senior Advisor on homelessness and special needs populations at HUD.

Representative Brandon McGee

State Representative

Connecticut State Legislature

Representative Brandon L. McGee Jr., community activist and architect of social solutions for the people of Connecticut, is serving his fourth term representing areas of Windsor and Hartford. Brandon is the House chairman of the legislature's Housing Committee and the chairman of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.

Jill Khadduri

Principal Associate, Social & Economic Policy

Abt Associates

Jill Khadduri is a principal associate at Abt Associates, where she conducts research on housing policy and homelessness. She is coauthor, with Marybeth Shinn, of In the Midst of Plenty: Homelessness and What to Do About It (Wiley Blackwell 2020). Founding director of the Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness, Dr. Khadduri is a member of the research council of the National Alliance to End Homelessness and co-principal investigator for the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). Before coming to Abt Associates, she directed the Policy Development Division in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research.

Mayor Erin Stewart

Mayor

New Britain, CT

Erin Stewart is the 40th Mayor of the City of New Britain, Connecticut. She was first elected at the age of 26 in November 2013 and is currently serving a fourth term. She is the youngest mayor in the city’s history and the only female mayor of New Britain to be elected to more than one term. Stewart was first elected to public office in 2011 when she served on the Board of Education for the Consolidated School District of New Britain. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University. Upon taking office in 2013, Mayor Stewart was immediately faced with a $30 million budget shortfall. Since then, she has led the implementation of a five-point plan to turn around the City’s finances. These changes have led to growth on the City’s Grand List for several consecutive years, a boost in the City’s S&P bond rating by four notches to “A+,” and the creation of a business-friendly community where developers and new businesses are interested - and confident - in investing. From infrastructure improvements in parks and schools, being named a 2016 and 2017 “All-America City” by the National Civic League, beautification projects, eliminating chronic family homelessness, boosting community pride, an energy and innovation initiative, and the creation of more than 700 new jobs, Mayor Stewart has helped to usher in a new era for New Britain. Mayor Stewart has received numerous awards and recognition for her service and leadership. She has been the subject of in-depth profiles by national media outlets such as the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Time Magazine, and Newsmax, which in January 2016 named her to the top of their “30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30” list.

Ben Blake

Mayor

Milford, CT

Ben was born in Milford and his parents, grandparents, and even a generation before that made Milford their home. He grew up riding Bus “K” to Calf Pen Meadow Elementary and playing sports at Foran High. He attended the University of Richmond in Virginia where he studied History and Government. While in Virginia, Ben taught Civics to high school juniors and seniors. He then returned to Connecticut, attended law school at Quinnipiac University, and from 2004 through 2011 practiced law on the beautiful Downtown Green.
Now in his fifth term as Mayor, Ben has enacted a series of cost cutting initiatives and streamlined City operations to make Milford government more effective and efficient; Milford taxpayers have experienced five consecutive tax cuts while the City’s bond rating was upgraded to an enviable AAA credit score. Ben’s focus on economic development has stimulated a tidal wave of business expansion that has grown the City’s tax base; Milford’s Grand List is now the largest in New Haven County and one of the top in the State. Most notably, Ben has led Milford through Storm Sandy and Blizzard Nemo, and has received widespread praise for his management during two of the worst natural disasters in the City’s history.
When not conducting Milford business, Ben and his wife, Sandy, delight in raising their three children, Carter, Caroline and Tucker, in a home behind the Library – in walking distance to Milford’s beaches, harbor, downtown, and the City’s other fantastic amenities.

Marianne Farr

Supportive Housing Administrator

The Friendship Service Center

Marianne is a part-time outreach worker in Bristol through SVDP and Brian’s Angels. She is also a supportive housing administrator at The Friendship Service Center in New Britain, CT.