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Keynote Speaker

Marisol Bello (she/her), Executive Director, Housing Narrative Lab
Marisol Bello (she/her) has spent a career championing the stories and voices of people with lived experience, so they lead in creating the solutions that help every family thrive. First as a career journalist – most recently at USA TODAY – telling the stories of families working to make ends meet, and then in the nonprofit world, where she led narrative strategies to change hearts and minds about those living on the brink and move people to action. A first generation American from a Caribbean family full of colorful storytellers, Marisol is originally from the Bronx and yes, she is a Yankees fan. She’s still on the East Coast, where she lives with her family and a pandemic puppy named Chloe.

Lunch Speaker

Dr. Lorenzo Claxton, North Carolina Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Claxton has been the North Carolina Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since December 2022. In this role, he serves as HUD’s liaison to mayors, city managers, state and local officials, members of Congress, private and non-profit developers, stakeholders, and customers.

Mr. Claxton began his HUD career in 2016 as a Northeast Network Regional Portfolio Management Specialist for Public and Indian Housing’s new Rental Assistance Demonstration in the Newark, New Jersey Field Office. He managed the conversion of approximately 30,000 public housing units at a development cost that exceeded $2 billion. Claxton also developed standard operating procedures that included roles and responsibilities and provided training and technical assistance to housing authority executive directors, housing authority staff, and HUD employees throughout the region.

After serving as Network Regional Portfolio Management Specialist, he became a Portfolio Management Specialist in the New Orleans Field Office. During that time, he covered a variety of public housing matters ranging from operating Subsidy Grants, Capital Fund Program Grant, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, occupancy, utilization, financial audits, and the Rental Assistance Demonstration, to name a few.

Before accepting the Greensboro, NC, Field Office Director role, Mr. Claxton served as the Community Planning and Development Program Manager in the Little Rock, AR, Field Office, where he provided oversight of all Community Planning and Development programs. His wealth of knowledge and experience with HUD programs will be essential in serving the communities in North Carolina.

Before joining HUD, Mr. Claxton worked for the U.S. Department of the Army. During his time with the U.S. Department of the Army, he built relationships with real estate professionals and military personnel as the Chief Housing Services Office in Pyeontaek, South Korea where he led a diverse group of team members.

Mr. Claxton earned a B.A. in English Literature with an Emphasis in Journalism from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi; a Master of Public Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration and Public Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha; and a Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Organization Management from Indiana Institute of Technology. He is a life member of Tougaloo College National Alumni Association and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Conference Hosts

Dr. Latonya Agard, Executive Director, NC Coalition to End Homelessness
Latonya L. Agard, “Dr. A,” comes to NCCEH with a wealth of leadership experience within the faith community, higher education, nonprofits, and mental health. She holds several degrees, including a BS in Chemistry and an MA in English from the University of Alabama, an MDiv from Duke University Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her work in higher education focused on mentoring first-generation African American students, helping to build their capacity for resilience, and teaching at the University of Alabama, Miles College, Barton College, and Duke Divinity School. As a local pastor and church planter, she has led communities of faith to consider the dynamic relationships between Christian praxis and professions of faith. This transformative work fuels her interest in connecting the tenets of her faith with the practical needs of marginalized communities, which is partly reflected in her work to help establish ONE Wake, an IAF affiliate in Wake County, NC, her job as a case manager for the Support Circle Program for Homeless Families, and her service on nonprofit Boards of Directors.

Integrating her skills, knowledge, and experience, Dr. A broadened her justice work by opening her business, BeSpeak Solutions, Inc. As a North Carolina Fee-Based Practicing Pastoral Counselor Associate and Transformational DEI Specialist, she provides narrative and trauma-informed mental healthcare, workshops, presentations, and consultant services. In 2021, she joined NCCEH as a DEI Consultant to begin guiding the agency through the difficult process of identifying and dismantling racism and racist practices. This collaborative relationship challenged the staff and Board of Directors to redefine its values, reframe its Mission and Vision, and craft an explicit DEI Statement. Now, as our Executive Director, Dr. A continues to lead NCCEH as we transform our workplace culture and serve homeless families in North Carolina.

 

Samuel Gunter, Executive Director, NC Housing Coalition
Samuel has worked at the NC Housing Coalition since 2015. He currently chairs the Housing Recovery Support Function of the NC State Disaster Recovery Taskforce, is appointed to the NC Interagency Council On Coordinating Homeless Programs, and sits on the Board of Directors of  the Council of Independent State Housing Associations. Samuel has a background in community development and public policy from his time at Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, AmeriCorps VISTA, and the Peace Corps. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (B.A.) and Duke Divinity School (M.Div), and is also a Baptist minister who has served churches in North Carolina and Texas.

 

Lisa Worth, ESG Homeless Programs Coordinator, Division of Aging, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Lisa Worth began as the ESG Homeless Programs Coordinator in February of 2019.  Her previous roles include serving as Program Director for a psychiatric rehabilitation facility, Program Director for a mental health center, Psychology Monitor for a State Mental Health Hospital, and Case Manager for a veteran’s rapid rehousing program. Lisa has a Master’s degree in General Psychology from Northern Arizona University and over 20 years of experience in the mental health, homeless, and social services fields. She has worked for state government and non-profit agencies with a primary focus on mental health, housing, employment, and general case management. She also has experience in Continuum of Care leadership, grant writing, chart auditing, and program management.

 

Session Speakers

Elizabeth Alverson, Supportive Housing Analyst, City of Greensboro
Session: Innovative Solutions to Address Shortage of Emergency Beds: Pallet Shelters and Safe Parking Programs
Elizabeth “Liz” Alverson is a Supportive Housing Analyst for the City of Greensboro’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department. With over 15 years experience working on programming for households experiencing homelessness, Liz oversees federal and local funding for Greensboro including CDBG, ESG, HOPWA and the Nussbaum Housing Partnership (NHP) fund. Prior to working for the City of Greensboro, Liz was a Homelessness Director with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, with areas of focus on reentry initiatives, homelessness prevention and domestic violence. Liz is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University and Georgia State University, holding a Master of Social Work degree.

 

Michelle Armstrong-Lavine, MS, QMHP, QDDP, CADC, SOAR Lead & Coordinator, Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services
Session: A Trauma Informed Approach to Linking Unhoused Individuals to SSI/SSDI Benefits through the SOAR Program
Michelle is a Qualified Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Professional who has worked in human services for over 35 years. Her professional experience includes working with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and substance use disorders. She specializes in the areas of training and staff development, program coordination, system development, advocacy, crisis management, trauma/resiliency support and disability representation and advocacy.

Michelle currently coordinates the Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access & Recovery (SOAR) Program. She is also one of the Mecklenburg County SOAR Leads. Michelle has completed over 100 disability applications for individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. Her experience in this role has allowed to recognize the direct effects of trauma on individuals who are experiencing homelessness and the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach in addressing the needs of this population.

 

Chris Battle, ESG Homeless Programs Coordinator, Division of Aging, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Session: Financial Management for ESG Subrecipients
Chris Battle is the ESG Homeless Programs Coordinator for the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS).  As Homeless Programs Coordinator Chris provides program coordination, monitoring and technical assistance for North Carolina’s federal HUD Emergency Solutions Grant.  Prior to joining the NC DHHS, Chris served 15 years as Executive Director of a private non-profit, serving the homeless and nearly homeless population of Nash and Edgecombe Counties.  During his tenure as Executive Director Chris secured over 4 million dollars in Federal and State grant funding providing grant management and oversight ensuring program compliance.  Serving as the community CoC lead for 8 years, Chris played an integral role in the development and implementation of multiple innovative Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Rehousing programs. Chris worked tirelessly leading efforts within the community facilitating a gradual shift towards progressive engagement and a housing focused approach in addressing homelessness, becoming a “champion” for change while pursuing his never-ending quest to end homelessness in eastern North Carolina.

 

Amy Blank Wilson, PhD, MSW, LSW, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Session: Addressing Housing Barriers for Justice Involved People and Those at Risk of Overdose
Amy Blank Wilson, PhD, MSW, LSW is an Associate Professor and The Prudence F. and Peter J. Meehan Early Career Distinguished Scholar at the School of Social Work at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She uses her practice experience and research expertise to explore new ways to address the complex, interlocking problems of poverty, homelessness, substance use, and criminal legal system involvement facing many people with mental illness. She is a national expert in the development and testing of interventions for people with mental illness involved with the criminal legal system. Her research includes one of the first population level analyses of jail that focused on the experiences of people with mental illnesses and the first ethnographic examination of the help seeking pathways and service needs of people with mental illness after release from jail. As part of her research, she is also the Co-Director of the Tiny Homes Village, a demonstration project focused on expanding the continuum of affordable housing options for people with mental illness.

 

Deirdre Bolden (she/her), Director – Southeast Region, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Session: Building Bridges for Unaccompanied Youth to Succeed
Deirdre Bolden is the Southeast Director with Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). With over 25 years of experience, Deirdre leads efforts in FL, GA, NC, SC and the USVI to expand quality supportive housing solutions through collaboration with cross-sector partners across healthcare, housing, child/youth wellbeing, justice, aging, and local government. Using a solution-oriented approach, Deirdre facilitates coalition building to help communities expand and maximize resources that benefit people experiencing housing instability. The SE team helps build capacity and implement innovative models based on best practices for supportive housing. Prior to CSH, as Program Manager with Atlanta Housing, Deirdre supported the agency’s annual strategic planning and reporting to HUD; and later led the development of and managed the authority’s innovative supportive housing program deploying rental assistance to reduce or prevent homelessness through community partnerships. Deirdre is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. She passionately drives for results with each endeavor to build equitable, vibrant communities and enable all residents to have opportunities to thrive.

 

Cristen Bopp (RYT200)
Session: Mindfulness Session
Cristen Bopp (RYT200) has been teaching mindfulness to the Greater Raleigh Area since 2014. She skillfully utilizes the ancient traditions of yoga and qi gong while offering trauma-informed, accessible, grounding, thoughtfully paced private sessions, group classes, conferences, and workshops.  Her passion for teaching is fueled by witnessing students cultivate: rest, joy, empowerment, rejuvenation, and trust in their own inner wisdom and physical strength.

She began practicing yoga in 2002 and was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis in 2004.  Since dealing with daily, chronic pain, mindfulness has been the foundation of outfoxing permanent disability.  Cristen witnessed herself become more empowered, confident, and physically healthy when she practiced qi gong, so she became certified to teach Pangu Shengong moving and non-moving forms in 2013.  She deeply understands that yoga is truly for everyone despite the perception that yoga is for super-bendy folks only.  Inspired to share the strength and love that yoga provides, she completed yoga teacher training in 2021 to deepen her own practice and to spread the yoga to all. 

For fun, she loves dancing, gardening, buying sassy outfits for her little terrier, nature walks, and going out for live music.

Lived experience with chronic illness, disability, joint replacements, and a domestic violence survivor.

 

Beth Bordeaux, MSW (she/her), Co-Owner, Partners for Impact
Session: Innovative Solutions Start with Partnerships
Beth Bordeaux, MSW (she/her/hers) is a Co-owner of Partners for Impact (https://partnersforimpact.com/). We are a small but flexible firm that has been around since 2016. All of our consultants have spent their careers working with nonprofits, local governments and funding organizations in positions from the front lines to leading organizations as executive directors and board members. We have brought this first-hand experience and our deep knowledge of working with communities to our work. Our current clients are both nonprofits and their funders, as well as local governments, coalitions, and collective impact initiatives that are working to help local systems better address some of our most complex problems.

 

Lauren Brasil, Co-Director and Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina Fair Housing Project
Session: Renting with a Criminal Record: Fair Housing and Fair Chances
Lauren Brasil is a Co-Director and Managing Attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project. Ms. Brasil represents victims of housing discrimination across the State in fair housing administrative proceedings before the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and State and local administrative agencies, as well as in State and federal court. She has presented at fair housing seminars for housing consumers, advocates, attorneys, and housing providers. Ms. Brasil is a member of the North Carolina State Bar. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Lehigh University and her J.D. at Temple University School of Law.

 

Andrea Carey, Data Center Director, NC Coalition to End Homelessness
Session: Developing Strategies and Resources Across the Housing Continuum: A conversation with NCCEH & NCHC
Andrea Carey is a Project Director for the Data Center at NCCEH, working to make client and program data in HMIS more accurate, not so scary, and easier to use in decision making. Her work at the Data Center focuses on System Administration of HMIS@NCCEH, leading the HMIS PIT/HIC annual project for our 3 CoCs, as well as the Balance of State’s Unsheltered and non-HMIS Counts too. As an enthusiastic promoter of HMIS, Andrea also leads the regular training opportunities for HMIS at our CoC’s Users Meetings. Recently, she has been the liaison for several research projects including data matching for aggregate COVID vaccination rates, mortality rates, and healthcare utilization of people experiencing homelessness. 

Getting to the field of housing and homelessness was a blessing in disguise. Originally from Seattle, WA, Andrea grew up witnessing an increasingly desperate regional environment with difficult housing affordability and unsheltered homeless touch everyone. After graduating from the University of Washington with an Honors degree in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights, Andrea went into issue-based ballot initiative elections as an organizer and data manager. That belief in the power of collective action for social justice drew her to NCCEH in 2016 when she moved ‘home’ to be closer to her wife’s family. We CAN end homelessness and extend dignity and justice to all our neighbors! 

In her spare time, Andrea enjoys exploring the parks from Eno River to Cliffs of the Neuse with her wife and their dog, Theodora. Along with her in-laws in Wayne County, Andrea cheers on the Tar Heels, NC State, and (sometimes) Duke for March Madness!

 

Sheila Crump, QP, MBA,  Social Serve Program Coordinator, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services/Housing Innovation & Stabilization Services
Session: A Trauma Informed Approach to Linking Unhoused Individuals to SSI/SSDI Benefits through the SOAR Program
Sheila D. Crump, QP, MBA is the Social Serve Program Coordinator with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services/Housing Innovation & Stabilization Services. Sheila has over 30 years of experience in the field of Human Service which has been centered around assisting at-risk teens, parents of youths placed in Group Homes, and individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and individuals living with HIV. Sheila also has over 10 years of experience completing disability applications for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and have serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder through a national program SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery). Sheila is currently The Social Service Program Coordinator and Local SOAR Lead with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. Sheila is responsible for ensuring individuals in Mecklenburg County community with disabilities that are referred to her are connected to a SOAR case manager to assist with securing disability benefits. Sheila also serves as a Mecklenburg County SOAR Lead, responsible for facilitating monthly SOAR workgroup, providing technical assistance/support and training of SOAR case managers, maintaining a relationship with local Social Security Administration field office, and monitoring of local outcomes in OATS National reporting system through SAMHSA. Sheila has completed over 70 disability applications for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness with a high approval rate.

 

Bennita Curtain, Director of Programs, Interactive Resource Center
Session: Innovative Solutions to Address Shortage of Emergency Beds: Pallet Shelters and Safe Parking Programs
Bennita Curtain received her degree in Social Work from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Her 24-year career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable populations. She began working with those experiencing homelessness in 2009, developing various housing programs. Serving vulnerable populations is not just a job for Bennita, it is her passion. She has worked at the IRC for four years, first serving as the FUSE Team Lead. The FUSE (Frequent Users Systems Engagement) program is an evidence-based model, identifying frequent users of jails, shelters, hospitals and/or other crisis public services and then improving their lives through supportive housing. Bennita currently serves as the IRC’s Director of Programs. In addition to other fundamental programs, she oversees the case management of all IRC winter emergency programs, including the Doorway Project, The Safe Parking Program, and the Regency Inn shelter program. Bennita’s favorite thing about the IRC is the low barrier nature of the work we do. Her time here has taught her the importance of celebrating the small victories in life. When she is not at the IRC, she enjoys singing, doing puzzles, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Adriana Diaz, Project Specialist, NC Coalition to End Homelessness
Session: A Trauma Informed Approach to Linking Unhoused Individuals to SSI/SSDI Benefits through the SOAR Program (moderator)
Adriana Diaz is a Project Specialist at the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, where she has worked since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2021. Adriana also serves as the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access & Recovery) State Team Lead for North Carolina, which is the top fifth performing SOAR state in the nation. Adriana has previously interned at the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and World Relief Durham. She is a first-generation bilingual American whose family emigrated from El Salvador in 1997. Adriana is passionate about serving her community and seeks to help create a safe, equitable world.

 

Cheryl Fuller, Consultant, Cheryl Fuller Consulting
Session: Building Professional Resilience and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue
With 39 years in the field of education, Cheryl Fuller has been actively engaged in many aspects of researching and implementing learning for children and adults. With a Bachelor’s in Child Development, a Master’s in Counseling and a second Master’s in Educational Leadership she has been able to enjoy her work as a classroom teacher, counselor, and school principal. As a consultant for the past 14 years, she has worked extensively with training educators in best instructional practices. She has presented material to over 400,000 people in North Carolina and across the United States.  She offers workshops and keynote/breakout sessions at major conferences. In the past few years, she has gained additional certifications on two primary topics: Trauma Informed Practices and Building Professional Resilience for those who work in service industries. She is the author of two books. Her goal, in all of her work, is to help children and adults live their best personal and professional lives.

 

Rikki Gardner, Senior Manager of Compliance & Performance Management, Housing for New Hope
Session: Financial Management for ESG Subrecipients
Rikki Gardner has managed accounts and business relationships for more than 24 years, much of it with Enterprise Holdings. In 2016, she brought her talents to Housing for New Hope where she serves as the Senior Compliance Manager, focusing on the agency’s adherence to Federal, State, and City regulations of housing programs for the homeless population. She is also instrumental in driving program performance directives and is a highly regarded thought-partner with the Durham Continuum of Care. One of her proudest moments came in 2018 when she had the opportunity to represent Housing for New Hope at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness on Capitol Hill Day. She spent time engaging city and state leaders as well as those in higher seats of public office about what is working, what is not working, and being a change agent for people in the Durham community. Rikki is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and roots for all things Tar Heels.

 

Kristi Graunke, Legal Director, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation
Session: Supreme Court Case, Local Govs, Downtown Revitalization, and Homelessness
Kristi Graunke is the Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, where she leads  litigation and other legal advocacy to advance and defend the rights of North Carolinians under the federal and state Constitutions. Before joining the ACLU of North Carolina in 2020, Kristi worked as an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). There, Kristi focused primarily on enforcing the civil rights of low-income immigrant workers in the southeastern United States; she also worked on litigation to defend the civil rights of LGBTQI+ individuals and incarcerated children and adults. In 2015, she received Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award as part of a team that tried a human trafficking case to a $14 million verdict for the plaintiffs. Prior to working with SPLC, Kristi was an Equal Justice Works law fellow with the Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services. Kristi holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Following graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Connie Hicks DNP, FNP-BC, D-PMHNP
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
Connie Hicks DNP, FNP-BC, D-PMHNP received Doctorates from Robert Morris University and a concentration in Practice from Duke University. Dr. Hicks as a licensed practitioner is employed in integrated health care practices that involve providing primary care, behavioral health, opioid and suboxone assessments, pain management to a diverse targeted population. During her vocation Dr. Hicks has provided over 30 plus years of clinical mental health and primary care that evolves the life span. Dr Hicks utilizes an evidence-based approach towards the developments of integrated health care that will positively affect the health-care delivery and desires to offers affordable medical care under- one- roof. As a DNP, Dr Hicks is trained to provide practice-focused clinically based nursing practice for the development of theoretical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills to design and implement programs of care delivery which significantly impact health care outcomes and transform health care delivery. Obtaining the above degrees in nursing, primary care, and mental health allows continuation of Dr. Hicks’ focal point in implementation of integrated health-care practices which is vital to addressing health-care needs of individuals with mental health, medical, and substance use that will impact the limited health-care funds in the state of NC.

 

Neisha Himes, Domestic Violence Education Specialist, Neisha Christine Consulting, LLC
Session: Sheltering Survivors: Addressing Domestic Violence, Homelessness, and the Keys to Permanent Housing in NC
Neisha Christine Himes is an award winning and nationally recognized activist and motivational speaker. After leaving a 5-year long abusive relationship, Neisha began using her gift of Spoken Word poetry to bring awareness to domestic violence and empower those suffering in silence. Along with her community activism, she is the founder of the non-profit organization, G.R.O.W. Foundation, which provides support to survivors fleeing abuse, and Neisha Christine Consulting, LLC, a domestic violence education consulting company. Since G.R.O.W’s inception, Neisha– who is proudly certified by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP) as an advanced-level advocate– has received numerous accolades for her advocacy work and relentless activism. Neisha’s unwavering dedication to ending domestic violence and her passion for helping others is the driving force behind her motto, “I will NOT shut up!”

 

Laura Hogshead, Director, North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR)
Speaker: NCDHHS Strategic Planning and ICCHP Listening Session
Laura Hogshead was appointed chief operating officer of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) in late 2018, a position that was later retitled as director. In this role, Hogshead oversees the expenditure of hurricane recovery funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for areas hit by hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Hogshead also oversees the expenditure of U.S. Department of Treasury Coronavirus Relief Fund and Emergency Rental Assistance allocations through the state’s pandemic-related emergency rental assistance program.

Hogshead is a native North Carolinian who, before returning to her home state, spent most of her career in Washington, DC. She was the HUD chief operating officer from 2013 to 2017 and served as a lead HUD staffer on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee from 2007 to 2013. Before that, Hogshead was a Presidential Management Fellow at HUD, specializing in homeless programs.

 

Stan Holt, PhD (he/him), Partners for Impact
Session: Innovative Solutions Start with Partnerships
Stan Holt, PhD  (he, him, his) is a Co-Owner/Senior Advisor at Partners for Impact, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 34 years. He has been an Executive Director of a homeless shelter for families (with an onsite child care center), a development director, and a funder with the United Way of the Greater Triangle. He has his PhD in Public Administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management and governance. He is an adjunct faculty member at NCSU and teaches program evaluation, nonprofit management, and nonprofit fundraising.

 

Daniel Jordan, Program Specialist, NC Homeless Education Program
Session: Effective Collaborations with School District Homeless Liaisons
Daniel Jordan joined NCHEP in July of 2022. He is a Program Specialist for Special Populations working specifically in the areas of TIC/SEL, Beyond High School, NCHEP Mentor/Mentee Program, and providing technical support and trainings for educational partners, community-based organizations, and state agencies. Daniel has experience as a Crisis Intake Social Worker and a CAP/C and CAP/DA Case Manager. Daniel was a Social Worker Supervisor and Clinical Lead at WestCare NC Girls Program, where he was honored as the Spectacular Magazine Man of the Year for mentorship and service to the community. Additionally, Daniel implemented the Psi Phi Nu Male Mentoring Step Team, Inc., during his time as a school social worker with Vance County Schools. Daniel has served as the McKinney-Vento, Foster Care, Neglect, and Delinquent Programs Liaison for Granville County Public Schools. Daniel obtained his undergraduate degree in Social Work/Sociology from Elizabeth City State University and his Master’s Degree in Social Work from North Carolina Central University.

 

Sharmaine Joyner, Program Manager, The Salvation Army
Session: Increasing Access to Quality Childcare Through Community Partnerships
Program Manager Sharmaine Joyner began her time with The Salvation Army Wake County as Project CATCH Case Management in 2021 and hit the ground running. With managing an average of 40 cases a month and hosting various outreach events, she was able to truly understand the ins and outs of the program. These leadership skills stood out to the CATCH team and previous Coordinator pushing her into the new role of Program Manager. Sharmaine Joyner holds a Master of Social Work and Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from one of North Carolina’s HBCU Fayetteville State University. Sharmaine has the passion to service the community while truly applying her studies and 10 year working experiences to the success of vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness.

 

Monica Kearney, MSW, Executive Director, Safe Space, Inc.
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
Ms. Monica Kearney, MSW, is a transformative leader and serves as Safe Space, Inc.’s Executive Director. She has over 20 years of experience as a social work professional. She began her tenure at Safe Space in 2013 and has served as its executive director since June 1, 2014. Safe Space started in 1995 in Franklin County and is the only agency that provides prevention, outreach/awareness, and interventions to reduce the incidence of domestic and sexual violence in Franklin County. Ms. Kearney’s commitment to the mission of Safe Space is demonstrated through collaborative efforts between Safe Space and other human service organizations within the community and across the state, including United Way, the Franklin County Department of Social Services, Emergency Management and Response, Franklin County Health Department, the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 2014, Ms. Kearney established the Franklin County Domestic Violence Task Force to address the systematic barriers within the county that impede the safety of victims of violence. Ms. Kearney, in collaboration with Smart Start and the Franklin County Health Department, is currently leading the Prevention and Thrive Team, which aims to reduce adverse childhood experiences (ACES) by addressing the risk factors that cause violence and developing programming to prevent its occurrence. In 2017, Ms. Kearney and the Franklin County Sheriff Department team joined forces to implement the Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP), a prevention tool for reducing domestic violence homicide. 

Academically, Ms. Kearney holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of New England. She is enrolled at Walden University, pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Work Leadership and Administration. Ms. Kearney holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the NC Center for Nonprofits. She is a member of the National Honor Society of Leadership Success (NSLS), the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honor Society. She also serves as a Social Work Field Instructor and mentors social work students who attend NC Central University, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, and numerous Council for Social Work Educators accredited online schools of social work. 

 

Beverly J Kegley
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
A North Carolina transplant from Kentucky. Ms.Kegley was brought up in Easternmost Kentucky, one of six children, of  parents who were home missionaries. It was the example of her parents that set her life course of helping others. Beverly has served as a child care worker at Methodist Children’s Home, director of a group home in Franklin County for court involved girls, and Executive Director of a Free Medical Clinic. After retiring from the Clinic, she moved home to Kentucky to reconnect with friends and family. A year and a half later she returned to North Carolina and became an outspoken community advocate and volunteer. She is co-founder of the Franklin County Interfaith Council and serves as Vice-chair. She leads the Housing Committee. Filmmaking is a relatively new passion. It has been an amazing experience to help create Gimme Shelter.

 

Rashaunda Lanier-Jackson (she/her), Senior Program Manager, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Session: Building Bridges for Unaccompanied Youth to Succeed
Rashaunda Lanier-Jackson is a dedicated urban planner committed to addressing disparities and fostering upward mobility within economically disadvantaged communities. In her role as a Senior Program Manager at CSH, she focuses on enhancing cross-sector investment and expanding quality supportive housing opportunities for vulnerable populations. With extensive experience serving youth and families in both North Carolina and Chicago, Rashaunda has collaborated with nonprofits to promote youth academic success through holistic family support initiatives. Throughout her career, Rashaunda has championed a people-first approach to driving equitable change, leveraging her expertise in local and state government, education, community development, and nonprofit sectors. She is a fierce advocate for youth aging out of foster care and holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

 

Shakieta Maloye, Founder & CEO, Another Chance House of Refuge, Inc.
Session: Addressing Housing Barriers for Justice Involved People and Those at Risk of Overdose
Shakieta Maloye is the Founder and CEO of Another Chance: House of Refuge. As an advocate for self-improvement, she dedicates her life to humanitarian service, life-long learning and the relaying of life’s wisdom to all. Since 2019, Shakieta’s nonprofit charity Another Chance: House of Refuge (ACHR) has provided transitional housing to men and women who were formerly incarcerated or homeless. ACHR’s first transitional home includes wrap around services to assist residents’ growth toward self-sufficiency and achieving a life they deserve filled with dignity and respect. Shakieta also serves the Charlotte/Matthews area community by providing food, clothing, and basic necessities to those in need.

 

Charita McCollers, LCSW, Lincoln Community Health Center’s Health Care the Homeless Clinic
Session: A Trauma Informed Approach to Linking Unhoused Individuals to SSI/SSDI Benefits through the SOAR Program
Charita K McCollers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Lincoln Community Health Center’s Health Care the Homeless Clinic in Durham, NC. Charita has over 20 years of experience working with marginalized communities in various capacities. Over the last 15 years of her career, Charita’s work has been dedicated to working with people living without homes. As part of her duties at the Health Care for the Homeless Clinic, Charita has been providing SOAR services since 2011. Charita became a SAMHSA recognized local lead in her community in 2018. Charita is a graduate of the Hillside High School in Durham, NC and NC State University where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Social Work. Charita’s work addressing the needs of the homeless extends outside the walls of her clinic as she serves in leadership for Durham’s Homeless Continuum of Care board over the past 8 years and is currently the Chair of the Policy and Planning subcommittee for the Homeless Services Advisory Committee (COC Board). More recently, Charita became a member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s Clinician’s Network and in July was elected Chair-elect. Charita is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. Charita has shared her vast experience as a Social Worker, change maker and advocate at the local and national levels through several lectures and presentations. As a testament to her commitment and dedication to this work, Charita has received both the Durham Systems of Care Making a Difference award in 2015 and the Karen Rotonda Award for Outstanding Service from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council in 2017. Charita considers her work more than a career but also her ministry.

 

Deronda Metz, LCSW, Safe Alliance
Session: Financial Management for ESG Subrecipients
Deronda worked for The Salvation Army for more than 30 years providing leadership for the agency’s homeless and housing efforts. She has a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinician (LCSW) as well as a licensed addiction specialist. While serving in her job capacity as Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army, she expanded her focus to include a systems approach to creating solutions addressing issues of homelessness and housing in The Charlotte Community. She has been a participant in Mecklenburg County’s Continuum of Care for over 25 years.   Currently she is working with the Safe Alliance team on implementing housing solutions for survivors of domestic violence. She is a constant voice for those who are homeless across the Country and has been involved in several advocacy efforts that have resulted in affordable housing solutions. Deronda has received recognition on a national and local level for implementing and creating best practice housing solutions.  Her belief is “if we are not talking about housing with those who are homeless, we are having the wrong conversation.” (Deronda Metz, 2014)

 

Charlesy Nance (she/her), Senior Program Manager, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Session: Building Bridges for Unaccompanied Youth to Succeed
Charlesy Nance is a Senior Program Manager within the Southeast team for Corporation of Supportive Housing (CSH). In her role, she draws on over 10 years of experience in the social services field. She has provided direct services to community members of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, while working in an administrative capacity to develop, monitor, and improve service quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. Her dedication to the cause of ending homelessness has led her to various advocacy roles in Arkansas as well as in Florida, where she presently resides. Charlesy has provided training and technical assistance to more than 300 stakeholders & providers in the fields of HUD Compliance, Coordinated Entry, and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), among others. She is an affordable housing advocate, with a proven background in providing management, using data to analyze the causes and impacts of racial economic inequality, and developing individual centered programs and policies to drive systems change. Currently, Charlesy is a member of the Florida Coalition to End Homelessness (FCEH). Educationally, she holds a Master of Science degree in Law & Policy, a bachelor’s degree in economics/ Pre- Law, as well as a paralegal certificate. Charlesy is also a Six Sigma Greenbelt and looks forward to continuing her educational journey by attending law school, and successfully becoming a lawyer for affordable housing & policy reform.

 

LaQuana Palmer, Deputy Director, NC Medicaid Communications and Engagement, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Session: Medicaid Information Session

LaQuana Palmer is a Deputy Director in the Division of Health Benefits (NC Medicaid) at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) where she oversees strategy and daily operations of communications and engagement. She recently transitioned from her role as the Program Director of NCCARE360 at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI). Before serving at FHLI, LaQuana served at NCDHHS in the Office of the Secretary with Healthy Opportunities and in an earlier roles as a Public Information Officer and Communications Unit Manager in the Division of Public Health – Public Health Preparedness and Response Branch.

LaQuana earned a BS in Public Health Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University, and was a Community Mobilization Fellow at the Black AIDS Institute – African American HIV University in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to the in-depth knowledge of health and human referral technology, social determinants of health implementation strategies, program and grant management, and communication administration, LaQuana has a long career in local public health and public service, including more than ten years with Wake County Health and Human Services.

 

Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator, NC Homeless Education Program
Session: Effective Collaborations with School District Homeless Liaisons
Lisa Phillips has been the State Coordinator for the NCDPI Homeless Education Program for over 10 years where she has provided training and support to school districts, educational partners, community organizations and state agencies. Mrs. Phillips prepares best practice materials for homeless liaisons to utilize in their practice, monitors the school districts and charter schools, provides training at the state and national level as well as oversees the Mentor Program for new State Coordinators for the US Department of Education. She has extensive experience in the public-school setting providing leadership to the school community as a school social worker as well as in the position of a principal. She owned and operated a small business for many years and holds degrees in Small Business Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Science, School Social Work, and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and School Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, her adorable pups, cooking and spending time at the beach.

 

Troy Powell, Neighborhood Impact Manager, City of Greensboro
Session: Innovative Solutions to Address Shortage of Emergency Beds: Pallet Shelters and Safe Parking Programs
As a Leading Public Administration Professional who enjoys advancing community progress through improving the quality of life, public safety, infrastructure and economic development, Troy Powell is a problem solver, innovator, and servant leader. His best accomplishments are the result of non-traditional methods and thinking. 

Troy is the Neighborhood Impact Manager for the City of Greensboro in the Housing & Neighborhood Department. He is responsible for designing sustainable solutions for safe and affordable housing, sheltering unsheltered persons during extreme weather conditions of the winter and summer, and development of the Greensboro Community Land Trust. As a code official, he is responsible for ensuring safe housing through demolition and receivership programs that improve the quality of life for the neighborhood and creates opportunities for affordable housing. 

He currently serves as a Local Fire Chief in Randolph County for a volunteer fire department and served as a law enforcement officer for nearly 20 years. In local government administration over the past 12 years, Troy has served as a Department Head in Planning, Zoning, Minimum Housing Enforcement, Commercial Maintenance Administrator, Code Enforcement, Historic Preservation, Transportation Planning, and Community and Economic Development. 

When he is not serving others in the public, he enjoys spending time with his family, moose (the family boxer dog), hunting, and traveling.

 

Alissa Pritchett, ESG Homeless Programs Coordinator, Division of Aging, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Session: Financial Management for ESG Subrecipients
Alissa Pritchett joined the NC ESG office as a Homeless Programs Coordinator in November of 2020. Her role as Homeless Programs Coordinator is to provide technical assistance and review of requisitions. Prior to joining the ESG office, Alissa worked at Family Promise of Wake County. During her time at Family Promise, she served in various roles, eventually serving as the Program Manager for their shelter, rapid rehousing, and transitional housing programs. Alissa has her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Campbell University. During her time at Campbell, Alissa completed her internship at another local shelter and in the Harnett County School System.

 

Madison Quijano (she/her), Management Analyst, DC Government
Session: Exploring the Utilization of Trauma-Informed Theory in Family Shelters
Madison Quijano (she/her) is a multidisciplinary analyst, researcher, and evaluator for public institutions and community-based organizations seeking to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth and families. Madison recently completed her doctoral studies at the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She also holds a Master of Public Affairs degree and BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 

Bill Rowe, Senior Advisor (former), North Carolina Justice Center
Session: Renting with a Criminal Record: Fair Housing and Fair Chances
Bill recently retired after more than 30 years as an attorney with Legal Services and the NC Justice Center. During that time Bill represented low-income clients in a wide array of civil cases, including impact litigation, – evictions, and poor housing quality, employment, unemployment compensation, consumer rights, Social Security, public benefits, domestic violence, and community economic development. He has served as counsel in class action lawsuits concerning consumer rights, education, public benefits, and housing law. In addition, Bill has represented members of the state’s low-income communities before the NC legislature, state and federal agencies and local governments on issues related to housing, employment, public benefits, unemployment insurance, civil rights, consumer rights, tax fairness, reentry, judicial procedures, access to the courts and environmental justice. Bill is currently volunteering with the NC Housing Coalition.

 

Cassandra Rowe, Director of Health and Housing, NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Session: Sheltering Survivors: Addressing Domestic Violence, Homelessness, and the Keys to Permanent Housing in NC
Cassandra Rowe is a mom, artist and domestic violence advocate in Durham, NC. She grew up in the small town of Naugatuck, CT and moved to North Carolina in 2012 where she earned her MPH in Health Behavior at UNC Chapel Hill. For the past eight years she’s been at the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the Director of Health and Housing. Cassandra explores trauma and wellbeing through both her professional and creative work.

 

Alex Rubenstein, Housing Grants Coordinator, Orange County
Session: Housing Barriers for Justice Involved Populations and Those at Risk of Overdose
Alex has 10 years of experience working in affordable housing, community development, and behavioral health. He has worked in the affordable housing arena with non profits, state agencies, behavioral health providers, as well as real estate developers and property management firms. Prior to his current position at Orange County, he spent two years as the NC Housing Coalition’s Housing Fellow leading two-year project in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Division of Public Health to engage stakeholders across the state on addressing the housing needs for people who are impacted by the justice system and those that are at risk of overdose from opioids. Originally from Washington DC, Alex graduated from Bard College in 2006 and earned a Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Alex and his wife have been living in Durham since 2015.

 

Gauri Singh
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
On a mission to be a positive catalyst for equity in the community, bring forth the wholesome wellness for all, and champion the creators, dreamers, and advocates to find their unique voice and make more resonant work through the power of multi-award winning filmmaking experience and showcasing the diverse films through the Franklin Flicks, NC Indian and South Asian, (NCISAFF) & Wake Forest Film Festival. This is my spark, I yearned to do more with God’s grace and power of God’s hand, I continue to volunteer as a leader in all aspects, to inspire, to motivate, and to bring the best out in people through volunteerism in filmmaking and in leading the charitable organization, Rajmata Vimala Devi Sahib of Patiala Charitable Organization (RVPCO) which focuses on homeless related projects and other charitable projects worldwide since, and supporting children sponsorships programs since 2001. Also, my family has been my strength with all encouragement and support.

My childhood role model was Mother Teresa, followed by paving the path of compassion of the Hugging Saint from India, Mata Amritannanmayi. I naturally gravitate towards the values of love, compassion, and wellness of and for the community through these organizations. In addition, I am an Actor, poet, songwriter,doll-maker, and screenplay writer. With a dozen films on my tracks record, some of my very famous films, Yadvi- The Dignified Princess on Amazon prime, Samosa, He-Too, Crossing Borders- An American Story, Sarees Across America, Welcome to North Carolina, Discovering History: The Washington County African American Museum and the Cultural Art Center, Tapestry: Spiritual Music of the Mill Villages, Gimme Shelter, & others.

 

Dr. Phillip E. Stover
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
Is a recently retired family physician, having practiced in Louisburg, NC for 40 years. During this time my wife, Dr. Judith Stover, and I have raised two daughters, restored a historic home, and now enjoy time with our four grandchildren.
I was instrumental in bringing hospice care to Franklin County. In 2004, I was one of the founders of a free and affordable medical practice, treating uninsured and underserved patients. Currently, I serve as a Captain with the Civil Air Patrol. In November 2023, I was elected to the Louisburg Town Council. The number one issue I am concerned with is affordable housing.

 

Deb Thompson, Technical Assistance Specialist, The Salvation Army
Session: Increasing Access to Quality Childcare Through Community Partnerships
Deb Thompson began her career at The Salvation Army in 2020 as a Project CATCH case manager.  In this role, she connected families experiencing homelessness with community resources.  In support of the Project CATCH mission, she focused on services to nurture and support the healthy growth and development of their children. In 2021, Deb transitioned to a new position as Technical Assistance Specialist.  In this role, she works with ECE programs throughout North Carolina to implement policies, procedures and systems to support families and children experiencing homelessness within their schools.  

Deb holds a MS in Early Childhood Studies and a BS in Child Development. She has over 30 years of teaching experience in early childhood and kindergarten classrooms. Her passion is to ensure children experiencing homelessness receive the most successful outcomes possible during this vulnerable time in their lives.

 

Rob Underhill
Session: Gimme Shelter Screening and Panel
Rob Underhill is a film and media director, producer, cinematographer, editor, writer. His feature films & more than 50 short films have received over 150 awards, showcased at hundreds of screening engagements worldwide, including CANNES and Academy-qualifying film festivals like ST. LOUIS & SEATTLE. Rob’s work has received rave reviews from top film critics, earned endorsements from major public figures like UN Ambassador Andrew Young and former NC Governor Beverly Perdue, and has been featured on the NPR programs THE STATE OF THINGS with Frank Stasio and THE STORY with Dick Gordon.

Rob earned a BA in English from NCSU and was honored to accept the invitation to serve as featured speaker at the 2015 NCSU English department graduation commencement. His work has aired on the ASPiRE network, ShortsHD, and other national & international outlets. Carolina STYLE Magazine recognized Rob as one of 25 “Most Stylish People” influencing positive change in the Carolinas. He is a RAWards Indie Art Award recipient for Best Regional Filmmaker. In 2022, he received the QUSAR award for lifetime achievement in filmmaking by the 10th Raleigh Film and Art Festival.

 

Josh Walker, LCMHCS, Olmstead Housing Director, Health Equity Portfolio / Office of the Secretary, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Speaker: NCDHHS Strategic Planning and ICCHP Listening Session
Josh has a combined 19 years experience in Human Services, with the last 7 years in housing and work with Transitions to Community Living and Olmstead. Josh has a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling, and has been a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor since 2009. Josh previously served as a Clinical Director at a community based CABHA, overseeing behavioral based enhanced services in the Medicaid area. Josh previously served as the Transitions to Community Living Lead and Director at Eastpointe Managed Care Organization for 6 years. Josh joined NCDHHS Office of the Secretary in June of 2023 and currently serves as the Olmstead Housing Director. Josh believes that Housing is Healthcare and that through housing first principles, individuals should have choice where they live, work, and play.

 

Stephanie Watkins-Cruz, Director of Housing Policy, NC Housing Coalition
Session: Developing Strategies and Resources Across the Housing Continuum: A conversation with NCCEH & NCHC
Stephanie Watkins-Cruz joined NCHC in August 2022 as the Director of Housing Policy. Stephanie is passionate about affordable housing, community engagement, and creating bridges for effective and creative collaboration to address community needs. Prior to joining NCHC Stephanie worked as a Policy Analyst for Chatham County where she was responsible for developing and implementing affordable housing policies and programs, facilitating strategic planning efforts, and providing support to organization leaders, officials, and community partners. She also worked as a Fellow with the Development Finance Institute at the UNC School of Government, and as a Collaborative database Project Manager for the Chatham County Council on Aging. She has a master’s degree in City & Regional Planning and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

 

Hope Williams, Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina Fair Housing Project
Session: Renting with a Criminal Record: Fair Housing and Fair Chances
Hope Williams is a Supervising Attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project where she represents victims of housing discrimination across the State. Hope has worked at Legal Aid of North Carolina since 2006, and previously was a staff attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Before joining the Fair Housing Project, Hope handled special education cases for students in public schools and immigration cases for victims of domestic violence and trafficking. She spent several years at Legal Aid’s Centralized Intake Unit where she advised clients in a wide range of civil law matters and supervised Legal Aid’s Fair Housing intake and advice cases. Hope graduated from The University of Texas School of Law and got her undergraduate degree in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Daphne Waugh, SOAR Program Coordinator and Local Lead, Mecklenburg County Department of Community Resources
Session: A Trauma Informed Approach to Linking Unhoused Individuals to SSI/SSDI Benefits through the SOAR Program
Daphne has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master of Social Work. She has worked in the human services field for over 20 years and has experience working with families and individuals with physical, mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use issues, and those facing housing challenges. Daphne’s work for the last three years has focused on assisting individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness with obtaining Social Security disability benefits using the SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, and Recovery) model. Daphne also serves as a SOAR Lead for Mecklenburg County.

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