Leadership

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Liz Hersh
Director Homeless Services

Liz is a builder. She is dedicated to serving poor and marginalized people, focusing on creating affordable, decent homes where families can flourish. In her 14 years as Executive Director, she built the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania into a national model of effective advocacy. She led the building of numerous bi-partisan initiatives in Pennsylvania designed to create good housing opportunities by investing public and private funding across the Commonwealth. Under her leadership, the Housing Alliance leveraged nearly a half-billion dollars for housing, community development and support for homeless individuals and families across Pennsylvania.

Liz earned a Master’s Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. She serves on Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Task Force and the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. She served on the transition teams for Governor Rendell and Governor Wolf.


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David Holloman
Director of External Affairs

David has over 10 years experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. He is responsible for monitoring chronic homeless programs, including interacting with the chronic homeless community. His expertise in engaging the homeless population supports the outreach teams and informs development and management of operations for the annual Homeless Winter Initiative Plan and other special projects. He builds partnerships between various City departments, public and private entities to develop strategies to address chronic homelessness.

Prior to this role, Dave was Coordinator of Chronic Homeless Outreach Services for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health, Homeless Services Division. He earned a BA in Public Administration from Shippensburg University, and a Master of Science in Organizational Development Leadership from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.


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Kevin Breazeale
Director of Riverview

Kevin began his Civil Service career over 25 years ago with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health where he served as Administrator of the Tuberculosis Control Program in the Division of Disease Control. As Administrator of Riverview Personal Care Home, he has used technology to improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of resident care information that is shared between the various disciplines responsible for providing direct care. He has also implemented new staff training protocols and personal care procedures to ensure each resident maintains their highest level of independence.

Kevin is a certified Personal Care Home Administrator in the State of Pennsylvania. He holds an MBA with focus on technology management from the University of Phoenix and a B.Sc in Music Education from Temple University.


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Matthew Berg
Director, Computer Information Systems

Matt is a lifelong Philadelphian.  He has worked for the City for most of his career, beginning at the Philadelphia Water Department and then at the predecessor to the Office of Information Technology. He has managed computer operations for over 20 years at the Office of Homeless Services.  He has brought many new systems to the agency, connected networks at all agency locations and kept technology up to date.  Present areas of focus include enabling mobile technology for workers, moving applications to cloud based software service providers, creation of a Constituent Management System to enable consistent communication and information security.  He has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and did Masters work in technology at Drexel University.


Michele Mangan
Director, Performance Management

Michele has over 10 years of experience at the Office of Homeless Services. She analyzes data to better understand the strengths and challenges of the programs serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness and the system as whole.  Michele has a Masters degree in Social Work and a B.A. in Economics.  Prior to joining Homeless Services, she was a Peace Corps volunteer, a management analyst at the U.S. General Services Administration, and a Site Director at Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia, an academic enrichment program for middle school students.  Her educational and professional experiences enable her to appreciate the value of data in the social services sector, while never losing sight of the people behind the numbers.


Sabrenia Best-Morrison
Director, Facilities and Asset Management

Sabrenia has been with the Office of Homeless Services for 16 years and has worked with at-risk populations for over 20 years. Her goal is to ensure that all individuals who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness are treated with dignity and respect. Sabrenia believes that everyone is entitled to quality services and a safe and secure living environment.

She has extensive experience gained through work in the Intake Centers, the Emergency Assistance and Response Unit (EARU), and as Contract Coordinator. Sabrenia is a U.S. Army Veteran who earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and an MBA from Holy Family University.

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Tara Gaudin
Chief of Staff

Tara has 25 years combined direct service, senior management and consultancy experience in the nonprofit sector, including social services and philanthropy. She was Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, leading the Basic Needs, Workforce Development, Asset Development, and Health areas. At the United Way and as Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality at the American Friends Service Committee, Tara was responsible for increasing the diversity and professional development of leadership and staff.
Tara was also the Division Director for Women Against Abuse; Case Manager and Education director at Mercy Hospice; a crisis intervention counselor at Alice Paul House. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from La Crosse University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


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Bruce K. Johnson
Director, Prevention, Intake, and Diversion

Bruce is a lifelong Philadelphian. He has held management positions in various affordable housing related organizations/agencies such as the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency, Pennrose Management Corporation, and the State of Nevada Housing Division of the Department of Business and Industry. Bruce received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Temple University and a Master of Public Administration from Villanova University.


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Leticia Devonish
Director, Monitoring and Compliance Unit

Leticia began working with the City of Philadelphia as a Social Worker in the Prison System. She has had the opportunity to work in the Quality Management Unit, Housing Retention Unit and Operations. For the past 10 years, Leticia has advocated for, educated and encouraged clients in Philadelphia’s emergency housing sites. Her goal is to assist clients through the traumatic experience of homelessness by providing access to needed services and ensure clients are housed in safe and secure environments. Her educational background includes a MA in Education from New York University and a BA in Politics and African/African American Studies with an emphasis in Political Economy from Brandeis University.


Diana H. Rivera
Contracts Administrator

Diana began working with the City as a social worker for DHS. For seven years she worked with families and youth, particularly those of Latino-Hispanic origin, who were mandated to receive city services. She then spent eight years as a Program Analyst resolving contract and program problems which led her to Contract Administration. Her first role was as a Contract Supervisor processing human service contracts. She then moved to Homeless Services where she is the Contract Administrator. Her unit oversees all of the agency’s contract processes and often liaisons with other City departments such as Law, OEO, and Finance. This unit helps to make it possible for Homeless Services to serve all Philadelphians.


Lauren Whitleigh
Director, Continuum of Care (CoC) Planning 

Lauren leads the Continuum of Care (CoC) Planning Unit. The Unit builds partnerships with community stakeholders across the city to develop and implement strategies based on best practices and community input to address homelessness in Philadelphia. She is dedicated to ensuring that Philadelphians who experience homelessness are connected to the housing and services they need to become stably housed in the community. She supports city-wide efforts to improve access to services and enhance the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of Philadelphia’s homeless services system. Lauren earned a Master of Social Work from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Boston University.

 

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Roberta Cancellier
Deputy for Housing

Roberta is responsible for the Federally-funded Philadelphia Continuum of Care which provides $30 million in grant funds each year to support housing for persons who are experiencing homelessness. She and the Homeless Services team oversee 1,600 contracted housing units. She co-led Philly’s 100,000 Homes team and co-chairs the 25 Cities Philly Vets Home 2015 Initiative. Roberta has provided leadership to train 2,000 family service providers over the past three years through the Children’s Workgroup, and the Homeless Death Review process in collaboration with the Medical Examiner’s Office. Roberta has a Bachelor’s Degree from Marquette University and a Masters Degree in Social Work Administration from the University of Michigan.


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Emily Camp-Landis
Director, Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse

Emily’s focus since the start of her public service career is to increase access and availability of affordable housing for vulnerable populations. She began in 1996 by working on Philadelphia’s first city-wide application for federal homeless funding. In 2007 she was asked by the Department of Behavioral Health to assist in creating a permanent housing strategic plan for people with behavioral health challenges. The results include two programs which continue to assist 300 households annually. Currently she and her staff ensure that Philadelphians experiencing homelessness are connected with the most appropriate supportive housing intervention for them. This is a reality for over 500 households annually. Emily embraces her agency’s mission to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring, while looking toward ending homelessness.


Rodney Cherry
Fiscal Officer

Rodney began his career as an auditor with the Teamsters Union. After leaving the Teamsters, Rodney began employment with the City of Philadelphia which has spanned 30 years. He was hired as an Accountant Trainee at the Philadelphia Nursing Home then joined the Coordinating Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs (CODAAP), and the Office of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (now known as DBHIDS). He came to Homeless Services in 1999. He attended Delaware State University, earning a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration. He is a believer in creating good working relationships and getting things done!



Gbolade Okestra Soneyin
Director, HMIS

Okestra came into homeless service as a volunteer, helping to manage databases and providing technical assistance. He worked as a Database Specialist then a System Analyst with the Fulton County Government, providing direct HMIS-related and technical assistance and supporting a criminal justice application. His work ensured the agencies’ seamless access to information critical to their mission. Okestra received his Bachelor’s Degree in Information System from Kennesaw State University and his Master of Science in Information Systems Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management. He’s a firm believer that, with the right data and expertise, coupled with the right resources, we can end chronic homelessness.


Fred Gigliotti
Director, Emergency and Temporary Housing

Fred is the Director of Emergency and Temporary Housing. He has worked for the Office of Homeless Services for more than 10 years and has worked with at-risk populations for 20 years. His past roles at Homeless Services include Social Work Supervisor at the Appletree Family Intake Center, Social Service Program Analyst, and Social Work Services Manager.

In his current role, Fred will direct, plan, and organize program implementation and services for the City of Philadelphia’s Emergency and Transitional Housing system, with the overall goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. He earned a Master of Social Work from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Joye Presson
Deputy for Administrative Services

Joye has over 30 years experience working with organizations committed to social and economic justice. This experience includes working with individuals affected by substance abuse, economically disadvantaged persons engaged in tenant/landlord disputes, persons living with HIV and AIDS and individuals and families who are poor, unemployed and experiencing homelessness. This varied experience has given her a keen understanding of social and human services through her work in direct service, program administration and senior management. She is objective, insightful, seeks solutions and solves problems. She is strongly committed to the power of positive thinking and inter-dependence as the root of cooperative and mutually beneficial interactions and the resolution of conflict through mediation. Joye has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.


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Michelle N. Butler
Director of Permanent Housing

Michelle manages Rapid Re-Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Continuum of Care (CoC) Rental Assistance Housing, and Inspections. She provides technical assistance to new staff of agencies to ensure they know the rules, regulations and processes of Homeless Services.

Michelle and her staff have referred over 600 families to transitional and permanent housing since 2015. Her unit has conducted over 1,000 annual and initial inspections. She enjoys her daily interactions with clients who often check in on their housing placement. She is proud to work with other individuals who are passionate about ending homelessness in the City of Philadelphia.


Raymond G. Davis III
Human Resources Manager

Raymond began employment with the City in 1984 as a temporary employee with the Recreation Department. He held various positions within the department, eventually becoming Assistant Recreation Leader. He has a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, with a major in Human Resources, from Temple University. Raymond also worked as a Curriculum Advisor in the School of Business and Management at Temple University before he was appointed to the Human Resources Unit of the Streets Department as a Management Trainee. He worked in the Streets Department until 2007 when he was appointed Human Resources Manager to the Office of Homeless Services. He has more than 20 years of human resources experience.


Linda White
Communications Coordinator

Linda is the Communications Coordinator for the Office of Homeless Services. In this role she managed the successful re-branding of the agency. The re-branding resulted in increased public awareness of the resources available for individuals experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. She coordinates the work of the Communications Working Group, provides content and coordinates messages across all communications mediums, and works with other city departments to develop the agency’s communications plan. She also manages the agency’s Language Access Program, ensuring that materials are translated and printed in appropriate languages. She has a marketing certificate from The Wharton School, an MPA from Temple University, and a BA in Communications from the George Washington University.


Sara Pagni
Senior Program Manager, Coordinated Entry & Special Projects

Sara leads the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes of Philadelphia’s Coordinated Entry and Assessment-Based Housing Referral System (CEA-BHRS). Prior to this position she was a Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Manager at OHS where she created the first CoC Board, governance structure, and governance charter in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Sara began her career at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and held several positions in its Community Impact department. She earned an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint Joseph’s University.