Leadership

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Liz Hersh
Director Homeless Services

Liz has had a long career in economic justice beginning with migrant farm workers, teen peer counseling and youth employment in the 1980s. She got her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago and moved into administration with Jobs for Youth/Chicago where she started a volunteer program that won a national Points of Light Award.

Moving back to Philadelphia in the 1990s after nearly a year of travel abroad, she became the Executive Director of the Tenants Action Group which, under her leadership, provided tenants right education to 25,000 low-income tenants a year and rental assistance to 1,400 formerly homeless households. She was lead on the city’s first Blueprint to End Homelessness which became a national model for 10-year plans.

In 2002 she took over leadership of the statewide affordable housing advocacy organization, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, and built it into an advocacy powerhouse. Over her 14 years in leadership the Alliance won nearly a half-billion new dollars for affordable housing including establishment of the state’s Housing Trust Fund, PHARE. The Alliance was architect and engineer for the enactment of 17 new laws, all with bipartisan support, to address blight, housing and community development including Land Banks and Blighted Property Conservatorship. She started and grew the statewide Homes within Reach conference to draw 900 people and generate one-quarter of a million dollars annually. 

Today, as the Director of the Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS), Liz leads the City’s $79 million homeless system in its mission of making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring. Since her appointment in 2016 OHS has engaged the business community through Shared Public Spaces, expanded daytime services including the Hub of Hope, tripled homelessness prevention, added over 100 permanent housing units, housed 450 chronically homeless individuals, expanded Rapid Re-Housing for families and launched an internal system transformation to focus on being housing-first, person-centered, trauma-informed and data-driven.

Liz is a native Philadelphian from West Mt. Airy who now lives in the house she grew up in. She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, class of 219. She has two children, both of whom graduated from Science Leadership Academy and is married to Greg Goldman, her partner since 1988.


Josh Kruger
Director of Communications

Josh is an award-winning writer and communications strategist in Philadelphia. Before he worked at the City, he was a journalist with national LGBT magazines and Philadelphia’s alt-weekly newspaper, covering issues like poverty, HIV/AIDS, politics, and LGBTQ culture, often using his lens as someone with firsthand experience with homelessness, trauma, and addiction. He spent three years in the communications office of Mayor Jim Kenney focusing on digital strategy and assisting with landmark campaigns, including the successful Philadelphia Beverage Tax campaign and the City’s public safety and service response during the 2018 Eagles Super Bowl victory parade and the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Josh lives in Point Breeze.


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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.


Daiquiri Robinson
Director, Long-Term Housing

Daiquiri is the Director of Long-Term Housing. She brings expertise in permanent supportive housing to the most vulnerable populations in Philadelphia. She has 30 years of experience in helping people living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia, and 18 years in Montgomery County. She has experience in grant writing, workshop planning and development, public speaking, community engagement, and strategic planning. Daiquiri has a Bachelor of Arts in French and Psychology, and a Master of Education Degree in Psychoeducational Processes from Temple University. She also has a Certificate in Aging from the Boston University Institute of Geriatric Social Work.


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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David Holloman
Chief of Staff

David has over 13 years experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia, including supporting outreach teams, and building partnerships between various City departments and private entities to address chronic homelessness. In his current role, he supports the Director in ensuring smooth internal operations of the office, and informs key managers of day-to-day operational, tactical and strategic issues within the agency. Dave collaborates with the Director and the Executive Team in the development and implementation of new initiatives, business processes, procedures, roles and operational improvement initiatives.

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.


MaryBeth Gonzales
Deputy, Policy, Planning  and Performance

MaryBeth “Beth” is the Deputy Director, Policy, Planning and Performance Management. She is responsible for driving the architecture of OHS’s work to maximize the efficiency, access, quality and effectiveness of Philadelphia’s homeless services system. Beth has worked across governmental and non-governmental agencies to implement policies and programs that drive outcomes and impact. She has dedicated her career to improving the lives of vulnerable populations. Beth helped to design and run the nation’s first court-based eviction prevention program in New York City. Beth holds a BA from Howard University, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from New York University and an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.


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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, Grants & 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.

 

 

 

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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.


Emily Camp-Landis
Director, 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!


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.


Kataney Couamin
Director of Planning

Kataney has been committed to serving vulnerable populations since the onset of her career. She has overseen policy implementation, grants management, and service delivery from varied funding sources at the local, state, and federal levels through the lens of direct service and supervision. Her experience also includes research-based best practices for program development with interests in integrating systems to best produce services. She feels privileged to have fulfilled these roles and looks forward to continued service to our most vulnerable citizens. Kataney has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University, a Master of Science in Counseling from Cairn University, and is a candidate for a Master of Public Administration at Villanova University.

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Michael Gerakios
Deputy for Administrative Services

Michael was the Legal Counsel (Deputy City Solicitor) for the City of Philadelphia in charge of commercial matters and contracts for several City departments, including the Department of Public Health, the Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services, the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services Unit, and the Office of Homeless Services. Michael interned and clerked at the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania where he assisted with commercial disputes, and he was a Personal Financial Analyst for Citigroup. He has a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law, a Master of Business Administration from the American College of Greece, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from the University of South Florida. Michael is a licensed attorney in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


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.


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Linda White
Director of Partnerships

Linda is the Director of Partnerships for the Office of Homeless Services. She focuses on partnerships both internally and externally across city agencies and within OHS divisions, as well as with outside stakeholders. She administers Shared Public Spaces, the Kenney Administration’s public private workgroup that focuses on compassionate, effective solutions to homelessness and panhandling. She also coordinates the work of the Homeless Services Communications Working Group, and provides content for public education materials, blogs, and newsletters. She manages Homeless Services’ Language Access Program, ensuring that services are accessible to all Limited English Proficient persons. Linda has a marketing certificate from The Wharton School, an MPA from Temple University, and a BA in Communications from 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.