Conference Agenda 2023

Opening Remarks: 9:00-9:30am (Somerset Ballroom)

Taiisa Kelly (Chief Executive Officer, Monarch Housing Associates)

Robert Kley (Chair, Monarch Board of Trustees)

Morning Keynote: 9:30-10:00am (Somerset Ballroom)

Eric Dobson (Deputy Director, Fair Share Housing Center)

Breakout Session I: 10:15-11:30am

David Cummings (Fourth Ward Councilor, Township of Montclair)

Adam Gordon (Executive Director, Fair Share Housing Center)

Luis Ulerio (Homelessness Czar, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, City of Newark)

Creating solutions to end homelessness in New Jersey requires leadership and collaboration at all levels of government, with municipalities playing a key role in moving locally tailored initiatives forward. In this session, panelists will discuss the role municipal leadership has and can play in implementing best practices, new initiatives, and the development of permanent housing to help serve households experiencing homelessness within their community.

Finding Local Solutions presentation and speaker contacts

Nadia Mian, PhD (Senior Program Director, the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement; Lecturer, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy)

Tracy Rogers (Senior Director of Development, The Rogers Firm; Asbury Park Affordable Housing Coalition)

Marc Shi, MD MSc AAHIVS (Primary Care Provider, Montefiore Medical Center; New York Doctors Coalition; Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition)

Expansive community development projects provide exciting opportunities for community revitalization; however, these projects may result in unintended negative consequences in the form of gentrification and displacement. In this session, panelists will highlight innovative and creative redevelopment projects that expand affordable housing and community spaces for low-income individuals and families while exploring the impacts they have on their communities, both positive and negative. Panelists will evaluate examples of revitalization efforts and present strategies for addressing their negative consequences.

Development & Displacement presentation and speaker contacts

Tanika Moss (Care Coordinator, Heart of Hannah Women’s Center; Community Consultant)

Katelyn Ravensbergen (Senior Associate, Homeless Planning Team, Monarch Housing Associates)

On July 31, 2012 HUD released the Continuum of Care Interim Rule based on the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, changing the way many communities viewed their homeless service system and the role everyone plays in creating positive outcomes for persons experiencing homelessness. Panelists will discuss how far we have come since the release of the Interim Rule in both New Jersey and Nationally and what more we need to focus on to reach the goal of ending homelessness.

A Decade with HEARTH presentation and speaker contacts

Breann McKlin-Ndiaye (Lead direct support specialist; Community Consultant)

Kay Moshier McDivitt (Senior Technical Assistance Specialist with the Center for Capacity Building, National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH))

Homeless service systems have always faced enormous challenges to do more with less. With the housing affordability gap widening, quickly connecting people experiencing homelessness to permanent housing has become more challenging. In this session, panelists will share insights into the importance of rapidly housing people, which minimizes the trauma of homelessness by using a progressive engagement approach and creative housing solutions to maximize resources and improve individual and system-level outcomes.

Reducing Trauma presentation and speaker contacts

Alicia Alvarez (Landlord Liaison, nourish.nj; Community Consultant)

Pamela Baker (Deputy Director of Homelessness Services, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSPNJ))

Kellie Donovan (Executive Vice President, Soldier On)

Developers and service providers who create and maintain successful supportive housing projects often share a common strategy: listening to individuals with lived experience of homelessness and incorporating their input into their projects. Panelists share how their most innovative ideas and greatest accomplishments have grown out of their active engagement with communities to determine wants and needs through direct interaction with individual members. Letting the community guide the process by engaging persons with lived experience throughout a project’s lifecycle results in systems and spaces that are responsive to residents’ needs and representative of their community’s values and cultures.

Lived Experience and Living Experiences presentation and speaker contacts

Breakout Session II: 11:45am-1:00pm

A Donahue Baker, CPA (Real Estate Developer; Certified Public Accountant)

Mabel Elmore (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Helms & Elmore Equality Housing; Vice President of Housing and Social Responsibility, YMCA of Newark & Vicinity)

Octavia Frazier-Porter (Co-Founder and Owner, Southside View LLC ; Professor, Essex County College)

Because the affordable housing development sphere is so insular, emerging developers from underserved communities often encounter numerous challenges and setbacks that greatly impact the viability of their projects. Nonetheless, these developers are often better-equipped with personal experience and dedication to create opportunities in the communities which they serve. Each panelist will tell their story, describe their entry into the field, explain their approach to cultivating a successful project, and, most importantly, share what motivates them to continue pursuing their mission despite the barriers they encounter. Collectively, these developers will show why it’s so important to have diverse representation at every step in the process of creating affordable housing and point to what needs to be changed in the pursuit of equitable affordable housing development.

Clarence Mujahid Ali (Principal, New Africa Development Corporation ; Communications, Entertainment and Media Executive)

Amy Gillman (Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))

Kyra Mortensen (Associate, Monarch Housing Associates)

New research conducted on the demographics of the national development industry shows that developers from underserved communities are severely underrepresented in the development industry. Further, resources which support these developers are significantly lacking in availability. Monarch Housing has launched a Diversity and Development project to explore the conditions that emerging developers face in the affordable housing development sphere and to build coalitions to share experiences, resources, and solutions. Panelists will provide some background on these issues and share the work that’s been accomplished through the project thus far.

Diversity in Development presentation and speaker contacts

Lynn Bartlett (Executive Director, Housing Authority of Bergen County)

Jazmen Britt (Community Consultant, Monmouth County CoC Advisory Board and Statewide CoC Advisory Board; Affordable Housing Alliance)

Qaasim Johnson (Director of Operations, Asbury Park Housing Authority)

Paul McEvily (Executive Director and Board Member, Interfaith Neighbors, Inc.)

Local public housing authorities provide a number of crucial housing services they bring to their local communities. Through partnerships with CoCs and community providers they can have a lasting impact on the number of housing units available to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In this panel, representatives from local housing authorities and community agencies that have had successful partnerships with housing authorities on innovative projects will share their strategies and best practices for how to make these partnerships possible and successful.

Give us a HA-nd presentation and speaker contacts

Geleen G. Donovan (Executive Director, Family Promise Union County)

Kris Freed (Managing Partner, The Impact Consulting Group)

Raquel Kooper (Associate, Homeless Planning Team, Monarch Housing Associates; Community Consultant, Morris County Advisory Board)

As the gap between incomes and housing costs continuously increases and the supply of affordable housing fails to meet demand, how can communities move closer to ending homelessness? Given the state of the economy and the limited availability of funding for services, communities should reevaluate what a successful outcome should look like for those they are serving and how the vision of success for those being served may differ. In this session, panelists will discuss how success might look different for every household accessing services and how to use new models, such as shared housing and diversion, to achieve success and move closer to ending homelessness.

Redefining Success presentations and speaker contacts

Brittany Brakenhoff, Ph.D (Assistant Research Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Children, Families, and the Law (UNL-CCFL))

Danielle Dunne, MA LPC NCC CCTP ACS (Director, St. Francis Counseling Service in Ocean County; Licensed Professional Counselor; National Certified Counselor; Certified Clinical Trauma Professional; Approved Clinical Supervisor; EMDR Certified Therapist)

Jill Schlossberg, LPC, LCADC, ACS, CCTP-II, DRCC (Director of Peer Support Services, the Mental Health Association of New Jersey (MHANJ))

Zakiyyah Wilson (Community Consultant ; Trustee, Monarch Housing Associates)

Some community members seeking the supportive services that agencies provide have suffered traumatic past experiences. By using a careful, considerate, compassionate approach to addressing traumatic pasts and understanding how their effects last into the present, providers can better connect with and support the growth of the individuals they work with. This session will explore approaches to overcoming adversity that incorporate trauma-informed practices into service delivery. Panelists will discuss how the power of empathy can transform trauma into resilience.

From Trauma to Triumph presentation and speaker contacts

Lunch / Afternoon Keynote: 1:00-2:30pm (Somerset Ballroom)

Regina Cannon (Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, ARC4Justice)

Breakout Session III: 2:30-3:45pm

Jeanne Herb (Executive Director, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group at the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy)

Steve Schoch, AIA, LEED AP (Principal and Director of Housing, Thriven Design)

Marcus Sibley, MSW (Director of Conservation Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation (NWF); Chairman, New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition (NJPEEC); Environmental & Climate Justice Chairman, NAACP Southern Burlington County)

Time and again, research has shown that the effects of climate change are suffered most acutely by disadvantaged and marginalized communities; this is especially true in New Jersey, where many affordable housing communities throughout the state are located in coastal and urban areas at great risk of weather and climate disasters. This panel session will specifically focus on the impending impact of climate change as it relates to the affordable housing sector. Panelists will discuss policy solutions and strategies that support sustainable housing development and promote environmental justice in the affordable housing sector in the face of the challenges and dangers posed by the Earth’s changing climate.

Challenge of Climate Change speaker contacts

Susan Grossman (Senior Underwriter, Housing Credit Investments, Enterprise Community Partners)

Eda Henries (Founder and Managing Principal, Henries & Co.)

Nicole Lockett (Managing Director of Real Estate Development, Genesis Companies)

Sadie McKeown (President, Community Preservation Corporation (CPC))

Do you have what it takes to pass the developers’ fitness test? In this panel session, we will explore the experience, skillset, and resources required to become a successful developer in the affordable housing sector. Our panelists will discuss their individual career paths, reflect on their experiences, and offer advice to those interested in entering this field for the first time.

Developers’ Fitness Test speaker contacts

Liz DeCoursey (Interim Chief Executive Officer, Morris Habitat for Humanity)

Darryl Godfrey (Chief Operating Officer, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA))

Marcus Randolph (Chief Executive Officer, Invest Newark; Trustee, Monarch Housing Associates)

Some of the most crucial determinants of opportunities and outcomes for American families are household and generational wealth. For decades, vast racial wealth gaps have persisted in the US, in large part due to the denial of the opportunity for families of color to own a home and make other real estate investments. In this session, panelists will discuss opportunities available for families to build generational wealth through the development of affordable housing. Join us for an engaging conversation that will explore the perspective of both developers and the communities and families they serve as long-term wealth is generated in underserved neighborhoods.

Closing the Gap presentation and speaker contacts

Catherine Brewster (Director, HMIS Division, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA))

Mike Callahan (Director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA))

Joel Cantor, ScD (Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and the founding Director of the Center for State Health Policy, a unit of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences)

Ms. Pringle (Advocate with Lived Experience ; Community Consultant)

Data-driven decision making is taking a collection of key performance indicators (KPIs) and transforming that data into actionable insights. Panelists will highlight how they are using technology (like Tableau, SQL, BI) to leverage data in Programs & Policies to create a rapid improvement in positive housing outcomes and deeper integration between service providers.

Dive Into Data presentation and speaker contacts

Kayann Foster (Community Health Worker, Passaic County ; Community Consultant)

Rebecca Bryan, DNP, APN (Executive Director, New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) Office of Resilience)

Overwhelmed and overworked? In this session, agencies will learn how to continue harnessing their strengths to provide essential community services while also exploring how their practices can change in order to prevent staff burnout, avoid high turnover rates, and create a healthy and supportive workplace.

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