The 10 Most Influential Americans for Homelessness Reform (and how to reach them)

These ten folks are the leaders of the most influential and well-respected homelessness advocacy organizations and governmental housing departments in the nation. There will be no major policy shift nor increase in spending to combat homelessness without these people at the same table.

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Nan Roman
President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness

As the chief executive of the NAEH with over 20 years experience, Nan Roman is “a leading national voice on the issue of homelessness” who “works closely with members of Congress and the Presidential Administration, as well as with officials and advocates at the state and local levels”. The NAEH is one of the lead organizations devoted to fighting homelessness in the US. You can reach Ms. Roman’s organization on Twitter here and by phone at (615) 226–2292.

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Jonathan Reckford
CEO of Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is one of the leading providers of homes for homeless and Reckford has served as its CEO for 10 years. He is also “on the boards of InterAction, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Urban Steering Committee for the World Economic Forum”, demonstrating his vast influence. You can reach John and the HFH team on Twitter and at their headquarters at (229) 924–6935.

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Michael Stoops
Executive Director for The National Coalition for the Homeless

“Since 1972, Mr. Stoops has been working full-time (primarily as a volunteer) with homeless/formerly homeless people and homeless advocacy groups. He was a founding board member of NCH” He also “ travels nationwide giving workshops, providing technical assistance, and testifying before state and local legislatures.” You can find Michael and his team on Twitter and call their Washington, D.C. office at (202) 462–4822

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Deborah De Santis
President and CEO of Corporation for Supportive Housing

De Santis has been the senior executive at the CSH for the past seven years, serving as the executive director of the New Jersey branch prior to that. She is known for “successfully advocating for creation of New Jersey’s $200 million Special Needs Housing Trust Fund” and being the “former Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency, Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs”. Deborah De Santis and her team can be found on Twitter and reached at their NYC office at (212) 986–2966.

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Matthew Doherty
Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

As the head of a federal interagency program, Doherty is responsible for the “coordination of Federal homelessness policies and strategies among 19 Federal departments and agencies, as well as partnerships with State and local communities, non-profits, and the private sector.” He is a former worker at the Corporation for Supportive Housing and has over 20 years of experience working to end homelessness. A federal agency, Matthew, and his team are on Twitter and can be reached by phone at (202) 708–4663.

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Maria Foscarinis
Founder and Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty is one of the leading advocacy centers devoted to ending homelessness in the US. Foscarinis has “advocated for solutions to homelessness at the national level since 1985. She is a primary architect of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the first major federal legislation addressing homelessness, and she has litigated to secure the legal rights of homeless persons”. Maria and her team are on Twitter and can be reached at their office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 638–2535.

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Julián Castro
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

As Secretary of the Department of HUD, Castro is one of the most leading figures on the issue of homelessness in the country. Under his leadership, the “Federal Housing Administration lowered mortgage insurance premiums to make homeownership more affordable for responsible families. HUD also released its new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule to fulfill the full promise of the Fair Housing Act — helping families’ access strong neighborhoods with housing choice vouchers and empowering local leaders with new tools to invest in their communities.” His influence is so large that he is seen as the leading candidate for a Vice Presidential pick of Democrat Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. HUD is a federal agency and is on Twitter. You can reach them by phone at (202) 708–1112.

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Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale
President and CEO of Homes for Our Troops

It is estimated that almost 25% of all homeless individuals are veterans, so McHale plays an important role in ending homelessness as the head of Homes for Our Troops, one of the leading homelessness advocacy groups that is focused on veterans needs. In addition he “held several key staff positions on the Department of the Army Staff, The Joint Staff, US Forces Korea, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, and US Forces Afghanistan”, and was the National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy’s School of Government. Major General McHale and his team are on Twitter and can be reached by phone at (866) 787–6677.

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Kevin Ryan
President and CEO of Covenant House

Ryan is the head of “one of the largest charities in the Americas devoted to serving homeless and trafficked children and youth”. He is the recipient of multiple awards including “the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award, the Olof Palme Peace Prize, the United States Department of State Hero Citation and the Guatemala Hands of Peace Award.” He is a best-selling author and has been regularly featured in major media outlets advocating for homeless children. Covenant House HQ is in NYC and can be reached at (800) 388–3888. They are also on Twitter.

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Rosanne Haggerty
President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions

Haggerty has been an advocate for the homeless for over 25 years and is the founder of both Community Solutions and Common Ground Community. She is “an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen communities”. She has been repeatedly been recognized for her service receiving awards and honors such as “MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Ashoka Senior Fellow and Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover” and “the Jane Jacobs medal for New Ideas and Activism from the Rockefeller Foundation.” In addition, she is a trustee at the top ranked Amherst College. Community Solutions is based in NYC and can be found on Twitter. You can also reach them by phone at (646)-797-4370.