Stephen Smith is one of a collection of leaders in the WV Can’t Wait movement. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia. He learned from his parents Mark and Jane that in our state, we judge ourselves by the people we serve; not by the things that we own. Stephen graduated from Harvard College, where he joined with students, janitors, and cooks to win a living wage for all workers on-campus. Since then he has spent his life on the side of poor and working people–organizing alongside youth, immigrants and people with disabilities in Chicago before moving back home in 2012. For 6 years, Stephen led an anti-poverty organization in West Virginia that amassed 27 policy victories (5+ million school breakfasts per year, 180,000 people with health care, a raise in the minimum wage) and sparked 300+ community development projects. He is now running for Governor inside of a movement that American Prospect editor David Dayen called “true bottom-up politics unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” He lives in Charleston West Virginia with his son Jackson and wife Sara Whitaker, a Kanawha County public defender.
In accordance with the Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(3), WVCEH does not directly or indirectly participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. All Gubernatorial Candidates were invited to share their plans for affordable housing and ending homelessness in WV at the 2020 Annual Conference.
Debbie Fox, Senior Policy and Practice Specialist at the National Network Against Domestic Violence (NNEDV), leads national domestic violence related housing policy and provides technical assistance and training to NNEDV’s coalition membership and their partners as a part of the Domestic Violence Housing and Technical Assistance Consortium. Through NNEDV’s policy work, Debbie was instrumental in working with Congress to fund HUD’s DV/SA $50 million CoC Bonus Funds. Debbie has over 25 years in the DV and housing field with a focus on fundraising, organizational development, nonprofit administration, and domestic violence population-specific housing and economic justice programming. Prior joining NNEDV, she worked as a DV housing funder in county government and shared community leadership in the systems planning and implementation process for the DV system in Portland, Oregon, working with all 13-domestic violence victim service providers to create a coordinatedentry process for survivors to access housing, shelter, and eviction prevention and shelter diversion programs.
Lindsay started as a student intern, and then an AmeriCorps Member at Hope’s Wings Domestic Violence Program in Richmond, KY in 2013 and after her year of Service she became the Transitional Housing Specialist in 2014. Her time at Hope’s Wings was spent working with survivors on obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. That grant, and her position ended November 2015. From there, she started as the Emergency Family Housing Coordinator at Community Action Council in 2016 and worked with families experiencing homelessness in Lexington, KY and then with the Rapid Rehousing program in 2016 and 2017. She is now the Housing Navigation Coordinator at Community Action Council and facilitates the Coordinated Entry process in Lexington as well as Landlord recruitment. She has her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work and lives in Lexington with her Husband, Mario and their 3yr Daughter, Skylar.
Kyle Arbuckle is a Field Organizer for the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). NLIHC is a nonprofit that performs research and policy analysis to advocate for the end of housing poverty and homelessness. Kyle’s role at NLIHC is to engage state partners and residents in the field, and organize them around NLIHC’s priorities. Kyle has volunteered with various shelters and organizing groups in Washington, D.C. where he currently lives. He is a graduate of Emory University.
Ashley Arthur became involved with Branches Domestic Violence Shelter as an intern in 2018. It is from that internship that Ashley moved forward into the role of a part time advocate and then into the position which she currently holds as a full time case manager at Branches. She hopes to continue to work with survivors of domestic violence alongside completing a B.A. in psychology at Marshall University. Ashley has a passion for improving services for the LGBTQ+ community in her local community and in the state.
Alexis Balch is the Targeted Rapid Rehousing Coordinator for The Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless. Since 2015, she has been involved with the Coalition, initially working in the Jobs First employment program. Alexis obtained her BSW from Marshall University, where she worked in Housing and Residence Life specializing in first year and international students. Before joining the CoC, she devoted six years to working in an animal hospital. Alexis and her husband have shared over a decade together and have two cats. Growing up in a military family exposed Alexis to a variety of cultures,yet most of her life Huntington has been home, and she considers herself a proud West Virginian.
Policy Director – ACLU WV
Eli joined the ACLU of WV in October of 2015. Prior to that he worked in West Virginia and the DC Metro area representing claimants in Social Security Disability claims. Eli received his BA from Cornell University and his JD and MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently lives in Charleston with his wife and triplet sons.
Trudi Blaylock, M.A.
Trudi Blaylock, M.A. began her career with PSIMED CORRECTIONS, LLC in 1996. She spent seven years as a Mental Health Professional at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex providing direct mental health services to offenders, developing and implementing group modules for sexual offending, anger control, victim awareness, stress management, conflict resolution, and sleep disorders, and training institutional staff. She was then promoted to the position of Program Mentor to oversee the implementation of Sex Offender Treatment, Anger Management, Crime Victim Awareness and Batterers Intervention Prevention Programs for all West Virginia adult correctional programs. Trudi began working with the juvenile services division in 2007 and was promoted to Vice President of Juvenile Services in 2010.
Trudi received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia State University and Master of Arts in Counseling from Marshall University. She also completed the Sex Offender Treatment Specialist program through Ohio University.
Sara Blevins is the Director of Development for Branches Domestic Violence Shelter. She has been an advocate in the Huntington community for 2 years and a change agent for non-profits and prevention work for much longer. In that time, she has created a streamlined process for recruiting volunteers and making them champions of the effort to eradicate violence. Her work to educate community members and service providers alike has resulted in greater understanding of the impact of poverty, effect of strength-based approaches, and value of resiliency through crisis and calm. She’s an active ally within the LGBTQ+ community and works courageously to create safe places for all in the community, environment, and home.
Mary-Kate Bostick recently started at the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness as the HMIS Specialist. Prior to that, she worked as the Housing Director for Raleigh County Community Action Association in Beckley, where she is originally from. She received her Bachelors in Political Science from Marshall University, so you know she is the favorite at family dinners this election year. When she is not aiding in system administration at the Coalition, you can find her participating in roller derby, building Lego sets, or watching movies and eating popcorn on the couch. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zach Brown is the CEO of the WV Coalition to End Homelessness (WVCEH) and the WV Balance of State Continuum of Care (WV BoS CoC). Mr. Brown began his nonprofit career as the Director of Development for a local chapter of the American Red Cross and went on to serve more than seven years as the Development Director for North Central WV Community Action, where he began his focus on ending homelessness through work on HPRP, Supportive Housing, affordable housing development, and acting as a volunteer and associate of the WVCEH. He later became the HMIS Program Manager and Deputy Director for the WVCEH and the WV BoS CoC, before taking the position of CEO in 2012. The WVCEH and the WV BoS CoC is the largest Continuum of Care in West Virginia, responsible for building a system of response for rural and urban homelessness. Encompassing 44 counties of West Virginia’s 55 counties, the WV BoS CoC attacks homelessness from a regional perspective throughout the BoS’ 8 Regions. These regions, comprised of counties with cultural connection with one another, provide the foundation for all efforts of governance and representation, coordinated entry, prioritization, and effective allocation of resources over a large geography. Mr. Brown oversees the entirety of the operations of WVCEH and the WV BoS CoC, including a staff of 30, half of which provide direct services including HOPWA, RRH, PSH, and Street Outreach. CoC guidance, governance, subpopulation committees, training, and the procurement of resources to ensure the ongoing success of the CoC are all under the purview of the CEO. Since 2016, Zach has been a part-time Bench Player with OrgCode Consulting, providing training, analysis, and technical assistances to CoCs and organizations throughout the United States.
Vice President, Business Development
Gabriel (Gabe) Cate is Vice President of Business Development and is responsible for strategic growth initiatives and partnerships across WellSky’s Human and Social Services group focused on County and Local Government, coordinating care coalitions, and community-based organizations. Prior to WellSky’s acquisition of Bowman Systems, LLC, he served as Chief Operating Officer overseeing the sales, product development, customer support and professional services departments. Gabe has served in a wide array of roles and responsibilities since 2004 including leading the company through new product development and release cycles, mergers and acquisitions, and market expansion opportunities across the company’s product lines. He has presented to conferences on topics ranging from social determinants of health to technical solutions for data integration challenges. Gabe holds a MA in Philosophy and a BA in History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, each from Louisiana State University.
Marissa has been working in homeless services for 8 years. She has a deep passion for those who are most vulnerable and believes no one is too hard to help. Marissa strives to create a community that promotes acceptance, understanding, and compassion.
Rachael Coen is the Chief Program Officer for the WV Coalition to End Homelessness. She entered the non-profit sector as the Prevention Educator for a local DV agency, and then moved to an Emergency Crisis Shelter for youth where she held the Assistant Director position. After watching many young people discharged into homelessness through the foster care and the residential treatment system, and realizing the connection to homelessness that many DV survivors encounter, she sought out a new position that would allow her to incite policy change. She accepted the position of Outreach Coordinator of the WVCEH in November 2012, and moved into the Project Specialist position the following year. Currently, in her role as CPO, she provides oversight to programing throughout the 44 county WV BoS CoC. Rachael resides in Morgantown with her husband and two daughters. She earned her BSW and MSW degrees from WVU.
Dr. Amanda Coleman
Dr. Amanda Coleman is Executive Director of the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, the lead
agency for the Cabell-Huntington-Wayne Continuum of Care. A West Virginia native, Amanda returned
to Huntington in 2013 after living out of state for 20 years and began working for the Coalition.
She believes housing and healthcare (including behavioral healthcare) are human rights and that all persons experiencing homelessness are deserving of a low-barrier, person-centered, trauma-informed approach. Amanda is married with two kids, two dogs, and two cats and enjoys camping, hiking, and reading in a hammock in her spare time.
Janelle Comstock has worked with U.S. DOL ETA programs since 2012. Her career began as a board member on the Workforce Development Board in Ohio. During her time on the board, she gained an in-depth understanding of Workforce Investment Act (WIA)and then the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). She rounded out her experience with WIOA as the Site Supervisor for the Ormet Transition center, where she assisted over 650 Dislocated Workers with retraining. She then went on to become the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board Mid-Ohio Valley Region. She has been in that position for over 3 years and during that time the WDB-MOV has experienced a positive culture change and growth. Due to her cultivating relationships with various partners and agencies, WDB-MOV has increased the number of grants/contracts that allow individuals to be served. Her passion is providing the management and oversight of the WIOA programs that help to create opportunities for the residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley Region of West Virginia. She currently resides in Woodsfield, Ohio with her husband and children; however, her family roots are from Kermit, WV.
Trella Coppola, Program Director for CASEWV Home Visitation MIECHV Early Head Start has been in Early Education for 11 years. She has I been the director of the CASEWV Home Visitation Program for 5 years. Ms. Coppola holds a BA in Early Childhood Education from Concord University and serves on several communities both at the local and State level. Trella has 2 children and 3 grandchildren and loves working with children and families.
Iain is the author of The Book on Ending Homelessness and the President and CEO of OrgCode Consulting. OrgCode is a team of nine merry misfits determined to help communities and non-profit organizations end homelessness. While Oakville, Ontario is technically home, Iain spends over 270 days a year on the road across Canada, the United States and Australia working to end homelessness. He is a consultant to various government entities on homelessness, and a trainer and coach to dozens of non-profit organizations and leaders working to end homelessness. His research work on homelessness allows him to intersect with the likes of the California Policy Lab at UCLA, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and the University of Southern California. Iain is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at conferences on homelessness, and media outlets from the LA Times to CBC seek Iain’s input on matters of homelessness. In addition, over the past five years Iain has instituted The Leadership Academy on Ending Homelessness, the Master Class for Leaders Ending Homelessness, and the Gathering for Senior Leaders working to end homelessness which has impacted over 700 leaders in the homelessness services industry. Iain has been actively involved in the work of helping dozens of communities and organizations transform their approach to shelter and serving unsheltered persons. While at times blunt, and often provocative, Iain is a compassionate, transformative thought leader who will not rest until homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring.
David T. Estep, Esq.
David joined the staff at Legal Aid of West Virginia in September 2013 as a staff attorney in the organization’s Princeton office. While in the Princeton office, David’s work focused on housing and eviction defense in both private and federally subsidized housing cases as well as state benefits work. In September 2015, David transferred from the Princeton Legal Aid of West Virginia office to the Wheeling Legal Aid of West Virginia office. While in Wheeling, David’s work has been focused on housing evictions and defense, both private and subsidized, as well as various areas of family law. In 2014, David began his work as co-chair of the Legal Aid of West Virginia’s statewide Housing Task Force where Legal Aid of West Virginia advocates can speak about eviction cases and seek assistance in eviction defense strategies and arguments throughout the state. He resigned from this position on December 31, 2019 to pursue his work that he began in May 2019 as the Supervising Attorney of the Wheeling Legal Aid of West Virginia office. One of David’s greatest passions is, among other things, working to prevent homelessness among his clients facing eviction from their private or subsidized housing.
David joined Legal Aid of West Virginia after graduating from West Virginia University College of Law with his J.D. in 2013. While in law school, David was a student attorney with the West Virginia Innocence Project, the president of the ACLU of WV WVU Student Association, and an active member of the West Virginia University College of Law’s Public Interest Advocates.
Lauren Frederick, Policy Development Officer, began her work in homeless services in 2013 as a PATH Street Outreach Worker for the WVCEH, where she worked with building rapport with persons living on the streets to assist them with locating and maintaining permanent housing. In 2016, Lauren decided to make a shift from the direct service sector to HMIS. During her time as an HMIS Specialist, her primary focus was training direct service providers on the importance of documenting their work. Lauren currently works as the WVCEH Policy Development Officer and focuses on HUD CoC project monitoring, Coordinated Entry policy and compliance, improving systems to address youth homelessness and building provider relationships in a rural setting. Lauren currently resides in Bridgeport, WV. She is a Licensed Generalist Social Worker and received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Social Work at WVU. Prior to working for WVCEH, she worked with advocating for persons with disabilities, independent living policies, and Fair Housing Law.
Matt originally hails from Lewisburg, WV, but currently resides in Fairmont. He studied at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and West Virginia University, where he obtained his degree in Visual and Performing Arts in 2001. Matt has worked for various non-profits throughout north central West Virginia including Valley Ridge Studio, The MountainMade Foundation and North Central WV Community Action. He began working with HMIS in 2008 and served as an HMIS Specialist for the WV Office of Economic Opportunity before joining the staff at the WV Coalition to End Homelessness in 2014.
Matt brings his humor and folksy personality into spreading his passion for eliminating social issues, much like a modern-day Woody Guthrie. At times calming, at others frenetic, his pleasant enthusiasm can be infectious when finding resolutions to issues. A reforming perfectionist, Matt continues to strive to teach us that we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Matt resides in that space between the abstract and the minutiae of data informed decision making.
He also enjoys napping, trivia and sandwiches from around the world.
Stefani Keys is a native of Lewisburg, WV, and has been actively involved in the movement to end violence and homelessness. She began her journey working at Family Refuge Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in her community, as a weekend shelter specialist. Throughout her four years there she also held the roles of Shelter Director and interim Executive Director where she worked closely with the West Virginia Coalition to end Homelessness and the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She graduated from West Virginia State University in 2019 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Stefani started working for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence in December of 2019 as the Human Trafficking and Housing Coordinator where she is responsible for coordination of the statewide, interagency WV Human Trafficking Task Force and developing a comprehensive and coordinated program for enhancing the delivery of services through licensed
domestic violence programs to victims of human trafficking. She also works collaboratively with organizations and agencies addressing homeless and housing services to build capacity for housing advocacy with survivors.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching sports, and journaling.
Jessica Manantan earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Marshall University in May 2008. After moving back to West Virginia in 2012, she pursued graduate degrees from West Virginia University studying Public Administration and Social Work with a Community Organizing & Social Administration (COSA) focus. She interned with the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (WVCEH) and was offered a position in March 2017. Jessica currently serves as the DHHR Policy and Programs Officer as WVCEH recently partnered with DHHR to provide oversight and administration of the DHHR shelter grants statewide.
Jacalyn Mason-Woods is a Case Manager for the Cabell Huntington Coalition for the Homeless with their Targeted Rapid Rehousing Program. Jacki is a person in long term recovery, who has experienced homelessness. Jacki has also experienced mental illness, but prefers the term “mental differences”. She started at the agency as a Support Specialist and feels that all persons are equally deserving of opportunities to overcome barriers. Jacki enjoys being a fierce advocate for persons experiencing
homelessness and assisting with innovating ways to help them overcome any obstacles they face. Jacki is married with two kids, is very active in the recovery community, loves attending her children’s sporting activities, and enjoys volunteering for many different organizations in her spare time.
Andrea Miller earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Kentucky
University. She has worked for the past 17 years in the non-profit sector and has spent the past ten
years working at the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence on behalf of and directly with survivors of Domestic Violence and advocates located at Kentucky’s Domestic Violence programs. She has significant experience incorporating financial capability into case management and spends most of her time working with advocates and low to moderate income individuals and families on building self-sufficiency. She has coordinated housing efforts at the Coalition since 2011 and directed the Economic Empowerment project at the Coalition since 2015.
Amber Moore, LSW, HHRSS
Amber Moore, LSW, serves as an Adult Services Policy Specialist for the Bureau for Children and Families with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. She serves as the grant manager for Homeless Services and ACL Grant to Enhance Adult Protective Services. Amber began her career with BCF in 2012 and has served in Operations and Adult Protective Services. She is a Licensed Social Worker, has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fairmont State University, and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work from Concord University.
Jill Moyer is a Senior Community Planning and Development Representative for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, responsible for oversight of CDBG, HOME, ESG, HOPWA, NSP, ARC and CoC program grantees. Prior to her work at HUD, Ms. Moyer worked in community organizing and housing development, creating 107 affordable, single-family units for low-and moderate-income buyers. Ms. Moyer received a BA in Social work from Elizabethtown College and a MA in Community Organizing from University of Pittsburgh. Outside of work, Ms. Moyer enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Ms. Newson has been with Office of Maternal Child and Family Health (OMCFH) for 25 years. She worked with the Family Planning Program for 14 years and transitioned to the Director of the West Virginia Home Visitation Program in 2010. She serves of several workgroups related social emotional development, ACEs/Resiliency and pregnancy and substance use disorder. She also serves as the Parents as Teachers State Office Director and on the West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association.
Amber Ross moved from Logan, West Virginia to Huntington, West Virginia in 2014 to pursue her degree in criminal justice. Along this journey, a cherished professor referred her to part-time work with Branches Domestic Violence Shelter. In the time that has passed, Amber has changed positions through the agency and now works as Director of Client Services. It is with this position that she has learned lasting knowledge about trauma and pursued positive outcomes for all those who have experienced trauma.
Dave has enjoyed a 27-year career in the behavioral healthcare field. He has worked in a variety of roles
during that time including serving in state government, working for non-profits, and consulting with community advocates and policy makers. His experience includes leading workshops on a variety of topics, participating on nonprofit boards, grant writing, and serving as a public policy analyst. He also has had experience administrating programs that serve individuals who are homeless as the Director of the Kanawha County Drop-In Center. His current role is the Recovery Supports Advisor for the Department of Health & Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health Adult Division which is the state agency responsible for West Virginia’s public mental health and substance use disorder treatment system. He is also co-coordinator for the WV Leadership Academy which is a nationally recognized leadership and advocacy program. Dave is also a person in long term recovery from Depression and a Substance Use Disorder.
Matthew E. Schnars is a Data Visualization Consultant who works with local government and non-profit stakeholders to develop insights into data.
Matt believes that visualizing data using emerging tools and technology enables deeper understanding of how homeless housing systems are working and provides opportunities for communities to make more informed decisions for long-term success.
Matt has developed dozens of interactive data dashboards on his Tableau Public Page which freely accessible and are dedicated to assisting communities across the country to better understand local homeless housing systems. As a result of his work using Tableau to analyze and present data, the Durham Continuum of Care achieved a milestone in 2016 where the United State Interagency Council on Homelessness recognized Durham as effectively ending Chronic Homelessness among Veterans.
Matt’s interest in data visualization began as a result of a need to communicate increasingly complex homeless housing system data to diverse stakeholders including subject matter experts to the general public. For the most part, Matt is self-taught and has spent countless hours reviewing training videos, reading books, and connecting with experts in the field of data visualization.
Matt holds a BS in Sport Management from Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA).
Amanda Sisson has over seventeen years of experience working in homeless services and over ten years in homeless programs management, reporting and training. Amanda has been with the WVCEH since 2011 and as the Chief Operations Officer, she brings her formidable “Type A” personality to bear on issues as diverse as finance, data, training, and technical assistance. An unashamed “baseball mom,” Amanda attempts to balance of life of service, travel, and ending homelessness with being an awesome mom to two sons and a wife to her husband, Ryan. Amanda has also served the past 2 years on the Board of Directors of the Barbour Community Health Association, an FQHC in West Virginia. Amanda is also a “bench-player” with OrgCode Consulting spending several days annually in various communities across the U.S. providing training on the SPDAT and Housing Based Case Management. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alderson-Broaddus College and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Virginia United Way.
Katie Spriggs, BSW
Katie is a graduate of Shepherd University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Katie has worked in
victim services for 7 years, with a focus on victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking. She is a member of the WV human trafficking task force, is co-chair of their training committee and a steering committee member. Katie has trained medical professionals, law enforcement, military members and community members about intervention and prevention of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Katie has been with Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (EPEC) for 7 years and currently works as the Executive Director. EPEC is a dual program in the Eastern Panhandle of WV that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. Katie co-facilitates the statewide WV coalition against domestic violence’s advocates aspiring for equity team. She is also a member of the Martinsburg Police Dept. Chief’s advisory panel and works closely with law enforcement and other first responders in the field.
Traci Strickland has more than 20 years of experience in advocacy and leadership for at risk populations. Traci began her focus on ending homelessness working for an emergency shelter and then moved to a leadership position with a community mental health center. In 2019, after five years of contractual leadership, she became the Executive Director of the Kanawha Valley Collective. In just over 8 months, she has doubled the budget of the KVC by securing funding and providing direction for new programs targeting those who are most vulnerable. In addition to the day to day oversight of the COC, Traci’s current focus is on constant systematic improvement that will end homelessness.
Kenzie Strubank began her work to end homelessness in 2009 as the first Housing Advocate and AmeriCorps Member at Hope’s Wings Domestic Violence Program located in Richmond, KY. During her time at Hope’s Wings, she assisted survivors Domestic Violence maintain safe, decent and affordable housing. She administered several housing programs including Hope’s Wings first Rapid Re-Housing and HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance programs. In 2014 Kenzie shifted her direct service focus from survivors to Chronically Homeless individuals and families, as the Housing Program Manager at the Homeless & Housing Coalition of Kentucky (HHCK). Under Kenzie’s leadership, HHCK grew its Housing Services Team capacity by adding dedicated staff for landlord-tenant relations and the region’s first Housing Navigator, implemented housing-based service standards for HHCK’s BoS-wide Permanent Supportive Housing programs, and lead coordinated entry policy and rollout. From 2014-2019 Kenzie built a team that supported over 120 scattered site units with intensive housing-focused services across the rural BoS. In early 2019, Kenzie shifted her focus once again to serve the BoS in a new role, as Manager of Homeless Programs for Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC). A fierce advocate of Housing First and evidence-based practices with 10 years of direct service experience, Kenzie made the transition to KHC to better inform, align and implement homeless program policy and system change throughout the BoS. Presently, Kenzie is over statewide implementation and administration of Emergency Solutions Grants, HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, and the BoS Continuum of Care. Kenzie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kentucky and lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and two children.
Tonia Marie Thomas
Tonia Thomas is one of two Team Coordinators of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 2004, Tonia joined the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence team where she has focused on building a strong state wide domestic violence network.Tonia’s work includes raising public awareness about the prevalence and prevention of abuse and violence in intimate relationships, training professionals in their response to domestic violence, providing technical assistance to licensed domestic violence programs, and expanding leadership capacity within the statewide coalition.
Tonia received both her Bachelor and Master Degrees from Marshall University. Tonia is a lifelong resident of West Virginia and currently lives in Eastern Kanawha County.
Jake VanHorn, Psy.D. is a native West Virginian and received his Psy.D. from Marshall University in 2017. He completed his Internship at the Appalachian Psychology Internship: Woodland Centers Inc., Gallipolis OH, and a Post-Doctoral Year with Cabin Creek Health Systems (CCHS), in Kanawha County, WV focusing on Integrated Primary Care (IPC) in underserved communities. Jake works at the CCHS: Sunnyside Health Center located inside the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, using behavioral health principals to bolster access to extremely underserved and sensitive populations. In addition Jake work to increase CCHS’s collaborative partnerships to improve health ecosystems and improve the wellbeing of sensitive populations.
Jennifer Wells, MSW
Executive Director, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition
Jennifer Wells, MSW, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Executive Director, is both an experienced organizer and social worker. With over fifteen years of experience in child welfare, juvenile justice, healthcare, program development, anti-poverty/social justice and racial justice organizing, Jennifer brings a skilled and multi layered lens to social justice work and organizing. Jennifer, currently, serves as WV Center on Budget and Policy board chair, National Association of Social Workers WV Chapter President Elect and WV Community HUB board member.
Samuel “Raymie” White is the Legal Services Coordinator at the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where he provides direct legal services to victims of domestic violence and domestic violence advocates. Prior to joining the Coalition, Mr. White worked as Prosecutor, Assistant Prosecutor, and Assistant Public Defender in Nicholas County, WV. While there, he was recognized both for his work on domestic violence teams and his work prosecuting child abuse cases. Mr. White holds a Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law.
Debbie worked with the New River MIHOW Program for thirty-five years and has served as Site Director for New River MIHOW, as a Vanderbilt Regional Consultant and is a certified trainer through Vanderbilt University MIHOW. She is currently the LIA Liaison for WV Home Visitation Programs. Debbie is a founding member of Partners in Community Outreach. Other accomplishments include working with the Vanderbilt office to develop MIHOW Standards of Practice, the Commitment to Excellence MIHOW Accreditation Program©, The MIHOW Way Training Manual, and other MIHOW materials. She has participated in WV Home Visitation work groups including ACES to Resilience, Reflective Supervision, Domestic Violence Prevention, the state CQI team and is a member of the WV Home Visitation Leadership Team.
Joyce Yedlosky is one of two Team Coordinators with the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Joyce has 33 years of advocacy experience that includes institutional and community mental health, foster care social work, foster parent, and domestic violence advocacy. Her domestic violence advocacy has included direct service provision in a shelter based domestic violence program, court advocacy and shelter management. In 1999 she transitioned into system advocacy with the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she coordinated statewide, multidisciplinary development of policy, training, practice and systemic intervention on families experiencing domestic violence. Joyce has provided numerous state and national trainings with partners including the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, the WV Supreme Court Improvement Project, WVU College of Law, National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Victimization, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the WV Sheriff’s Association, and the Office on Violence Against Women. Joyce earned a BS in Psychology from the University of South Carolina and lives in Fairmont WV.