The Cohort

Adelaide, Australia

Olive Bennell

Olive is the Head of Homelessness Services in AnglicareSA, she has 15 years experience as a strategic leader and has developed key partnerships, policies and programs with nonprofit, private and government stakeholders. With more than 30 years experience working in both Commonwealth and state Government in education, child wellbeing, employment and training, family violence prevention and youth affairs, Aboriginal Affairs policy and program delivery. Olive has an extensive and diverse background in social housing policy, management and operations with state housing in South Australia.

She was previously the Director of Homelessness Strategy in Housing SA. Her passion is working to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of all South Australians, particularly Aboriginal people.

Holden Hill, Australia

Renee Jones

Renee is senior Project Coordinator at Adelaide Zero Project, an initiative aimed at ending homelessness in Adelaide, South Australia using the Functional Zero approach. She is from the Don Dunstan Foundation, a thought leadership organization established to inspire action for a fairer world and to build on the legacy of South Australia’s late Premier, Don Dunstan. Following a collective impact model, the Don Dunstan Foundation is acting as the backbone organization for the Adelaide Zero Project, helping to coordinate governance, communications and resources on behalf of over 35 organizations partnering on the project. Renee is passionate about participatory development and has worked with diverse communities nationally and internationally through philanthropy, social enterprise and the arts.

Renee is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in International and Community Development.

Adelaide, Australia

Brussels, Belgium

Nastasia Englebert

Nastasia is a member of a campaign called 400Roofs, led by various nonprofit organizations aimed at knowing and managing homelessness and end it collectively. The campaign was created to develop innovative housing projects and influence policy making to foster a more inclusive and fair housing policy, to create systemic, synergic and strategic changes, to collect data and to engage community and citizens in these issues. She is also the founder of a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive rehabilitation and solutions for people living in streets of Brussels. The organization depends on citizens for all aspects of its approach from a diffuse housing solution, working on a systemic, holistic way by helping reconstructing all aspect of their lives with a focus on empowerment, autonomy and social life: connecting and matching the needs and skills of citizens with those of beneficiaries and their cause. The objective is social mixing and reduction in the exclusion of a highly stigmatized population of homeless men and women and potentiation of solidarity movement.

Nastasia studied medicine, has training in development cooperation and a lot of experience in humanitarian projects.

Brussels, Belgium

Fabrizio Leiva

Fabrizio is Policy Officer for the Belgian Federal Public Planning Service – Social Integration. He works in the policy department for fighting poverty and urban cohesion, where he participates in the development and monitoring of the federal plan to fight poverty. He organizes the Belgian platform against poverty and social exclusion European Union 2020. He also helped set up the Housing First Belgium project. He studied psychology at the Free University of Brussels and at the Catholic University of Louvain.

Brussels, Belgium

Santiago, Chile

Felipe Estay

Felipe is Executive Director of the Moviliza foundation, a local nonprofit organization based on the concept of advocacy for social inclusion for the homeless in Santiago. He drives various social concerns to develop a network between those with no home and public policies through an initiative called, civil society network. He has also worked with the government of Chile in the Ministry of Social Development and conducted consulting research for the public sector.

Additionally, Felipe worked at International Development Bank, in areas related to youth and families and support from Social Protection System in Latin America. He studied sociology and social policy and obtained a MSc in Sociology at the University of Bristol and Social Policy and Planning at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Santiago, Chile

Patricio Fernandez

Patricio has been working with vulnerable populations and homeless for more than 15 years, and is currently working with National Office of Homelessness of the Ministry of Social Development. He has been responsible at the national level for the implementation of different social programs for homeless. He is currently leading the initiative of Vanguard cities in Chile. Patricio is a Psychologist, he has a Master’s degree in Public Health Policies from the University of Évora (Portugal), and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), granted a scholarship by the Erasmus Mundus program of the European Union.

Santiago, Chile

Angeles Ibañez,

Angeles is a Geographer and currently works at Comunidad de Organizaciones Solidarias, which unites over 200 nonprofit organizations working to overcome poverty and social exclusion in Chile. She leads the homelessness network, which includes 10 organizations, its purpose is to influence the design and construction of Chilean public policy in this matter. Angeles began working in this field doing a research project about the homeless and their territory. During the past 14 years, she has participated in different initiatives, such as the creation of the Red Calle (Homelessness network), the design and development of Catastro Calle in 2005 and 2011. Angeles has also worked with different nonprofit organizations and in the social development ministry.

Santiago, Chile

Rijeka, Croatia

Veronika Mila Popić

Sr. Veronika is a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent Depaul and Chief Executive Officer of Depaul International Croatia. Her work includes the preparation and implementation of a long-term strategic framework for addressing homelessness in Rijeka and other parts of Croatia, monitoring outputs and outcomes, fundraising and managing service delivery improvement in the day center for the homeless and other Depaul Croatia projects situated in Rijeka.

Rijeka, Croatia

Bengaluru, india

Rama Chandrappa H.T

Rama is a professional social worker with 24 years’ experience in the field of social developmental sector which includes, field level intervention with street children and urban homelessness, research and advocacy, proposal writing, projects implementation, Trainer of Trainers in urban poverty and rights advocate in women and children issues. He currently works as Information, Education and Communication Adviser/Consultant at Karnataka Slum Development Board, monitoring 29 nonprofit organizations, covering 30 districts and benefiting 909 urban slums with 1 lakh 51 thousand households and 12 to 13 lakh population is yet to benefit from the project. Rama is also involved and committed to work in urban homelessness issue through Impact India Network.

Throughout his career since 1997 to date, Rama has worked with nonprofit organizations working with women, children, the government and the communities in India at large in advocating for urban poor community rights. He holds bachelors and Master’s degree in Social Science from Bengaluru University.

Bengaluru, India

Fr. Edward Thomas

Fr. Edward is a Catholic Priest belonging to Salesians of Don Bosco and a professional social worker with 20 years of experience in social developmental field. He completed his postgraduate studies in social work and has vast experience working with people in urban and rural areas. His expertise is in Child Protection and Child Rights, was appointed by government as member of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights for three years. Currently he has been apportioned as Director of the Missing Child Bureau of the Government of Karnataka (under women and child development). He is also Consultant Advisor and Trainer for many government and nonprofit agencies in the past and present. In all his engagements as a social worker especially while at Executive Director of BOSCO Bangalore, Rights based organization, he was fully involved in issues of urban homelessness through various networks like BRIDGE, IGSS and Action Aid.

Fr. Edward is the founder of Dream India Network whose one entire wing is working for the care and rehabilitation of destitute under the project ‘Coloring the Fallen Stars’ and ’Grace Homes’. He is also part of the Impact India team which works very specifically in urban homeless issues at present.

Bengaluru, India

Glasgow, Scotland

Grant Campbell

Grant is Chief Executive Officer at Glasgow City Mission since January 2013, his varied career started in software, spending over 10 years working with ADOBE systems. He took time out from the software industry to study Theology in Glasgow, and subsequently became the Pastor at Bishopbriggs Community Church. Grant is passionate about issues of social justice and leads a dedicated team who seek to bring life and hope to those caught in homelessness and poverty. He is a co-founder of CAN (City Ambition Network) which is a collaborative approach between the third and statutory sectors providing creative and flexible solutions for some of the city’s most vulnerable adults.

Glasgow, Scotland

Susanne Millar

Susanne is Chief Officer Strategy and Operations of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership which was created in 2017, while retaining a Chief Social Work Officer role for Glasgow city. She completed a post graduate in Social Work in 1990 and worked in residential care for older people and moved to work in area teams with vulnerable children and families. After 6 years, she moved into strategy and planning, working in children and adult services. In 2006, she returned to operational social work as Head of children services in Glasgow city assuming additional roles of Head of Homelessness and Asylum services. In 2012, Susanne became the Assistant Director for social work services in Glasgow. In 2014, Susanne took on the role of Chief Officer for planning, strategy & commissioning for Glasgow city HSCP. Recently, she has been involved in the transition of Home Care services from an arm’s length organization into Glasgow HSCP and will be responsible for strategy, operations and management of this group of staff.

Susanne is committed to partnership and working to address many varied and complex issues which contribute to the need for people of Glasgow to access health and social care services.

Glasgow, Scotland

London, United Kingdom

Anja Bohnsack

Anja is currently Research and Development Manager for Depaul Group. Over the past 18 years she has focused on working with the most vulnerable people in societies around the world, including those experiencing poverty and homelessness, traumatized children, elderly people in palliative care and adults with complex disabilities. Since joining the Depaul Group over 5 years ago, Anja has moved from working with young homeless people in London to taking the lead on supporting Depaul subsidiaries across the globe to develop new services, improve data systems and manage major grants. She has extensive experience in analysing complex environments and has been instrumental in the expansion of the Depaul Group into new countries. In 2017, she was asked to join the Famvin Homeless Alliance in their efforts to end homelessness.

She holds a German Diploma in Psychology (equivalent to MSc) and is a trained project manager.

London, United KIngdom

Paterson, Newjersey, US

Donna Marie Fico

Donna is Vice President, Supportive Services at Eva’s Village responsible for oversight and management of all non-clinical programs and services at Eva’s Village, including the community kitchen, men’s emergency shelter, women’s emergency shelter, the culinary school, childcare, after school, summer programs for children who live at Eva’s Village, and workforce development. Joining Eva’s Village in 2007, Donna previously served as Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Marketing and Education for the organization. She serves on the Passaic County Continuum of Care and is a board member of the Health Coalition of Passaic County.

She recently served as the project manager for the Morgan Stanley strategy challenge, focused on housing first. Donna has a Master’s in Education.

Paterson, USA

Chris Barton

Chris is an Executive Director of Catholic Family & Community Services since March 2016 and a career social worker with over 30 years of professional experience that includes: direct practice, research, grant writing, quality improvement and executive level nonprofit leadership. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (1988) and her Master of Social Work from Rutgers University (1990). She also attended Seton Hall Law School (Newark). Chris has worked in private practice, nonprofit treatment settings and in government systems: she has been responsible for both client-level and system level intervention and has influenced change in New Jersey’s addiction treatment system through licensure, quality improvement and electronic data management.

CFCS has an annual operating budget of $18.5M and fulfills its mission of serving the vulnerable and poor with the help of over 250 staff and 100 regular volunteers. CFCS’s community & emergency support department, which includes homelessness prevention and intervention programs, has 14 grants and contracts from state, county, city and local agencies totaling $2.6M.

Paterson, USA