About ­ Partnering for Change

Our Mission

To catalyze the development and implementation of integrated strategies in communities that improve housing stability as the vital platform for child, youth, and family health and well-being.

Our Vision

A world in which access to safe, decent, and affordable housing for children, youth, and families has been prioritized at the federal level, facilitated through diverse service systems at the state level, and ensured at the local level through integrated, equitable, family-centered, and community-based strategies.

 

Tanya Tull

Tanya Tull

President & CEO

Our Leadership

A nationally recognized expert in the field of family homelessness, Tull began working in the nonprofit sector in 1980, when she founded Para Los Ninos (For the Children), in response to an article in the L.A. Times about children living in Skid Row hotels. In 1983, Tull co-founded L.A. Family Housing—a nonprofit agency that develops and operates emergency shelters and permanent housing. Tull founded two additional nonprofit agencies in 1988—A Community of Friends and Beyond Shelter—as an evolution of her earlier work in the field. A Community of Friends develops permanent, supportive housing for chronically homeless populations and has been operated by others since 1990. At Beyond Shelter, Tull developed the housing first approach to ending family homelessness—and promoted the new model across the country for the next 25 years. READ MORE…

Our Board of Directors

James P. Clark

James P. Clark

President, World Technology Network

Carol Cohen

Carol Cohen

Professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work, NY

Bridget Gordon

Bridget Gordon

Co-Chair, Integration Advisory Board (IAB), LA County Department of Health Services

Mike Neely

Mike Neely

Commissioner, LA County Commission for Older Adults

JoAnn Kane

JoAnn Kane

Senior Analyst, Service Employees International Union

Ruth White

Ruth White

Executive Director, National Center on Housing & Child Welfare

Our Team

Partnering for Change is supported and guided by an active and committed Board of Directors, a knowledgeable and experienced National Advisory Council, and  valued colleagues from diverse sectors who help to inform and enrich our work.

As lead federal agency for the LA Promise Zone, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Los Angeles Field Office, has provided ongoing support and collaboration for our research in one of the least affordable cities in the United States. 

Our local community outreach and research efforts are coordinated by Sheena Innocente. With an MSW from UCLA and undergraduate degree in Sociology from California State University Fullerton, her main research interests are housing, poverty, welfare policy, health care, child care, and access to adequate nutrition. 

Graduates of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in Social Welfare, Urban Planning, and Public Policy have served as research associates at Partnering for Change over the years. Student graduate projects from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC) have also contributed greatly to our efforts.

Sheena Innocente

Sheena Innocente

Research Coordinator

National Advisory Council

Christine Achre, MA, LCPC—CEO, Primo Center for Women & Children, Chicago, Ill

Henry Cisneros—Board of Directors, CityView, San Antonio, TX; Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Washington, DC

Maria Foscarinis—Executive Director, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, Washington, D.C.

Bill Parent—Lecturer in public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles, CA; former acting director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Civil Society and senior staff of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Los Angeles, CA

Judy Samuels, PhD—President, The Samuels Group – consultants; formerly Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York University, Steinhardt School, Global Institute Public Health; Associate Professor, Child Study Center, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, School or Medicine, New York, NY

Lois Starr, MA—Principal, Lois Starr & Associates; former Housing Director, Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, Los Angeles, CA

Deborah Werner, MA—Project Director for the Women, Children and Families Technical Assistance Project, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (Sudbury, MA) Los Angeles, CA

Erich Yost—Management Analyst (Community Initiatives), LA Promise Zone Community Liaison, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of Field Policy and Management. Los Angeles, CA

Our History

Partnering for Change was founded in 2011 by Tanya Tull, who at the time had been working in the field of family homelessness for 30 years. After developing two of the first family shelters in Los Angeles, she founded Beyond Shelter in 1988 with an innovation in the field at the time—the “housing first” approach to ending family homelessness. Beyond Shelter served primarily vulnerable and harder-to-serve homeless families referred by emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, re-entry programs, and residential drug treatment programs. Successful from inception, Beyond Shelter then promoted the new methodology across the country for the next twenty-five years, including with national advocacy organizations based in Washington, DC.  Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services from 1991-1996, Beyond Shelter conducted two of the first federal demonstration projects on family homelessness with this approach. 

Beyond Shelter’s programs in Los Angeles County also became a “laboratory” for social change in challenging the then-emerging Continuum of Care (CoC). Promoted by HUD during the first years of the Clinton Administration, the CoC was premised on the believe that homeless people, including families with children, should move directly from emergency shelter to transitional housing where they could stay for up to two years to learn the skills required “to live independently.” It was within this context that Beyond Shelter began scaling up the “housing first” approach to ending family homelessness.

At the time, there were two emerging schools of thought, the first based on homelessness being perceived primarily as a result of personal dysfunctions and the second based on external factors: rising rents pushing people on fixed incomes out of the rental market, redevelopment of downtown cores that removed traditional SROs and residential hotels in many cities, and other economic forces. Unfortunately, rather than focus on families who might have benefited from a period of transitional support during a housing crisis, more dysfunctional families were often terminated from transitional housing programs for being “non-compliant” with program requirements. Beyond Shelter conducted its first out-of-state training in Columbus, Ohio, in 1992. In collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the first national workshop was conducted in Los Angeles, CA, in 1993. In a few short years, family shelters and transitional housing programs from throughout the country began to adapt key housing first components into their transitional housing operations. Twenty years later, HUD’s Rapid Rehousing program is an almost exact replication of Beyond Shelter’s Housing First Program—modified by the addition of time-limited rent subsidies for participants.

In 2010, realizing that the housing affordability crisis was intensifying, Tanya began to explore the feasibility of housing interventions at an earlier stage—prior to a homeless crisis. Partnering for Change was incorporated the next year as an intentional “scaling up” of idea generation, program experimentation, and knowledge dissemination for systems transformation. With a growing evidence-base on the impact of housing instability on child, youth, and family health and well-being, Partnering for Change focused initially on a universal prevention approach: to promote early identification of, and timely and appropriate responses to, indicators of housing distress among vulnerable families served by mainstream systems: schools, child and family services organizations, and healthcare services delivery systems.

As rental housing costs continued to increase across the country, however, it  became apparent that mainstream and community-based services systems were unable to keep up with the need and that direct services staff lacked both the training and resources to address housing problems successfully. Housing issues had become the “elephant in the room” and existing policies and practices were often no longer applicable.

In 2015, Partnering for Change began working in the newly-designated Los Angeles Promise Zone, researching and documenting the prevalence and types of housing instability experienced by low-income renters in one of the the most challenging rental markets in the country. Through a collective impact framework, the organization also began envisioning and testing some possible new housing interventions. We hope this website presenting the results of our efforts thus far will motivate others to join in the broader effort.

Participate. Become Involved. 

Tanya Tull

President & CEO – Partnering for Change

A nationally recognized expert on family homelessness, Tull began working in the nonprofit sector in 1980, when she founded Para Los Ninos (For the Children), in response to an article in the L.A. Times about children living in Skid Row hotels. She served as the agency’s Executive Director through 1985 and President through 1996. In 1983, Tull co-founded L.A. Family Housing – a nonprofit agency that develops and operates emergency shelters and permanent housing. Tull founded two additional nonprofit agencies in 1988 – A Community of Friends and Beyond Shelter – as an evolution of her earlier work in the field. A Community of Friends develops permanent, supportive housing for special needs populations and has been operated by others since 1990. With Beyond Shelter, Tanya introduced an innovation in the field at the time, the “housing first” approach to ending family homelessness–which she then promoted nationally and internationally for the next 25 years.

Tull served for many years on advisory committees for the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Low Income Housing Coalition and worked closely with the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. A graduate of Scripps College, Claremont, CA, Tull received a Life Teaching Credential from UCLA and an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences from Whittier College in 1992.

She has served as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs since 2005 and has been a Senior Fellow at Ashoka since 2009. Recognition includes the prestigious Gleitsman National Citizen Activist Award, Kennedy School of Government – Center for Public Leadership, Harvard (1996), and the MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) Community Service Award (2002).

James P. Clark

Founder/Chairman, World Technology Network

The World Technology Network www.wtn.net (New York)

 

The World Technology Network is a global association of over 1,000 of the peer-nominated, peer-elected most innovative people in science and technology elected annually through the World Technology Awards. Educated at Wesleyan University and Cambridge University (UK), Clark has served in a wide variety of leadership roles across business, politics, technology, academia, and the non-profit sector.

A serial entrepreneur, Clark’s first venture, a clearinghouse for professional careers in the non-profit sector, was founded at Wesleyan University and then green-housed, by invitation, at Harvard University in the late 1980s, where Clark was appointed to the faculty. In 1992, Clark served as Director of the Non-Profit Sector & National Service for then-Governor Bill Clinton’s successful Presidential campaign. Clark also co-developed the Presidential Transition Roundtable Series, bringing experts together to examine key issues, including Northern Ireland, Entrepreneurship, The Politics of Inclusion, and Homelessness.

In 1993, he started one of the country’s first Internet consulting firms, whose main client was another start-up called AOL, and was focused on bringing online technology to the non-profit sector. In 1997, he founded the World Technology Network.

Carol Cohen, DSW

Professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work (New York)

 

Dr. Cohen is the founder of the Global Group Work Project, which is building an international education and practice network. Her work focuses on international and local partnerships, evaluation and research of community-based housing related programs, child welfare and youth development, and social work with groups. In the area of housing, her joint publications appear in peer reviewed journals, including Child Welfare, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and Social Work, as well in edited books and research reports.

She has been involved with a range of social work fields, settings and populations, both locally and internationally, including youth programs, disaster response, field education and training, social work education and regulation, housing, older adults, and child welfare. She is committed to collaborative, participatory research and evaluation, seeking to engage practitioners, students and consumers in examining outcomes and planning new interventions.

Currently the chair of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Global Social Work Education, she is a board member of CSWE, past chair of the New York State Social Work Board, chair of the CSWE Group Work Track, and co-chair of the International Association for Social Work with Group’s (IASWG) Commission on Education in Social Work with Groups.

Dr. Cohen is also a Fulbright Scholar, and has taught and collaborated with programs in Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, China, Europe, India, Israel, Malaysia, Namibia South Africa and Vietnam.

Bridget Gordon

Co-Chair, Integration Advisory Board (IAB) for LA County Health Departments – LA County Board of Supervisors

The Integration Advisory Board advises Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors on the Health Departments integration of three departments, Public Health, Mental Health and Health Services. Bridget was Appointed to the IAB in 2015 and elected Co-Chair in 2016 to build consensus and educate its members on the Board’s vision, mission, and guiding principles to achieve integration of LACHA operations. She has facilitated relationship-building & collaboration among 34 diverse Board members, including representatives of County Commissions, labor unions, community providers, SMEs & consumers, enabling an initially disjointed entity to become synergistic, focused & productive. She founded the Bridget B Foundation in 2004, a charitable organization dedicated to creating awareness & resources on reproductive healthcare issues for women with focus on providing practical support for women living with HIV/AIDS, and currently serves as its Executive Director. Bridget is a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV and of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. She previously served as a Board Member, Community Advisory, Maternal Child & Adolescent Center, Los Angeles County. Recognition of her work includes an Honoree for the IMPACT Champions of Change, Washington, DC, 2012. Bridget has a degree in Engineering from the University of Washington and previously worked for many years in the tech industry.

JoAnn Kane

Senior Analyst, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) (Washington, D.C.)

A nationally recognized social justice advocate and expert in community investment programs to revitalize low income neighborhoods, Ms. Kane has worked throughout the United States with hundreds of successful nonprofit development initiatives in under-served communities and worked extensively with women-led organizations and businesses. Currently Ms. Kane works with SEIU’s Capital Development Group on innovative approaches to healthcare investing and community development finance with a focus on job quality and workforce issues. As President and Chief Executive Officer of The McAuley Institute from 1984-2003, she led the national, nonprofit community development organization in its growth from start-up to its position as a preeminent organization serving low-income women leaders and supportive housing programs in some of the most underserved communities in the nation. Ms. Kane was as a founding director of The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the America Works Partnership, the Coalition for Low Income Community Development, and The Interfaith Funders Group. She has consistently been recognized for her leadership on a wide range of national boards serving as the Chairperson of the National Neighborhood Coalition; the Treasurer of The Social Compact; the Executive Committee of the National Low Income Housing Coalition; as the Chair of HUD’s Homeownership Opportunities for Women; and as Secretary of the Board for Homes for America. Her professional recognitions include the Women of Justice award from NETWORK, A Catholic Social Justice Lobby and the David Aschiem Friend of Housing Award. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgian Court College in 2001. In 2008, Dominican University awarded Ms. Kane the Caritas-Veritas Award.

Mike Neely 

Commissioner, Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults

Mr. Neely is the founder and past director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System. The Homeless Outreach Program was founded in 1988 as a pilot program with $50,000 and four employees and grew into a multi-million dollar project with more than sixty employees. Most recently , he was a Commissioner for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Previously, Mr. Neely served on the State Commission on Homeless Veterans, the State Commission on African American Males and Substance Abuse. He was a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. He was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust. Mr. Neely served on the Downtown Strategic Plan Committee which provided the framework the downtown Los Angeles’ renaissance in the 21st Century. He was selected as a Hesselbein Fellow of the Peter Drucker Foundation(now Leader to Leader Institute) which provided intense training in leadership and management with some of the great thought leaders of our time including , Peter Drucker, Frances Hesselbein, Noel Tichy, Warren Bennis and Ken Blanchard. The fellowship also included the opportunity to be mentored by Jim Collins, author of”Good to Great.” Mr. Neely also served on numerous advisory boards and study groups as well as the Board of Directors of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives. Mr. Neely retired in 2004 but remains active in community projects.

Ruth White, MSSA

Executive Director, National Center on Housing & Child Welfare

Ruth White is one of the nation’s leading experts on the nexus between housing policy and child welfare. She is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare and former director of Housing and Homelessness for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). At the Child Welfare League, she co-edited the landmark issue of the League’s journal, Child Welfare, documenting the extent to which children are needlessly held in foster care because their parents lack decent housing. Through White’s advocacy, over $100 million in new funding for the Family Unification Program has been made available for families and youth in child welfare since 2009. Prior to working at CWLA, White managed the front-door family shelter and redesigned the homeless coordinated entry system in Columbus, OH, reducing shelter entries by over 60 percent. White is also certified as an Assisted Housing Manger. White has a Master of Science Degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Ohio State University. She is currently a Furfey Scholar, doctoral candidate, and professor of social work at the Catholic University of America.