Mary Brosnahan Steps Down as President and CEO on her 30th Anniversary at the Coalition for the Homeless
NEW YORK – The Coalition for the Homeless announced today that President and CEO Mary Brosnahan is stepping down after three decades of groundbreaking advocacy and service on behalf of homeless New Yorkers.
“Mary built the Coalition from its humble, grassroots beginnings into one of the most effective and influential anti-homelessness organizations in the world. Under her leadership, the Coalition won hard fought legal victories for our homeless neighbors and secured billions of dollars in investments in affordable housing – accomplishments that have given hundreds of thousands of men, women and children a way to escape homelessness for good. She also built the Coalition’s capacity to bring lifesaving services to thousands of homeless people each day through its renowned service programs – including the nation’s largest nightly mobile soup kitchen, the first summer sleepaway camp in the country for homeless kids, as well as programs offering eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing and job training. We are inspired and grateful for her tireless energy, her bold vision, and most of all her compassion,” said Barry Berke, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Coalition for the Homeless.
“The work of the Coalition has always been about respecting the dignity of the poorest among us and ending modern mass homelessness. We must never relent in our fight to ensure that every one of our homeless neighbors has safe, affordable housing. I could not be more proud of the work we’ve accomplished at the Coalition over the past three decades through our advocacy and frontline services.” said Mary Brosnahan. “I am confident that the Coalition will continue to make great progress for homeless New Yorkers.”
“Mary has created a lasting legacy and leaves a truly impressive list of accomplishments. Her vision and her unshakeable belief that every man, woman and child deserves our compassion and our help are woven into the very DNA of the Coalition for the Homeless – and will help steer our work into the difficult days ahead. All of us at the Coalition are deeply indebted to Mary and will strive to maintain the standards she set in her decades of peerless leadership,” said Dave Giffen, who will continue as Executive Director of the organization. In addition, Shelly Nortz will continue as Deputy Executive Director for Policy, and Tim Campbell as Deputy Executive Director for Programs.
About Mary Brosnahan
Mary Brosnahan joined the Coalition for the Homeless in 1989 as Director of the New York office. In 1990 she was appointed Executive Director, and in 2012 took the title of President & CEO. When Ms. Brosnahan joined the Coalition, it operated on a budget of $1 million with 13 full-time staff. Today, with a budget of more than $12 million and a staff of 77, the Coalition operates 11 highly effective direct service programs – serving 3,500 people a day – and a groundbreaking advocacy department. Along with longtime CFH supporter Peter Jennings, Ms. Brosnahan created ArtWalk NY, which has raised more than ten million dollars to feed, clothe and house homeless New Yorkers.
Ms. Brosnahan was born in Denver and grew up in the Midwest, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Brosnahan is a frequent contributor to newspaper opinion pages, appears regularly on both local and national television, and is widely considered New York’s leading voice on behalf of homeless and poor men, women and children. The New York Post named her one of the “Fifty Most Powerful Women in New York,” and Terry Golway of The New York Observer noted that if “compassion were an industry in New York, Ms. Brosnahan would be its chief executive officer.”
In recognition of her work on behalf of the homeless, Ms. Brosnahan has been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees and her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, presented her with the Thomas A. Dooley Award for outstanding work on behalf of humanity.
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About the Coalition
Since 1981, the Coalition for the Homeless has developed and implemented humane, cost effective strategies to end mass homelessness in New York City. Our model programs represent solutions that can dramatically reduce the homeless population and prevent homelessness among those most at risk.
Every day, our 11 frontline programs help more than 3,500 men, women and children survive immediate crises and help them on the path to long-term stability. We witness firsthand the challenges they face and shape our services to best meet their needs, providing emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training and special programs for homeless youth.
Our renowned advocacy tirelessly fights for investments in proven, cost-effective housing-based solutions to mass homelessness. Our first legal victory, Callahan v. Carey, established the right to shelter for homeless adult men— a crucial first step in our subsequent victories on behalf of homeless women and children. Since then, the Coalition has won a string of legal victories including securing medically appropriate housing for people living with HIV/AIDS and ensuring the right to vote for Americans without homes.
The Coalition is a vocal and invaluable city and statewide resource for homeless people, at-risk populations, other advocates and service providers, policymakers and the public at large. We have earned the reputation as the most credible source of information on homelessness, its causes, and solutions.
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