Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care Board
2021 TX BoS CoC Board Elections
Congratulations to the newly elected CoC Board members!
CoC Board 2021-2023 Term
Seat 3 – Chronically Homeless Persons
- Andrea Omojola – Chief Operating Officer at Lubbock Open Door
Seat 13 – Business
- Daphne Jackson – Admin. Assist/ Co-Owner at A Servant’s Heart-Texas, LLC
The other six seats that were up for election in 2021 received only one nominee each, and the CoC Board decided to accept those nominees as the board members in the seats for which they were nominated.
Seat 1 – Persons with Lived Experience of Homelessness
- John Meier – Program Manager at West Central Texas Regional Foundation
Seat 5 – Homeless Youth
- Natasha Hayden – Executive Director at North Texas Youth Connection
Seat 7 – Mental/Behavioral Health
- Linda White – Director at New Life Family Education
Seat 9 – Local Government
- Courtney Cross — Assistant Community Services Manager at the City of Denton
Seat 11 – Public Housing Agency
- Ronnie Odom — Director of Affordable Housing Programs at the Housing Authority of Texarkana, Texas
Seat 15 –Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless (TICH) or State Government Agency
- Marqus Butler – Manager-V of Reentry Systems and Parole Operations, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
Meet Our Board
Person with Lived Experience of Homelessness
John Meier serves as the Texas Homeless Network (THN) Board member in the “person with lived homelessness experience seat”; Chair of the Home Again West Texas (HAWT) Coordinated Entry Planning Entity for Taylor County; Chair of the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee for the TX BoS CoC; Chair of the Youth Homeless Steering Committee of Taylor County; former Chair of the West Texas Homeless Network (WTHN) local homeless coalition for Taylor County; and Program Manager for West Central Texas Regional Foundation (WCTRF) – Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). John served in the United States Marine Corps. He worked as a Math/Special Education Teacher in Texas for 8 years. John personally experienced homelessness in 2014 that led him to seek services from the Veterans Administration and SSVF. Since that time he has pursued the goal of making homelessness, “rare, brief, and nonrecurring” for Veterans in 25 counties in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care. John has coordinated with Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative since 2018 to achieve a Quality By-Name List, Functional Zero for Veteran Homelessness, and Ending Veteran Homelessness designation utilizing federal benchmarks provided by United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
Pamela Segura serves is a Substance Use Disorder Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. In her current role she provides service to our nations homeless Veterans. Pamela completed her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Psychology at Troy University. She has nearly two decades of combined education and work experience within the Mental Health field. Pamela’s work experience is involves a variety of settings including outpatient specialty clinics, inpatient psychiatric facilities, large and small nonprofits, in addition to small private practice. She has provided clinical supervision to students and interns seeking to future their education in Counseling as well as Case Management services. Her range of clinical experience working with individuals, groups and families across the life span led to her develop specialized training in providing treatment of Substance Use Disorders from a Trauma-Informed therapeutic approach.
A native to Florida, Pamela enjoys visits to the sunny beaches along with creating memories with her family and friends. Throughout recent years she developed an interest in attending football games with her two sons. Pamela is passionate about her service to others and wishes to continue her education in Trauma related studies.
Pamela seeks to serve on the THN board to not only serve the organization but also to be a sounding voice for Veterans and families throughout the state of Texas currently facing homeless or at-risk for homelessness.
Chronically Homeless Persons
Andrea possesses a Master’s in Public Health as well as a Master’s in Divinity and daily combines her educational experience with vast work history to support those who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. Though she is a new addition to Texas and the world of homeless advocacy, she comes to the table with globally diverse experience in the non-profit sector, energy, and compassion that make her an ideal candidate for the CoC Board of Directors. Andrea is highly skilled but, more importantly, extremely open to learning with a true heart for those experiencing poverty of heart, body and situation. Andrea is married and living in Lubbock.
Katherine Bisson is the Executive Director at Abilene Hope Haven. In her nomination form, Katherine said, “I have 5 years’ experience working with homeless families in various capacities. I have connected families with housing instabilities to resources in order to resolve attendance and behavioral challenges of the children in school settings. I have also been a Rapid Rehousing case manager where I was able to meet families experiencing homelessness through street outreach and work with them in a short-to-medium term rental assistance program in order become self-sufficient. In addition, I have 3 years’ experience supervising programs that serve families experiencing homelessness, including a low-barrier shelter that prioritizes families. I am a proponent of the systems theory and strengths-based approaches in working with families, as well as the importance of utilizing housing first principles, such as harm reduction, client choice, and community integration.”
Norma Mercado, Bastrop ISD McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison, has a passion for advocating for at-risk children and youth. With over 18 years of experience working in the educational setting, Norma Mercado completed her Master’s in Social Work at Texas State University. Norma’s personal experience with homelessness, teen pregnancy, and poverty fuels her passion to help others overcome barriers. Norma’s tireless efforts have been instrumental in the coordination of wraparound services now being offered at the BISD Family Resource Center, which includes a health clinic, clothes closet, Adult ESL/GED classes, mental health services, utility assistance, and social services.
Daisy has served as a strong advocate in the movement to end violence for 16 years. October 2020 marks her 14-year anniversary at Friendship of Women, Inc. (FOW). Daisy currently oversees the coordination, management, and leadership of the outreach victim services, battering intervention and prevention program, community education and training, and primary prevention efforts at FOW. She has served in direct service capacities such as Legal Advocate, Shelter Coordinator, Battering Intervention & Prevention Program Coordinator, and in management positions. She has also served on committees and expert panels in the field of domestic violence at local and statewide levels.
Daisy is passionate about the needs and barriers facing victims, the biggest being housing crises and housing instability. She believes that communities are also leading the charge in responding to these needs in unique and innovative ways. Daisy stated, “I am interested in learning from and supporting programs to continue their amazing work and help be a part of designing future initiatives and programming. Social issues impacting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are intertwined with issues around education, health, housing, income, homelessness, and many more.”
My name is Linda White. I am a retired Registered Nurse and am the founding Director of New Life Family Education in Morris County where I teach Parenting and Life Skills classes at my home church. I am also a volunteer for the Texas Dept. of Corrections and teach Parenting and Life Skills at the Johnston and Telford Units (before COVID). I represent Morris County on the Back Home Northeast Texas Homeless Coalition Board, and I am currently serving in Seat #7 Mental/Behavioral Health with the TX BoS CoC Board. I have past experience of homelessness and alcohol addiction. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I believe that every human life is valuable and precious. I set high goals for myself, then I work until I reach those goals! The goal that I have set for my tenure in seat #7 is to work until every mentally ill person in Texas has a safe place to call home and is receiving the health care that they need to live the Best life humanly possible.
Tavia Hatfield is the Regional Director of Community Services for Covenant Health. She has served in this role for over ten years and has worked in the healthcare field for nineteen years. In this roll, she oversees direct outreach programs focused on serving low-income, uninsured and under-insured individuals within the Covenant Health large geographic service area. She assesses community needs through coordinating a comprehensive needs assessment and the creation of an implementation plan every three years. Tavia works closely with the Covenant Health Community Benefit Board Committee to allocate resources according to the priority needs identified. Additionally, she works with multiple community partners including non-profits, churches and public schools on collaborative health and wellness initiatives throughout the region. Tavia has served on multiple local boards and committees and is currently a member of the Texas Tech Center for Adolescent Resiliency Advisory Board, West Texas American Diabetes Associate Board, and the NAMI Lubbock Board. Tavia is also a wife and a mother to a 10 year old and 14 year old. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
Dani is a leader in non-profit and community development in Denton County. She is a professional passionate about building relationships, connecting people, growing resources, and empowering people. Her work is in community development, human development, and social services, where her skills and experience help organizations solve issues, create value, maximize growth, and improve performance to achieve greater impact. She is responsible for the strategic vision and goals including oversight and management of the City’s Federal, State, and locally funded grants, programs and partnerships that support low and moderate-income citizens and neighborhoods with the provision of adequate housing, recreational, social, health, and other supportive services. Dani said she wants to serve on the CoC Board because “it is a chance to participate in strategic solutions that have an impact on the CoC’s efforts in assisting persons experiencing and at risk of homelessness as well as hearing from the impactful voices of others.”
Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program Recipient
Emily Shafer Northrup
In her nomination form, Emily said, “Currently, I am the Homeless Outreach Coordinator for the City of Corpus Christi, which is an entitlement jurisdiction. In my role, I act as a liaison between homeless service providers, the public, elected officials, and city government. I perform and compile research about homelessness in Corpus Christi, and use my findings to make recommendations to executive leadership about local policy. I also use my research to make data-based presentations about homelessness to civic groups and social clubs several times a year. I am an active participant in Homeless Issues Partnership, which is the local homeless coalition in my community. I am on the PIT Count planning committee, and will assist in the community count design and volunteer training efforts for the upcoming count. I also host a weekly round-table conference call with local homeless service providers in which we discuss responses to Covid-19, share resources, collaborate around best practices, and address challenges as a group.”
Public Housing Agency
Antonio D. Williams is the Housing Authority of the City of Texarkana’s Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry and 12 years in government contracting for the Department of Defense and in Fortune 500 companies. He also has a deep passion to help people in need of affordable housing.
Antonio has participated in several HUD focus groups in Washington D.C. to contribute in their re-engineering of the business systems and protocols and assessment systems. As a business owner and consultant, Antonio has provided technical services for PHAs and small businesses in parts of the United States as well as the Caribbean.
Antonio earned a Master of Science in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in Atlanta, Georgia, and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice
Kyle has been a Police Officer for eight years and is entering his second year running the Homeless Outreach Team. He is a TCOLE Licensed Mental Health Officer and a Certified CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) Instructor for KPD. He also teaches a first responder course for negotiations for KPD and is a Senior Negotiator with our TRU (Tactical Response Unit). Prior to becoming a police officer, he was a high school Chemistry teacher and football, wrestling, and track coach in Beaumont, Texas.
Kyle would love the opportunity to better serve his community by learning from and working with other counties within the CoC that are working towards a positive solution to the homelessness issue in Texas. He sees serving on the Board as a great opportunity to share and work with other Police agencies in the State of Texas, providing them with another approach than simply charging homeless individuals criminally. He also wants to have a voice with regard creating CoC policy.
Barry Wheeler was raised in Austin, Texas. He has a passion for helping people gain housing and has helped over 1,500 families buy their homes over the past 15 years.
As a licensed Loan Officer for over 15 years, he is very well versed in HUD guidelines in regard to housing. He has experience in TDHCA, TSAHC, SETH, MCC and Travis County low to moderate income housing programs, both grants and bonds.
Barry said, “I have a servant’s heart which leads me to volunteer in my community. I am an active person who attends several meetings and outreach programs throughout the year, from Mobile Loaves and Fishes to the Central Texas Food Bank, and from the Austin Board or Realtors to the Good Neighbor Settlement House homeless shelter in Brownsville.”
Faith Community or Faith-based Organizations
Daphne has over seventeen years in the social services field, which includes over twelve years dedicated to working with the homeless population. She feels passionate about working collaboratively to end homelessness with other agencies. Daphne sees the importance of agency relationships in order to end homelessness. She is responsible for the operational success of the agency where she works, ensuring seamless team management and development, program delivery, and quality control and evaluation.
Daphne’s coursework at Oklahoma State University in Human Development and Family Science introduced her to the concepts of viewing the family in a world perspective, professional skills, and ethics within the field of human services while fueling her interests in family policies, laws, and advocacy. Daphne stated, “I align my education and personal experiences with my personal life mission.” “With love and compassion, I lead others to grow to their maximum potential and fulfill their purpose.”
Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless (TICH) or State government agency
Marqus is a driven senior executive with extensive experience in holistic social services and human capital management. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a proven track record of maximizing business opportunities and consistently achieving organizational goals. He has 15 years of state level government agency experience. Twelve of his 15 years focused on creating policy and programs for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness or serious emotional disturbance. From 2009-2011 he served as chairman of the Coalition to End Homelessness in Oklahoma City. He has over 15 years of experience managing federal SAMHSA and OJJDP grants and has a good understanding of reporting requirements, outcomes and demonstrating the overall effectiveness of programming.
Person with Lived Experience of Homelessness
2020-21 TX BoS CoC Board
- May 2021 Minutes
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- December 2020 Minutes
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