We ARE Ending Homelessness in Anchorage. Nancy Burke, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ Housing and Homelessness Services Coordinator, will discuss how aligning outreach efforts and closely tracking individuals has led to more than 200 people getting housed and stable – and how this positively impacts the entire community. Lisa Aquino, Board Chair of the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness and Executive Director of Catholic Social Services, will provide an update on the progress made moving families into stable, long term housing; and United Way of Anchorage’s President, Michele Brown, will share the latest information on the Anchorage Plan, metrics being tracked for success and next steps. Chronic homelessness affects our entire community and everyone can contribute to the solution – join us and learn how.
**HELP THE ANCHORAGE CHAMBER AND THE FOOD BANK OF ALASKA FIGHT HUNGER BY BRINGING ITEMS FOR A FOOD DRIVE AT MONDAY'S FORUM. PLEASE FIND A LIST OF MOST USEFUL ITEMS HERE.**
MSW, is currently leading Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ Housing and Homeless Services initiative in Anchorage focusing resources and community solutions on homelessness. She has worked across the state of Alaska on housing, homelessness and supportive services for people with mental illness, substance abuse and other disabilities through her work at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and in replicating Housing First
programs across the state to assist people with severe disabilities remain successfully housed in the community.
Burke has over twenty five years of professional experience in disability, traumatic brain injury and mental health services in Colorado, Alaska and New York, including director of Access Alaska, a non-profit agency in Anchorage, prior to her transition to the Trust in 2002. Burke completed studies in psychology and social work in New York in adult/family clinical mental health systems and child welfare with research experience in child maltreatment at the University of Rochester’s resilience clinic and the Mt Hope Family Center.
Lisa Aquino – Catholic Social Services Executive Director
Lisa currently serves as the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services, focusing on strengthening and improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our community and creating systems and approaches that will create lasting positive change for individuals and families in need.
Lisa is from Anchorage. She received her Bachelor’s in Anthropology from UCLA, and her Master’s in Health Science in International Health, Disease Prevention and Control from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has worked in a number of large public health programs and projects in Alaska and internationally in South Africa.
Lisa has served in her current capacity at Catholic Social Services for almost 2 years, over which time tens of thousands of people in Anchorage have been helped. The agency’s current strategic focus is to prevent and end homelessness in Anchorage.
Michele Brown, President of the United Way of Anchorage
United Way of Anchorage mobilizes people and resources to make lasting changes in community conditions. She has helped advance United Way of Anchorage as a community development organization dedicated to building the community activism, aligned services, and policies that achieve measurable change. This has led to improvement in high school graduation, family financial stability, and access to health care.
Prior to joining United Way, Michele served as the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation under former Governor Tony Knowles. During her eight years on the job, she was credited with forging positive alliances among diverse interests to promote environmentally responsible economic development and to ensure safe and healthy communities.
Michele also spent two and a half years at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Moscow, Russia developing community health, environmentally sound economic development, and democracy building programs in Russia.
Michele has a J. D. from U. C. Davis and a BA in philosophy and humanities from U. C. Berkeley. Some notable recognitions include:
- Anchorage Shining Lights Award
- United Way Worldwide Best Practices for a community plan to increase graduation rates and for engaging community volunteers for community change.
- National Excellence in Leadership from the Women Executives in State Government.
- John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University Innovations in American Government Award for changing how states manage cruise ship environmental practices.
- BP YWCA Women of Achievement Award