Keynote Speaker

presentation – part 1, part 2 and part 3

Denise D. Resnik joined us as our keynote speaker for the 21st annual supportive housing conference, Many Homes, One Community – Innovative Options for Supportive Living. A native of Phoenix, AZ, Denise has been instrumental as founder and CEO/president of First Place® AZ and co-founder of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) in raising money for and awareness of autism and other neuro-diversities. Her work has helped Phoenix earn the reputation as “the most autism-friendly city in the world,” according to the PBS NewsHour.

Denise also served as editor and publisher of the 2009 landmark research report, Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, a collaborative study by SARRC, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona, the Arizona State University (ASU) Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family, and the ASU School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, now part of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.

Session 1

Keeping Non-Profits Successful Mergers, Acquisitions and Affiliations – The Process Demystified   

Mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations in the non-profit world may be brought about by financial distress or leadership vacuums but strategically planning the right partnership may be the best way to strengthen organizations’ effectiveness. This session helped to gain an understanding of the transactions taking place in the sector, how to go about a collaborative arrangement and talk to organizations that have gone through the process.


Sherise D. Ritter | Managing Director, Mercadien

Elise Tretola | CEO, Allies Inc.

Carol Mori | Executive Director, Garden State Episcopal CDC



Service Chronic Homelessness with Multiple Challenges in Supportive Housing

Presentation discussed experience and challenges providing supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals with multiple behavioral challenges and adverse social determinants, including mental health, substance use, trauma experiences, medical conditions, poverty, isolation, legal issues, and criminal justice involvement. Strategies to address these challenges including outreach, engagement and service relationships were also discussed. Demographic data and outcomes were also presented and discussed.


Anne Smullen Thieling | Deputy Director, Collaborative Support Programs NJ (CSPNJ)

Jackee Huett | Integrated Supportive Services Coordinator, CSPNJ

Pamela Baker | Center Manager, CSPNJ

Brian Thompson | Housing Coordinator, Population Health Initiatives, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

Dorothy Scott | Community Health Worker, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

Presentation – Camden

Presentation – CSPNJ


YIMBY “Yes in My Backyard” – Exploring Successful Municipal Partnerships

Including Affordable Supportive Housing in a municipal plan not only helps provide much needed homes for people with special needs but can be a win-win for municipalities. Supportive Housing Association members and our 2019 Municipality Award Winner shared their experience in successful collaborations. Participants offered their guidance on the elements that create an environment where supportive housing development can flourish.

Moderator: Michael F Cerra | Assistant Executive Director, NJ State League of Municipalities

Presenters: The Honorable John E. McCormac | Mayor of the Township of Woodbridge

Noah Freiberg | Senior Developer at Pennrose, LLC

Daniel Randall | Federal Home Loan Bank of NY

Owen McCabe | VP of Development, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley

Presentation – FHLB

Presentation – Pennrose


Family Driven Supportive Housing: The Journey from Conceptualization to Implementation

This workshop provided information about two models which were driven by families who had a vision for supportive housing based on the principles of inclusion. This workshop provided a brief overview of housing and supports for people with  intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey, as well as detail the conceptualization and operationalization of two new models. An interactive question and answer format with the family members detailed the challenges and innovations encountered during their journeys.    

Moderator: Dawn Apgar | Program Director/Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University


Nathaniel Diskint, Cohome – Executive Director
Joan Migton, Boxwood Junction – President



PSH Property Management: How to get the rent paid AND retain tenancy

Corporation for Supportive Housing presented key considerations for permanent supportive housing providers when operating housing that result in well-run buildings in which tenants can thrive and communities love. Also heard from property managers who talked about solutions to real life management scenarios.


Carol M. Sainthilaire | Senior Program Manager, CSH

Joan Farkas | Director of Housing, CSPNJ

Monique Hickson | Property Management Coordinator, Triple C


Session 2

Succession Planning – Identifying and Nurturing Talent

Nationally recognized for his leadership coaching and strategic advice to nonprofit C-Suite executives and boards, Dennis Miller lead an extensive overview of the competencies that today’s nonprofit leaders need to be successful. The workshop will explored specific transformational leadership skills required for today’s nonprofit CEOs, how to recognize and enhance the current leadership at all levels of the organization and how to become a more effective mentor to those emerging leaders seeking to become tomorrow’s nonprofit chief executives.

Presenter: Dennis C. Miller President of Dennis C. Miller Associates, Inc. is a nationally recognized strategic leadership coach



Medicaid and Housing: How does it impact my organization?

States across the U.S. are utilizing Medicaid waivers and plan amendments to pay for services in supportive housing. This panel explored the national landscape of service funding through Medicaid and layed out key considerations for NJ supportive housing organizations contemplating utilizing Medicaid in this way. How will this impact operations? What key things does  organizational leadership need to consider?


Patricia Hernandez | Associate Director, CSH

Courtney Christenson | Program Manager, CSH

Laura Rodgers, LCSW | Chief Program & External Relations Officer, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties



Mental Health Awareness – Exploring relationships and dealing with stigma

This workshop will consisted of two customized, audience-specific scenes depicting realistic scenarios involving mental health and addiction issues. Each scene was followed by a talk back between the audience and the players. A facilitator moderated after each performance to engage and encourage audience feedback on how they would handle the issues at hand asking, “What would you do?” The interactive program demonstrated practical decision-making strategies and collaborative problem solving. The goal of the Mental Health Players is to increase awareness, decrease stigma and break the silence associated with mental illness and addiction.

Presenters:  Lynette Sheard | Director, Mental Health Players

Mental Health Players


Supporting Veterans with Permanent Homes and Services

Among the complex set of factors facing homeless veterans is an extreme shortage of affordable housing, the effects of post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and a lack of social support networks. Our project of the year winners and veteran service experts discussed best practices and what to expect in serving this population.

Moderator:  Stephen L. Schoch | Managing Principal, Kitchen & Associates Services Inc.


Marissa H. Fanelli | Associate Executive Director, Community Hope

Bernadette Blackstock | Founder, CEO and President, People for People Foundation

Robert Looby | Chairman, Employment, Homeless & Education Committee, Past State Commander, American Legion – NJ Division NJ Veterans’ Services Council Member



What Happens When I’m Gone?

Developing a long term plan for people living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that will be there when today’s caregivers are no longer able to provide support is the fundamental and overarching goal that preoccupies most families.  This requires the mix and match of public and private resources and the creation of a network of natural supports. This workshop focused on issues to consider and steps that can be taken to lay the groundwork for a sustainable plan without sacrificing  personal preferences, quality and other goals and objectives.


John Maltby | Co-Director, NY Housing Resources Center

Donald T. Brown | Special Needs Funding Coach