Joseph worked for 12 years as a spokesperson for the organization that helped him recover. He served on the Executive Board of Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston for 8 years and has been chair of the Houston CAB 9 years. Joseph works for Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston as a Community Health Worker.
NCAB Steering Committee
Consisting of seven NCAB members, the Steering Committee is responsible for organizing the consumers of Health Care for the Homeless so that they have a voice in national issues involving the health care of homeless persons. To accomplish this work, the committee meets monthly by teleconference and twice annually in-person; once in October at the Council headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, and once at the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference.
Valarie Dowell has been strong advocate and front line worker for people experiencing homelessness for over 13 years. She believes her personal experiences of being homeless and in recovery enables her to serve the homeless population with compassion, understanding and empathy. She was one of the first consumers to become a Community Health Worker as a front line worker and will received her BA in Health and Human Services in May, 2015. She is currently a contract worker with the Hamilton County Office of Reentry making sure that individuals returning from prison and local jails into the community have their basic needs are met; and works closely with the Cincinnati Consumer Advisory Board by sharing information about the National Consumer Advisory Board.
As a member of St. Joseph Mercy Care’s Client Advisory Committee for 7 years and now Chair, Tina is an advocate for Medicaid Expansion and other policies that increase access to health care for individuals experiencing homelessness. In her spare time, she volunteers as a cook at an Atlanta shelter. Tina also helps lead several NCAB activities, like the CPO survey and consumer governance focus groups.
Derek has been member of the Boston HCH Program CAB for 13 years, several times as Chair. He has been a Board of Directors member for 3 years. Derek has presented workshops at conferences and trainings. He is proud to have presented the Ellen Dailey award at the 2013 National HCH Conference and to serve on the NCAB Steering Committee.
Philip is a CAB member at Care for the Homeless, in New York City. He is a writer and an advocate who has a seasonal maintenance job at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Philip is proud to contribute his long-time passion for human rights to homelessness issues at the Council at a time when such discussion in public affairs is especially needed.
Carmon Ryals experienced homelessness for almost 20 years and has been a consumer at the Albuquerque HCH as well as the Nashville clinic. She has been doing extensive outreach with people experiencing homelessness since she lived in Nashville in 2006, and despite being housed for the last 5 years continues this outreach regularly. She has served on Albuquerque’s Client Advisory Board for about 6 years and has been on the Board of Directors at that project for the last year and a half. She believes this is important work as she wants to be a part of the discussion making process to help better our agencies and make a positive difference for our consumers.
Terrye Sukari Finley has always been committed to encouraging human rights awareness in the community. Beginning at an early age the need for jobs, decent housing, adequate medical care, food, clothing, and representation has been a great concern for her. She learned first-hand how to advocate for herself and now is driven to share information with people about how to understand policies and ensure the policies work for them. She believes it is important to engage in lobbying to aid change and regulate policies that are more beneficial for the underserved and correct the social imbalance. Since 2012 she has been putting this passion to use representing consumers on the Los Angeles Christian Health Center (LACHC) Board of Directors.
Regional Representatives are a relatively new position, with a focus on reaching out to consumers in their regions and communicating about the work of NCAB and the Council. They are also expected to attend conference calls and contribute to the work of NCAB. Attendance at the National Conference is needed but is not required for the October meetings in Nashville.
David Peery is passionately seeking an end to homelessness throughout Florida while advocating for homeless rights; and David knows a thing or two about rights, as David holds a law degree. When David experienced homelessness, he was led to Camillus Health Concern where he became a member of the struggling CAB and attempted to regain the consumer voice in governance, focusing on educating and empowering consumers to take control of their health care. In his deep commitment to advocacy he is a class representative in a federal class action lawsuit that establishes the rights of people experiencing homelessness in Miami, and works to combat the criminalization of homelessness.
Michele Zimja had been living in Chicago all her life, and lived on the streets for many years. She believes this experience has allowed her to see and feel the depression, fatigue, frustration, anxiety, fear and pain that happens daily on the street. She has spent the last two years on the Consumer Advisory Board at Heartland Health Outreach, and believes the experience and information provided to her have better allowed her to do the footwork of distributing important information to those experiencing homelessness on the street.
Art Rios Sr. believes that a change is needed and that if we use our voices together we can achieve this change together, and for the last 20 years he has been using this drive to advocate for people experiencing homelessness. He has been on the Health Services Advisory Council (HSAC) at Central City Concern for several years and has been the Chair since October 2014. As HSAC Chair, Art is also a member of the Central City Concern Board of Directors and was recently appointed to the board for our local “plan to end homelessness” efforts, the Home for Everyone Coordinating Board. He believes that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard and ensures that he listens to what is needed.
To contact NCAB’s leaders, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.