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NCAB Steering Committee

Art Rios Sr.

Art Rios Sr.

Chair | Portland, OR

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.

David Peery

David Peery

Co-Chair | Miami, FL

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 he 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.

Deidre Young

Deidre Young

Co-Chair | Houston, TX

Deidre Young is a member of the CHANGE committee at Health Care for the Homeless Houston, and has served on NCAB as a Regional Representative and Co-Chair. She believes this opportunity has been a great learning experience and has allowed her to make a positive change for the community.  Deidre brings a unique skill set and perspective to the work with her photography and videography, which she uses to make sure NCAB materials are accessible to all people and learning styles. Deidre also serves as the Designer and Editor for the Consumer Voice. 

Kendall Clark

Kendall Clark

Peer Advocate | Newark, NJ

Kendall Clark is a member of a co-applicant board for the City of Newark Mary Eliza Health Centers, where he has served for over 10 years. He currently works as the Director of Wellness Programs at St. James Social Service Corporation. He also is involved in a number of other organizations supporting people living with AIDS and working to remove lead in Newark.

DeeDee Blanchard

DeeDee Blanchard

Member at Large| Atlanta, GA

DeeDee Blanchard serves on the Client Advisory Council and Board of Directors at MercyCare in Atlanta Georgia. She has worked with the National HCH Council on diabetes projects and is actively engaged in advocacy at the local level. She is very interested in growing with the organization and is willing to work where she is needed. 

Sarah Lombard

Sarah Lombard

Member at Large | Worcester, MA

Sarah Lombard has served on the Consumer Advisory Board at Community HealthLink for seven years. Since then, she has spent a lot of her time doing outreach to people living outdoors trying to support those who are still out there struggling. Sarah also went back to school to receive her Certification in Substance Abuse and is finishing up her practicum.

Joanne Guarino

Joanne Guarino

Regional Representative (1 & 2) | Boston, MA

Joanne Guarino is a formerly homeless woman who credits Boston Health Care for the Homeless with restoring her sense of self-worth after decades of illness, addiction, and mistreatment off and on the streets. She is a speaker, a counselor, a supporter and a true champion. Joanne joined the Consumer Advisory Board and its subcommittee over ten years ago, and is currently the CAB Chair and sits on the Board of Directors. Joanne has also represented consumers on the National HCH Council’s Respite Care Providers Network Steering Committee. Joanne’s most recent pride and joy was working to develop the “Housing Guide” for newly housed patients to help share skills, tools, and tips to manage the independent life in their apartment and have a successful housing experience. Joanne is single-minded in advocating for access to quality care to those that we serve. She is always thoughtful and a staunch activist for our patients.

Elving Caraballo

Elving Caraballo

Regional Representative (3 & 4) | Miami, FL

Elving Caraballo became involved with the CAB at Camillus Health Concern several years ago and began chairing the education committee, which sponsors health education activities. Last year, he was elected as chair and since then he has helped organized the Brownsville Project to help frail seniors clean their apartments and the Good Neighbor Project to help clean the streets around the homeless shelter. Elving also serves on the Board of Directors at Camillus Health Concern.

Rodney Dawkins

Rodney Dawkins

Regional Representative (5 & 7) | Chicago, IL

Rodney Dawkins was referred to the Consumer Advisory Board at Heartland Health Outreach after he asked his provider about ways to protect clients from state budget cuts. He then served more than five years as a member, including a term as chair. For the last eight years, Rodney was employed as a Community Health Worker at Heartland, and also works with a local campaign for fairness in public housing. He has previously served as an NCAB Member-at-Large, Co-Chair, and Chair, and feels he can contribute by representing the voices of the members and advocating for the value that housing is health care.

Charlotte Garner

Charlotte Garner

Regional Representative (6 & 8) | Houston, TX

Charlotte A. Garner is a formerly homeless individual who is dedicated to using her lived experience in the arena of advocacy on behalf of those who suffer from the plight of homelessness. She arrived in Houston in December 2006 with 32 cents in her pocket and the clothes on her back. Upon being referred to Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston, she received total comprehensive care. Charlotte credits HHH with facilitating her entire journey of restoration to achievements she had only vaguely thought could be ascertained. Charlotte has been a part of her local cab for 12 years and serves as its chair for the last 5 of those years. She has maintained continuous participation during the covid19 pandemic in voter’s registration drives, patient satisfaction surveys and virtual fund raisers. This staunch passion transcended her local HHH and led her to join NHCHC. She is a member of the Research Committee and participated in webinars, the mobilizer and project for a doctorate student all surrounding the issue of racial equity in healthcare. Ever willing to be a voice for the voiceless, she has volunteered to be a part of the process to facilitate the development of the newly established Advocacy Committee. Her personal development has led her to expand her education earning an A.A. in Human Service Technology and a B.S. in Psychology. She is in her final semester for her Masters in Nonprofit Management with a projected graduation date of May 15, 2021. Charlotte willingly uses all her talents for the cause including her poetic prowess. Her favorite declaration is, “Thanks for the opportunity to serve.”

Kristina Sawyckyj

Regional Representative 9 & 10

Bio to come.

 

Regions for Regional Representatives

 

Peer Mentors

Joseph Benson

Valarie Dowell

Amy Grassette 

 

To contact NCAB’s leaders, please write to ncab@nhchc.org.

 

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