A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Debbie Reznick

Senior Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation

Funders Together Board Member

debbie_reznick_sized.jpgDebbie is a senior program officer at the Polk Bros. Foundation, a private foundation making grants of $25 million per year in support of social service, education, and cultural programs that impact children, youth, and families in Chicago. Debbie has worked in the Chicago not-for-profit community for more than 20 years on issues related to social justice and civil rights. During her 11 years at the Polk Bros. Foundation, she has focused primarily on issues related to homelessness and housing.

Debbie has been an active member of numerous boards and committees that helped establish and implement the city’s policies to address homelessness. She was a founding board member of Chicago’s Continuum of Care, which developed the city’s first plan to end homelessness and she currently serves on the executive committee of Chicago’s Planning Council on Homelessness. Debbie is an advocate for the acceptance and incorporation of harm reduction strategies into housing and services delivery.

 

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation


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