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

Local Learning: The Wisdom of Youth: Equity Centered Solutions to Prevent Youth Homelessness

Adolescence and young adulthood are critical developmental times in a person’s life, and experiencing housing instability and homelessness at this stage can have lifelong negative impacts. Many adults who experience chronic homelessness first became homeless under the age of 25. When housing becomes unstable or young people first experience homelessness, early interventions tailored to their unique needs –particularly for young people of color and LGBTQ youth – lead to equitable opportunities to thrive.

Youth homelessness is preventable, and prevention requires better coordination and resources for multiple systems and programs including behavioral and physical health, child welfare, education, employment, housing, justice, and outreach. It also requires prioritizing racial and LGBTQ equity and centering those with lived expertise in the creation of solutions and programs. How are communities in the Bay Area drawing on research, engaging with young adults to understand the challenges they face, and taking action together to ensure all young people have the best possible start in life?

Join NCG and Funders Together to End Homelessness to hear what youth with lived expertise and research tell us about how to prevent and end youth homelessness, learn about innovative projects to prevent Bay Area youth from experiencing homelessness and support their transition to adulthood, and understand how philanthropy can play a role to advance solutions by committing to racial and LGBTQ equity.


Amanda Andere, Chief Executive Officer, Funders Together to End Homelessness

Amanda Andere has spent over fifteen years working in the nonprofit and public sector as a leader committed to racial equity, social justice, and housing affordability through advocacy for systemic change.

Prior to joining Funders Together to End Homelessness as their CEO, she served as the CEO of Wider Opportunities for Women, a national advocacy organization. Currently, she serves as a board member of the United Philanthropy Forum, the James Madison Political Science Alumni and Co-Chair of A Way Home America, a national movement to end youth homelessness. She is also a member of the steering committee for The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding. Previously she served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University teaching Nonprofit Management, Executive Director of FACETS, and Vice President of Cornerstones; who have similar missions of preventing and ending homelessness and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director, Larkin Street Youth Services

For nearly 30 years, Sherilyn Adams has dedicated her career to the non-profit sector, focusing on issues of child abuse and neglect, family violence, mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. The first member of her family to attend college, Sherilyn’s early life was touched by violence, mental illness and substance abuse. Despite these early challenges, the presence of positive adult role models and mentors put her on a pathway to college and career success. This personal history is part of what drives her to be a catalyst for change in the lives of at-risk populations.

Before joining Larkin Street Youth Services in 2003, Sherilyn’s professional career spanned a variety of non-profits, including child sexual abuse treatment, a domestic violence shelter, adolescent outpatient programs and residential treatment for adults. She worked for family and probate court and served as both a domestic violence and rape crisis counselor. Addressing the impacts of violence and trauma is a consistent theme throughout her career, and the diversity of venues through which she’s done this work offers a unique perspective on programs, systems and services. Sherilyn’s experience enables her to attack entrenched problems from all angles, and her commitment to evidence-based, replicable service models is helping elevate the field.

Darnell Cadette, Community Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Darnell Cadette is a Manager on the Community Team at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) where he leads the organizations grant making portfolio supporting children, youth and families experiencing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CZI in 2015, Darnell worked at Teach Plus as the Washington D.C. Program Manager for the T3 Initiative, elevating the voices and supporting the leadership development of teachers in the D.C. Public Schools. Prior to TeachPlus, Darnell worked across the D.C. Metro Area managing a portfolio of community engagement and communications efforts for education non-profits and school districts. Darnell holds an MPP in Education Policy and a BA in Political Science from the George Washington University. A first generation, Caribbean American immigrant, Darnell is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and currently lives in San Francisco, CA.

Matthew Morton, Research Fellow, Chapin Hall

Dr. Morton has expertise in youth development, youth homelessness, evaluation of complex interventions, and evidence-based practice. He currently leads the youth homelessness agenda at Chapin Hall. Morton is Principal Investigator for Voices of Youth Count, a national research and policy initiative focused on building evidence to support action on ending youth homelessness, and the Youth Outcomes Project, an effort to improve outcomes and measurement across multiple domains in systems, services, and research related to youth homelessness. As a consultant to the World Bank, he is also involved in policy research and evaluation activities related to youth and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan and India.

Morton has worked as an advisor in the U.S. Administration for Children and Families and was a key contributor to the development of the U.S. Government’s national strategy to end youth homelessness and efforts on addressing child trauma. He has also worked on youth, poverty, gender, and labor programs and policy as an Economist and Social Protection Specialist at the World Bank. Morton’s additional prior work experience includes teaching graduate-level courses at the University of Oxford, consulting for the European Commission and other organizations on policy evaluation, and serving as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate and as a Policy Fellow at the Eckerd Family Foundation.

Morton holds a PhD and Master of Science in Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluations from the University of Oxford, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Stetson University.

Attakai Yazzie, Co-Chair, Youth Advisory Board

The Youth Advisory Board, a program of Larkin Street Youth Services, is a cohort of Larkin Street youth clients, working with a staff ally, to affect policy change at Larkin Street and in the broader community.

Target Audience

This event is open to NCG members, non-member funders, and members of FTEH. 

To Register

If you'd like to register for this event, please visit this page.

January 13, 2020 at 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear St
Suite 360
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
Google map and directions
Krystle Chipman ·

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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