Our new co-chairs have been selected! Please join us in welcoming Senta Leff, Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (representing solutions to homelessness) and Allison Streich, Deputy Director at Carver County CDA (representing affordable housing organizations). Below they have answered a few questions so we can get to know them better!
Who are you?
SL: My name is Senta Leff, and I am the executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. I have worked toward building solutions to housing and economic security, especially for families, for almost 15 years. I am a mom to two beautiful little girls and have a stepson -- all of whom I enjoy watching grow into unique individuals with each passing day. I am also a board member of the Family Housing Fund and hold a degree in Women's Studies from Mills College.
AS: My name is Allison Streich, and I am the Deputy Director for Carver County CDA. I have been with the agency for just under 11 years and the Deputy Director for the past two years. I have worked in the affordable housing industry since graduating from college. During my time at the CDA, I have also served as the Chair for Heading Home Scott Carver, Vice Chair and Co-Chair for Scott Carver Project Community Connect, and Vice Chair for Scott Carver Housing Coalition. I have a 10-year-old son who is in fifth grade, and he is so much fun.
Where do you work, and why do you do what you do?
SL: The Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless is a statewide coalition of 150 nonprofits, faith communities, housing developers, local units of government, and other service providers. Founded in 1984, we serve as a voice for people experiencing homelessness in state and federal policy decision making through advocacy inside the Capitol, outside the Capitol, and in the media. We know that homelessness is solvable and our work is designed to address the root causes of housing instability for all Minnesotans. As an organizer and community leader, I spend a great deal of time reflecting on why I chose this path. I do this work because it is restorative. Growing up, my family accessed public programs, and although I am personally removed from that scarcity now, the pain of poverty is still close to the surface. But it is soothed when I carry the voices and needs and solutions of people still experiencing the problems to our state Capitol and make real progress together. Homelessness isn't a character flaw, it's a math problem. It's one of our most solvable societal ills. And together, we can end it. That's why I do what I do.
AS: I work for Carver County Community Development Agency. The mission of our agency is to provide affordable housing opportunities and foster community and economic development. It is the mission of our agency and the staff at the CDA that make it such a great place to work. During my tenure at the CDA, I have personally seen the impact of our work on the people we help and the communities we serve.
What do you like to do outside of being H4A co-chair?
SL: Spending time with people who make me laugh is a top priority. That includes my children, who I spend nearly all of my free time with. I love to document their growth through photography and journaling. Each one of their ages and stages is precious to me. I also love to travel! I have visited more than 30 countries, mostly in the developing world. I am outside whenever possible - walking in our neighborhood or camping. Lake Superior is one of our favorite places to travel as a family.
AS: In my free time, I love attending concerts. I have been to three already this year and have another one on my radar. I spend most of my free time in the summer at the cabin; wakeboarding, paddleboarding (my new favorite), kayaking and am even thinking about trying wakesurfing next summer. I enjoy reading, and my son and I love to see movies in the movie theater.
Join us in welcoming Allison and Senta to the Homes for All team!