The Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness Board

The Board of Directors is the fiduciary body charged with steering the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.

David Smoot

Chair

David L. Smoot PhD serves as Chair of the Board for the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness.  He was active in developing the Oak City Outreach Center and in planning the Oak City Center Multi-Service Center. David became active with the Partnership through efforts of downtown churches to engage more effectively with those who are experiencing homelessness. He has been the Missions Chair and Administrative Board Chair for Edenton St UMC. David draws on his experience as a Child & Family Psychologist in working with those without homes and with service providers. He trained at Ohio University, Penn State, and Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in DC before coming to Raleigh in 1988. Smoot also has served the NC Psychological Association as the Legislative Chair, Federal Advocacy Coordinator, and President. He and his wife, Beth, who co-founded The Green Chair Project, raised two children in Raleigh.

Why he serves: The first and last answer for me is the people. Several years ago, I became friends with people living on the street and it was a great awakening for me to discover how strong our friendship could become. Later, I met some of the most amazing people who day in and day out serve these friends and I knew I wanted to be part of the solution to homelessness. In the middle of those two reasons, my faith and my thirst for more effective ways to see everyone have a home compel me to be part of the Partnership to End Homelessness.

Kim Lawyer – Vice Chair

Kim is the Engagement Manager for the Apartment Association of North Carolina. Her focus is on member engagement through committee volunteers, communication outlets, and the annual conference. She has been working in Association Management since February 2012 but her nonprofit experience began even earlier while still in college at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). Her association background consists of meeting and event planning as well as internal operations. She is an active volunteer with both the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She helped launch AENC’s young professionals network, FUEL, and served as the committee Chair in 2015-2016.

Why she serves:

“My passion is helping other people and building community. Being involved with the Partnership allows me to make a difference in the community I live and work in, and help be a part of the solution to end homelessness.”

Danielle Butler

Danielle Butler has served as the Executive Director of Family Promise of Wake County since December 2015. Prior to this, she was Director of Crisis & Homeless Services at a nonprofit that addressed youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Within both organizations, Danielle has managed and provided oversight of programs including shelter, day shelter, outreach, aftercare, transitional housing, rapid re-housing and permanent housing. She obtained a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate of Non-Profit Management from the University of North Carolina Greensboro in May 2013. Danielle presently sits on the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness Board. She previously sat on the National Advisory Board for the Runaway & Homeless Youth Training & Technical Assistance Center managed by National Safe Place.

Tracy Freeman

Tracy is the Planning Room Supervisor of Healing Transitions at the Women’s Campus (formerly The Healing Place of Wake County). She has served in that role since May of 2014 and does so to provide hope to men and women who are homeless and suffer from substance and alcohol use disorders. She currently attends Wake Technical Community College to obtain her credentials as a Substance Abuse Counselor. Her hopes are to be able to provide valuable education, hope and encouragement to the homeless population that she serves.

Why she serves: 

My love and passion is helping others especially individuals who suffer from homelessness as I have had my own experience with it. I serve because I want to be part of a solution that benefits the community as a whole.

Wendy Gantt

Wendy Gantt is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has lived in Raleigh most of her life.  Wendy has worked in the field of behavioral health for 27 years.  She attained her BA in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1988 and her Master’s degree in Agency Counseling from NCCU in 1996.  A primary focus and area of interest clinically is young child mental health and attachment.  Wendy began her early career as an educator and focused on young children with behavioral disorders.

Wendy has worked for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare since it became a MCO in 2012.  In previous years she has worked on grants focusing on early childhood mental health, early intervention services, integrated child mental health in pediatric practices, and has worked in the field of elementary education and preschool special education.

Wendy lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, two dogs, and cat.  She loves to craft and is a big UNC basketball fan.

Why she serves:

This would be an opportunity to have a continued presence for Alliance Health to be a member of the Partnership Board.  Serving on the Board would allow Alliance Health to have a positive impact on housing and homeless issue needs in Wake County, and creates a portal for information on the work that the Partnership is doing to be easily shared with the efforts that Alliance is making with their housing programs.

I feel that housing is a Social Determinant of Health that can build a foundation for a family or individual, so that they can build on other strengths and needs.  Finding ways to meet someone’s most basic needs is crucial before any type of interventions or supports can move beyond a state of crisis.

Maddie Horner

Ofc Horner has worked with the Raleigh Police department for over 12 years. She has a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University, and a Master’s in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Cappella University.  She has served on the PEH board for one year and very much enjoys her time working with at risk populations. 

Why she serves:

I serve because I believe we can make the world a better place for all it’s inhabitants.

Paige Jacob

Paige gained her earliest experience as a writer and editor in her role with a custom magazine publishing company in Raleigh. She worked with a team to produce magazines for regional hospitals and wrote health articles to meet the various marketing needs for each hospital. 

As her children grew, Paige worked for several years as a teacher’s assistant within Wake County Schools. Her experiences at the elementary school level opened her eyes to various issues children and their families face in our area.

Why she serves:

“I read a news story about homeless families and the struggles they face. The headline stated 40 percent of Americans are one paycheck away from poverty. That shocking reality brings the extent of homelessness and those struggling with poverty front and center for me. I want to make more of an impact on my community by helping find solutions for those with housing insecurities. I understand how one set-back can put things in motion that makes it difficult for people to recover and also how easily they can find themselves displaced. As this issue continues to grow, it is crucial to find real solutions.”

Lorena McDowell

Director, Department of Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Wake County Government. Lorena currently leads Wake County’s Department of Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization. Before accepting this position, she served as Vice President of Programs for Northern Virginia Family Service, a nonprofit organization that works to empower Northern Virginians to achieve self-sufficiency through its resources and services. Lorena has also served as a Continuum of Care lead in Atlanta, GA. Working under then Mayor Kasim Reed as a Deputy Director, she was responsible for managing, planning and/or advising on approximately $32 million in state, federal and local funding dedicated to providing housing and supportive services for residents experiencing homelessness. Lorena also led Lorena McDowell Consulting, LLC – a firm dedicated to helping government and nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, best practice program development and training as well as funding acquisition.

Why she serves:

I believe that safe, affordable and healthy housing should be a fundamental right for all and I know that it will take collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors to make this a reality. For this reason, I will continue to vie for a seat at each of those tables and will always offer up a space at mine.

Peter Morris

MD MPH MDiv

Dr. Morris moved to North Carolina to attend medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Morris practices pediatrics, public health and preventive medicine as a hospitalist and medical director for over 25 years for Wake County (Raleigh and surrounding area) Human Services Agency.  Dr. Morris now serves as the executive director of Urban Ministries of Wake County.

Why he serves:

Rather than “do for” or “do to” or even “do with,” he believes it is more important to “be for” our neighbors – to be for them in crisis, in health, and in opportunity, with service and advocacy. He prefers to serve not clients, but neighbors with hospitality; not consumers in a food pantry, but shoppers in a self-serve client-choice nutrition program; not residents, but guests in the Helen Wright Center for homeless women; and not see patients, but partners in health in the Open Door Clinic.

Michelle Mozingo

Michelle Mozingo serves as the McKinney-Vento District Liaison for Wake County Public Schools. She is responsible for ensuring the local school system identifies, serves and supports students experiencing homelessness. She is a licensed School Social Worker who continues to increase awareness of the challenges of families in transition, address their needs through collaboration, and learn how families can improve connections to services.

Why she serves: 

She believes that collaboration between education and the Partnership provides the potential for the comprehensive and coordinated provision of services that meet the needs of families in transition to provide pathways out of homelessness.

John Niffenegger

John Niffenegger is a Senior Planner for the City of Raleigh Department of Housing & Neighborhoods, Community Development Division. The focus of his work is affordable housing and homelessness.

Why he serves:

I represent the City of Raleigh on matters pertaining to homelessness and homelessness service delivery. I also believe that everyone deserves access to a safe and decent place to call home, and The Partnership plays a vital role in helping ensure that no Wake County resident will go without.

Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson, a North Carolina native, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care Center. Nicole joined the Durham VA after obtaining a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Sociology. Nicole obtained a Masters in Social Work in 2010 and has focused her career solely on serving our Nation’s Veterans. Nicole currently serves at Grant and Per Diem Liaison, which includes working with local non-profit organizations that provide transitional housing services for Veterans.

Why she serves:

While serving on the Board, she desires to continue to work towards the goal of ending Veteran’s homelessness.

Rachel Pohlman

Rachel Pohlman serves as the Nutrition Director at the Poe Center for Health Education. Rachel is a registered and licensed dietitian (RD, LDN). Rachel started her career teaching environmental education. After working at a school in Zimbabwe in the 1990’s, Rachel switched her focus to public health. Rachel is passionate about improving the health of communities by empowering individuals with knowledge and pairing knowledge with policy and environmental changes to make it easier to practice behaviors that support health. Rachel currently serves on many coalitions working to improve access to healthy foods and safe places to be active. This includes serving as the co-liason for the NC State Nutrition Action Coalition.

Why she serves:

My passion is to create change on a community level so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Serving on the board will allow for meaningful collaboration to best serve the needs of the community.