SOURCE: American Family Housing

American Family Housing

September 14, 2015 15:22 ET

Donna Gallup Brings New Leadership and Bold Vision to American Family Housing

Leading Provider of Housing and Services for the Homeless Looks Toward a Bright Future

MIDWAY CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 14, 2015) -  American Family Housing (AFH) -- a nonprofit organization dedicated to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness -- is proud to report resounding success under the leadership of newly appointed president & CEO, Donna Gallup. Since joining the organization in November 2014, Gallup has helped AFH strengthen its resources and chart a new course to providing assistance to vulnerable populations who continue to struggle with housing instability and the effects of homelessness throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Gallup is a lifelong human services advocate who has tenaciously worked for decades to benefit disadvantaged individuals and communities in California and across the USA. As a recent recipient of the ACLU's Human Rights Advocate award, Gallup possesses a unique and comprehensive understanding of the issues affecting the homeless population, and believes -- without a doubt -- there can be an end to this problem that has permeated every sector of society, regardless of race, class or religion.

"Homelessness has become a plague in America," says Gallup, who is newly responsible for the vision, programmatic and financial strategies of the 30-year-old organization. "Though it's understandable why people feel overwhelmed by the problem and choose to accept it as a fact of life, it doesn't have to be that way. Utah is well on its way to eradicating homelessness, as are major cities like Phoenix, New Orleans and Austin, Texas. If they can do it, we most certainly can too."

Growing exponentially from its deep-seeded roots established in 1985, AFH and a dedicated full-time staff of 28 provides housing and related services to more than 1,300 men, women and children across three counties -- with few government subsidies -- in 2014. Looking toward the future with a bold new vision, Gallup and the AFH staff are moving ahead quickly with plans for assisting more communities and municipalities with innovative and high-quality housing alternatives and related programs, particularly for the chronically ill and veterans of war.

Serving as a boutique developer with strategic planning involving input from local communities, AFH is soon to break ground on a first-of-its-kind multifamily housing project in Midway City, called Potter's Lane. Estimated for completion in 2016, the energy-efficient and sustainable housing site for chronically homeless with a set aside for veterans will include beautifully modified steel structures complimented by unique landscaping, gardens and outdoor spaces suited to meet the requirements and needs of the surrounding environments.

With a "harm reduction and housing first" approach, AFH -- like the state of Utah -- aims to end homelessness in Southern California by giving everyone, regardless of their current circumstances, a fair chance for housing stability and a better way of life.

"Numerous studies have shown that it costs cities, counties and states less taxpayer money to provide the homeless with a safe place to live than it does to leave them on the streets," adds Gallup who, prior to joining AFH served as CEO of the LAMP Community located on Skid Row in Los Angeles. "That's why our doors are open to all -- whether they are clean and sober or still facing the challenges of addiction, abuse, physical disabilities or mental illness. Once we have them safely housed, we then provide specialized related services based on individual needs to help them achieve self-sufficiency and become contributing members of their communities."

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ABOUT DONNA GALLUP: Donna Gallup, M.S.W., L.S.W., is president & CEO of American Family Housing and a lifelong human services advocate who has tenaciously worked to benefit disadvantaged individuals and communities. With decades of experience in housing and community development, fundraising and social services, Donna possesses a unique and comprehensive understanding of the issues affecting the homeless population in California and across the USA. A New Jersey native, Donna holds a master's degree in social work from New York University and has worked extensively with special needs populations, including the homeless, adults with mental illness, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, vulnerable families, and persons living with the challenges of addiction. Within the last decade alone, she has helped secure over $21 million for property acquisition and rehabilitation, operations, and services to develop supportive housing for the homeless and mentally ill. Prior to joining AFH, Donna served as CEO of the LAMP Community located on Skid Row in Los Angeles and in December 2013, the ACLU SoCal honored her at its Bill of Rights Dinner with the Human Rights Advocate award.

ABOUT AMERICAN FAMILY HOUSING: Founded in 1985, American Family Housing (AFH) is a nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of housing and a broad spectrum of services to vulnerable populations facing barriers to achieving housing stability, including war veterans and adults with disabilities and mental illness. Operating 63 housing sites, with 267 units that serve more than 1,000 unduplicated adults and children each year in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, AFH is committed to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness, helping low-income families and adults achieve a self-sustaining way of life and become active members of their communities.

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