This site requires flash. To view Homeless Youth Alliance as intended please revisit this web page with a desktop web browser that has the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed.
Mary Howe, Executive Director
Mary is a formerly homeless youth who has dedicated her career to developing and implementing interventions that empower young people to improve their own lives and those of their peers, and to addressing the structural causes of poverty and homelessness. Mary assumed leadership of HYA in 2006 when two longstanding grassroots programs—Haight Ashbury Youth Outreach Team and San Francisco Needle Exchange—ended their affiliation with Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc. and merged to form a single organization under the name "Homeless Youth Alliance." Mary secured fiscal sponsorship for the newly created HYA and spearheaded its consolidation and growth. She brings nearly ten years' experience in direct service and outreach with marginalized and underserved populations. With each successive position she has held, she has been increasingly responsible for managerial, administrative, and supervisory duties, while still maintaining a hands-on approach to day-to-day operations. Prior to serving as Executive Director of HYA, Mary was an outreach worker and later the Center Manager for Haight Ashbury Youth Outreach Team, Program Coordinator for San Francisco Needle Exchange, and Trainer for the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project of the City and County of San Francisco. She is the recipient of a 2009 Bay Area Unsung Hero Award from KQED Northern California.
Karin Adams, Program Coordinator
Karin Adams, HYA’s Program Coordinator, has a history of working with harm reduction, including four years at a drug and alcohol treatment center where she provided HIV and hepatitis C prevention services to youth. After a year as a health worker at a women’s health clinic in Santa Rosa, Karin decided to relocate to San Francisco, and we’re glad she did! As Program Coordinator, Karin supports the Executive Director and Outreach Counselors by filling in the cracks, providing opportunities for staff development, and making sure everything HYA does is done well. She is grateful to work in an environment that allows participants to grow and develop according to their own character and experience, rather than trying to return them to the status quo. In her free time, Karin takes hip hop dance classes and is an aspiring DJ.
Jennifer Cowles, Outreach Counselor
Jennifer Cowles used HYA as a support structure to move from participant in HYA's services to superstar Outreach Coordinator. Born and raised in San Francisco, she has a deep understanding of and affection for HYA's target population. Jenn leads the weekly Health Group in addition to her regular duties as an Outreach Counselor. In her free time, she is working toward her B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, with plans to get her master's and continue working with marginalized populations. Since she still hasn't learned how to drive, Jenn skateboards everywhere she goes and tries not to fall down too much...to varying levels of success.
Clay Hartmann, Outreach Counselor
Our newest Outreach Counselor, Clay Hartmann brings nearly eight years of experience working with homeless youth, including three years spent working with drop-in populations. He really values HYA's emphasis on relationships and equality, and enjoys working in an environment so steeped in respect. He is our second male staff person, and so has released Kyle of many of his testosterone-based duties, including running the weekly Dude Group. Clay is an enthusiastic biker and has been spotted at the occasional renaissance fair, although we won't hold that against him.
Kyle House, Outreach Counselor
Kyle House joined the HYA team as an Outreach Counselor in 2008; before that, he was a member of the population that HYA works with, and so brings his personal experience and understanding to his job. His endless patience and sense of humor sustain his work with HYA's participants, which includes providing and tracking case management and referrals; helping to run the weekly Zine Group; providing support and advice to drop-in participants; and serving as HYA's equivalent of a Walmart greeter. His love for HYA runs deep, and he values HYA's commitment to harm reduction in its truest form as well as its practice of hiring within its own community. Kyle balances the chaos of HYA with his own practices of yoga, meditation, music, and art.
Khristine Jones, Outreach Counselor
A former participant of HYA, Khristine Jones began volunteering at the needle exchange in 2005 after transitioning off the streets. Khristine evolved into a superstar outreach counselor in 2007, dedicated to the cause of empowering homeless youth. Working at HYA allows her to take part in the community she loves so much and to give back by being a positive force in the lives of the youth we work with. Her favorite projects include needle exchange, the weekly art and writing group and overdose prevention trainings. Her sidekick, a mischievous Rottweiler named Tonka, is a fixture at our drop-in and helps her run important errands around town.
Alli Reed, Development Director
Alli Reed joined the HYA staff in 2010 with years of experience raising money for nonprofits with focuses on food and economic justice. She began fundraising as an intern working under Van Jones with the nonprofit Green For All; since then, she wrote grants, planned events, and cultivated donors for several student-based nonprofits, including United Students for Fair Trade, the Real Food Challenge, and the Berkeley Student Food Collective, which she co-founded. She is passionate about social and economic justice and finds development work uniquely fulfilling. She is grateful for the opportunity to explore a new facet of do-goodery by working with the amazing staff and participants at Homeless Youth Alliance, and she hopes she can repay their unconditional kindness and warmth with cold, hard cash.
Colleen Rivecca, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
Colleen Rivecca received her MSW with a concentration in advocacy and community organizing from CUNY Hunter College School of Social Work. She has done community organizing work in Brooklyn, New York and has worked with HIV + homeless and marginally housed people in New York City. Colleen moved to San Francisco in 2005. In San Francisco, she has worked on local and state level policy issues related to homelessness, hunger, health care (including mental health and substance abuse treatment issues) and the civil rights of homeless and low-income people. In her role at HYA, Colleen has helped develop community education tools to help the Haight neighborhood and the greater San Francisco community understand issues of homelessness and service needs among youth in the Haight. In working to defeat San Francisco's proposed sit-lie law, Colleen helped SF lawmakers, Haight residents, other social service providers, and members of the business community to understand the negative effects of such a law on HYA program participants.
Masa Fisher, MD. “Dr. Masa’s” specialty is harm-reduction psychiatry. He is a San Francisco native and often expresses how happy he is to be able to be “helping the community I grew up in.” Dr. Masa works with participants one on one and in the group setting. He is often instrumental in getting a participant placed in housing and he is a tireless advocate for the homeless youth of our community. Dr. Masa brings many years of experience in public health and serving the mental health of homeless people. He was awarded the “Outstanding Chief Resident” award, from San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency in 2005 and continues to garner praise and recognition from the psychiatric and public health communities. His presence at HYA has brought a noticeably higher level of crisis intervention, mental health care, and effectiveness. We feel very fortunate to have him on board.
Jen Plummer, Psy.D. Jen has an extensive professional and volunteer history among the harm-reduction service providers of the bay area. She has 16 years of experience working in community mental health and has been a therapist at HYA since 2007. Jen is an invaluable resource due to her knowledge of San Francisco social service programs. Jen is a candidate in the doctoral program at The Wright Institute, Berkeley and provides harm-reduction counseling at multiple service agencies. Therapist Jen has a keen and intuitive understanding of the population we work with and she often acts as the coordinator and liaison of our Mental Health Team. Jen is originally from the Midwest, has a keen eye for antiques, and says that she “feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the youth at HYA.”
Justin Castello, Psy.D. Candidate, was born and raised in the central bay area. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz and is happy to be living in San Francisco. He is currently in a Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the California School of Processional Psychology and is a psychotherapist with the Harm Reduction Therapy Center. Justin has provided counseling services for several years in a variety of settings including, a Santa Cruz residential housing program, an east Oakland charter school and, a community program site in the tenderloin (where he offered low threshold psychotherapy to homeless and marginally housed clients diagnosed with HIV and severe trauma as well as other mental health and substance use issues). He offers individual drop-in and by appointment harm reduction psychotherapy to the clients of HYA 2 days a week and co-facilitates group with HYA outreach staff. Justin says, “I feel very lucky and glad to be working with members of the HYA community. I’m constantly amazed by their great reliability, resourcefulness and passion and am honored to collaborate with them on whatever issues they wish to address!”
PO Box 170427 San Francisco, CA 94117
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LINE
OUTREACH COUNSELORS LINE
STREET ADDRESS FOR DROP IN
1696 Haight Street
STREET ADDRESS FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGE
584 Cole Street