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HYA Staff

Mary Howe – Executive Director (

Karin Adams – Director of Programs (

Ellie Gossman – Outreach Counselor (

Kody Horton – Outreach Counselor (

Michelle Ibarra – Outreach Counselor (

Nyx – Outreach Counselor (

Scout Zorn – Outreach Counselor (

Toivo Ollila – Operations Manager (

Dan Gala – Development Associate (

Meg Fuller – Logistics Coordinator

Mental Health Team

Nancy Mullin, PsyD – On-staff Therapist / Psychologist

Staff Bios

mary howe executive director

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 over 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 – Director of Programs

Karin Adams is an organizer, service provider, and has worked in the field of harm reduction in Northern California for over a decade. Karin has a long and fond history of working with and alongside marginalized communities; centering around the ethos of “There is no such thing as the ‘voiceless’, there are only the deliberately silenced, or preferably unheard” (Arundhati Roy) and ‘Nothing about us, Without us!’. Karin’s personal history and life experience fosters their passion and commitment to this work. At age 17 Karin began distributing safer sex supplies at local punk shows and proceeded to work several years in the field of HIV & HCV prevention. Karin joined the team at Homeless Youth Alliance in San Francisco where they’ve worked for seven years and feels it’s an honor to show up to this work everyday. While frontline work is undoubtedly necessary, Karin also prioritizes their efforts in advocacy around the decriminalization of the poor and addressing systemic inequalities.

Meg Fuller – Logistics Coordinator

Meg came to the Bay Area in 2013 from the Pacific Northwest. As an Outreach Counselor, she is excited to work for an organization that aligns with her belief that all people deserve non-judgmental care and compassion. In her spare time, she can be found hanging out with her dog, nerding out on music, reading and crafting herbal medicine.

Kody Horton – Outreach Counselor

Nyx – Outreach Counselor

Toivo Ollila – Operations Manager

Toivo is from San Francisco and grew up in the Fillmore and Mission neighborhoods. He has worked in community grass roots and harm reduction programs for over 20 years, but his heart has always been with and for the SF kids. He found his dream job at HYA in 2016. He stays up too late making art and music and playing video games.

Dan Gala – Development Associate

Dan grew up in the East Bay and has a wide-ranging background that includes law, finance, real estate, and baseball in addition to non-profit work. At HYA, his role is similarly multifaceted, spanning from grant writing and donor correspondence to coordinating HYA’s meal program and cooking meals. Dan’s favorite part about his work at HYA is interacting with the participants, which he gets to do while serving the Monday meals. His non-HYA gigs include writing legal news and analysis, as well as freelance editing. When not working, Dan is usually riding his bike on the San Francisco Bay Trail, taking timelapse videos of clouds and stars, or playing with his synthesizers.

Nancy Mullin, PsyD

Nancy is a licensed psychologist who has experience providing therapy to folks from a range of backgrounds and in a wide range of settings, including sidewalks, shelters, therapy offices, and drop-ins. As a mental health provider, she is aware that many of the people she meets with have had challenging, even harmful experiences with other therapists and providers. She strives to offer something different. Nancy does this by prioritizing the relationships she has with the people she works with in everything that she does in her role as a therapist and by honoring every person’s right to choose how much they want to share and engage in therapy. Her work is guided by a harm reduction, social justice philosophy that truly seeks to meet people where they are from a stance of non-judgment. In her spare time Nancy likes to hang out with her family and friends, cook and eat, read, and nerd out on rap samples.