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Staff

HYA Staff

Mary Howe – Executive Director

Rose Sargent – Program Manager

Karin Adams – Program Manager

Erick Salazar – Outreach Counselor

Meg Fuller – Outreach Counselor

Micah Jorgenson – Outreach Counselor

Mark Nystrom – Outreach Counselor

Toivo Ollila – Operations Manager

Dan Gala – Development Associate

Mental Health Team

Maurice Byrd, LMFT

Jason Brown, LCSW

 

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.

mary@homelessyouthalliance.org

Erick Salazar – Outreach Counselor

Erick is an Outreach Counselor at HYA who is committed to the organizations goals working with youth and harm reduction. He moved to the bay from L.A and has worked with the homeless and queer community in the bay area. Erick enjoys volunteering, creating art, Chicano punk, pre- Columbian/Meso-American art and social justice.

erick@homelessyouthalliance.org

Meg Fuller – Outreach Counselor

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. 

meg@homelessyouthalliance.org

Karin Adams – Program Manager

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.

karin@homelessyouthalliance.org

Micah Jorgenson – Outreach Counselor

Micah started as a case manager at HYA in 2019. They are a chihuahua enthusiast, who is originally from Texas, but have been living in the Bay Area for the last five years. They discovered a love for case management while working at housing organizations in Oakland. Working with youth has been a constant in their professional life. They say they are grateful to be at HYA, where they believe that harm reduction is a foundational and thoughtfully implemented model of care. In their spare time they enjoy leash training cats and eating breakfast tacos.

micah@homelessyouthalliance.org

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.

toivo@homelessyouthalliance.org

Maurice Byrd, LMFT

Maurice Byrd, LMFT, is a staff therapist with the Harm Reduction Therapy Center, where he provides mental health services in community programs and private practice. He is a graduate with an MS in Counseling Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy focus. He is also a Certified Anger Management Facilitator. Since beginning his work in community-based organizations as a counselor and intensive case manager in 2004, he has facilitated groups focusing on a variety of topics, including anger management, substance use, and harm reduction. He has worked with a diverse range of populations including adolescents, families, people court-mandated to treatment, the dually and multiply-diagnosed, homeless adolescents and adults, veterans, and violent offenders. Maurice is a San Francisco native who grew up in the Lower Haight/Western Addition area, and he has a great familiarity with and perspective on the homeless youth culture of the Haight Ashbury.

mauricebyrd@harmreductiontherapy.org

Jason Brown, LCSW

Jason is a staff therapist with the Harm Reduction Therapy Center.  He offers therapy and support to HYA clients and multiple community programs in San Francisco.  Jason uses a relational and collaborative approach and has ten years of experience working with diverse populations including transition age youth in extended foster care, individuals with severe mental health issues, teenagers and homeless adults in San Francisco and the East Bay.  Jason also has years of experience working with the LGBT community and is happy to support clients in accessing gender-affirming surgeries and healthcare.

jasonbrown@harmreductiontherapy.org