Housing Families works to end family homelessness. We provide safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing to homeless and at-risk families. We offer individualized supportive services to enrich children’s lives, nurture the potential of each family member, and help families maintain permanent housing.

Housing Families’ History

In 1986, community members concerned about the crisis of homelessness among families in the Greater Boston cities of Everett, Malden, and Medford created what is now Housing Families Inc. (HFI). HFI’s first shelter, the Broadway Shelter, opened in 1987, providing shelter and case management services for four families.

Since then, HFI has expanded its services to include an academic and therapeutic program for children, youth and adults, which includes after school and summer enrichment components. In addition, HFI operates a nationally recognized eviction prevention program, a housing stabilization program, and has grown into one of the largest operators of affordable housing for homeless and very low-income families in Massachusetts.

Meet Housing Families' Leadership

Laura began working with Housing Families in 2008. Her passion working on housing and homelessness issues began when she worked as a Housing Advocate helping the families in shelter obtain permanent housing. Working at this level enabled her to understand the families’ needs at a deeper level and identify many systemic inefficiencies and inconsistencies tied to subsidized housing which prompted her to become active in advocacy and policy. As part of her role, Laura facilitates a Family Advocacy Group and coordinates the annual Legislative Breakfast to help families get their voices and stories out to the public and advocate for changes to help other homeless families. Laura is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and in her spare time has worked on pro bono Domestic Violence and Special Education projects. She is a board member of Homes for Families, and a member of the Real Estate/Affordable Housing Section of the Boston Bar Association.  Email Laura

Tom began working with Housing Families in 2019. Prior to his role as Director of Property, Tom was an affordable housing consultant to private multifamily owners and developers. Tom has served on numerous housing committees including the Commonwealth’s Special Senate Committee on Housing. Tom’s career in affordable housing began at the Boston Housing Authority where he oversaw the Leased Housing Division which administered all federal and state subsidized housing programs for the City of Boston. From 2007 to 2014, Tom worked for the Department of Transitional Assistance as Director of Cash and Full Engagement with primary responsibility for oversight of the Employment Services Program for TANF families. Tom was responsible for implementation and evaluation of DTA’s employment programs and support services for recipients. Tom is a past president of the National Leased Association. Tom possesses a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts. Email Tom

Raeann is the link between Housing Families and those who love to support it! Raeann is a native Californian and received a BS in Business Administration from Providence College with a focus in organizational leadership. Raeann developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector when she began working in community organizations over 20 years ago. The experience of supporting local organizations gave Raeann a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for our communities; one person at a time. Email Raeann

Kelley began working at Housing Families in 2013 providing support to families through eviction prevention. Since then Kelley has been exposed to many of the agencies programs like advocacy, shelter management and housing operations and compliance. As Housing Families’ Director of Shelter Services, Kelley is ensuring that HFI’s shelter program provides quality services and supports families in finding safe, affordable and permanent housing. Kelley has a BS in Political Science from UMass Lowell and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Email Kelley

Khalilah joined Housing Families full-time in 2018. She holds a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as well as a masters in Intercultural Studies. Her clinical areas of expertise include work with children, adolescents, adults, and families who are trauma survivors. She has experience working with individuals, schools, and communities, and conducts trainings on trauma informed care, homelessness and poverty, leadership, and parenting skills. She is committed to continually working towards diversity and inclusion, and advocates for children and their families to have equitable access to resources such as quality mental healthcare, education, and housing. Email Khalilah

Amanda began working with Housing Families in 2013. She holds a masters in social work and a clinical social work license (LICSW). Her passion is supporting vulnerable populations while working to reform the systems and policies that create the many marginalized people in our country. She trains Housing Families staff and others in the community on Trauma Informed Care, the impact of trauma on the brain and development, and the intersection of poverty and trauma. She is passionate about team building and staff supervision as tools to better serve clients. She is an ardent believer that everyone deserves and needs a home in order to lead a happy and healthy life. She is grateful for the opportunity to work at Housing Families whose mission is to provide just that – a home for everyone.  Email Amanda

Jayna joined Housing Families in 2015 when the Pro Bono Legal Services Program transferred to HFI from another nonprofit agency. Overall, Jayna has been the Coordinating Attorney of the program since 2006 and was promoted to Director in 2019. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jayna earned a JD from Boston College Law School. Before transitioning to legal services, Jayna worked as a mediator in the Public Protection Bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Email Jayna

Seana began working at Housing Families in 2016. Throughout her career she has been committed to helping trauma survivors find a safe space to call home. As a graduate of Salem State University, she comes to Housing Families with experience helping many marginalized groups including families, teens, and refugees experiencing homelessness. In her role as Shelter Program Manager, she strives to provide every family we serve with a safe, supportive environment while they transition to permanent housing. Seana is grateful for the opportunity to work at Housing Families and is inspired everyday by the resiliency of the families we serve. Email Seana

Karen began working at Housing Families in 2017. In her role as Resident Supervisor, Karen is responsible for managing the operations of Housing Families shelter units. This includes unit inspection, shelter staffing and the liaison between internal departments. Karen grew up in Malden and graduated from Malden High School. Her passions include dogs, the Patriots, and the summer! In her spare time, Karen loves to travel and has been all over Europe and the Caribbean Islands. Email Karen

Board of Directors


Dave Barbato, President
President and CEO
Talent Retriever

Dr. Ann Chen Wu, Vice President
Associate Professor
Harvard Medical School

Brian Slater, Treasurer
Vice President, Corporate Banking
East Boston Savings Bank


Kathy Freitas
Director, People Strategies
Bond Brothers

Eli Lipcon
Vice President

Bell Atlantic Corporation (retired)

Kristi Amendolare
Executive Director of Operations
Anchor Line Partners

Noor Hasan
Senior Vice President
Brown Brothers Harriman

Julie Barron
Managing Director
CIBC – Private Wealth Management

Lisa Nickerson
CEO and Founder
Nickerson PR

Chelley Casey
Director, Patient Services
Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Lanre A. Olusekun
Davenport Realty