Meet Housing Families’ Management Team

Photo courtesy of Paul Hammersley

Laura Rosi – Interim CEO, Director of Advocacy and Homelessness Prevention

Laura Rosi 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. Currently, Laura is the Director of Advocacy and Homelessness Prevention. As part of her role, she 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. Laura can be reached at



Cheryl Williams – COO

For nearly 30 years, Cheryl Williams has worked in leadership positions for mission-driven non-profit educational organizations in Massachusetts and the Northeast, including as the President of her own consultant firm, and as both a Director of Professional Development and Professional Learning Manager at WestEd.  She has learned about homelessness working with underserved school populations, which drew her to the Housing Families mission to end homelessness. Cheryl has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from George Mason University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and is certified in Myers-Briggs, DiSC Assessment, Covey trainings and Lominger Competencies. Cheryl is an avid tennis fan and member of a chorus of 200 women called “Voices from the Heart”. Cheryl can be reached at


Barbara E. Schwartz – Director of GREAT Youth & Families Program

In 1990, shortly after graduating from Lesley University with a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology, Barbara Schwartz joined the Housing Families team as a Counselor/Family Life Advocate. After 9 years of working with families living in the shelter, she was asked to run the Children’s Program, now the GREAT Youth and Families Program. Barbara has expanded the program from its beginnings to a full-time program with six full-time staff, ten graduate school interns, and over 100 volunteers. In 2004, Barbara received the Sue Heilman Award for Excellence from Horizons for Homeless Children. From 2005 to 2007, she also taught at Lesley University as an adjunct professor. Barbara is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and has a private practice counseling children, adolescents, and adults.Barbara’s areas of expertise are art and play therapy for children, counseling children and adults with a history of trauma and loss, leading groups and staff trainings as well as employee supervision. She strives to create an atmosphere that creates safety and caring in order for clients and staff to learn and grow. Barbara can be reached at