Meet Housing Families’ Management Team

Ed Cameron - CEO

With over twenty-nine years of experience in the nonprofit and government sectors, Ed Cameron joined Housing Families in January of 2017. Ed brings a wealth of knowledge and experience around issues of homelessness from his time at Horizons for Homeless Children, the Pine Street Inn homeless shelter, and most recently at Community Teamwork in Lowell, where Ed worked for eleven years. His work in government includes time with Mayor Tom Menino in the City of Boston’s Emergency Shelter Commission and a position as a City Councilor in Newburyport, which he holds to this day. Ed has a Master’s in Business Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Clark University in Worcester. A Massachusetts native, Ed grew up in Bridgewater and lives with his wife Susanne and daughters Anna and Lucy in Newburyport. Ed can be reached at

Joan Sinner - Director of Shelter, Stabilization & Eviction Prevention

Joan Sinner moved to Massachusetts in 2004 and began working with Housing Families as the Congregate Shelter Director. Since then several programs have been added to her oversight, including the emergency sheltereviction prevention and stabilization programs. Joan specializes in developing and strengthening programs. She does this by creating effective and efficient systems, providing staff skills trainings, and collaborating to create high performance expectations. Prior to arriving in Massachusetts, Joan worked in Philadelphia for two-and-a-half years as the Clinical Supervisor of a Transitional Housing Program. Joan began her career in Minneapolis and consistently worked in the non-profit sector for 14 years. Her work focused on various issues including: homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, mental illness, trauma, poverty, and healthcare. Joan has worked in social services agencies, psychiatric hospitals, community organizing agencies, restorative justice communities, and political advocacy groups. A graduate of Metropolitan State University, Joan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with concentrations in race relations and class systems. She has had specialized trainings in Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Joan can be reached at

Brian Keefe - Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer

A native of Massachusetts, Brian Keefe, joined Housing Families (HFI) as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer in 2016. Prior to coming to HFI, Brian most recently worked as the Finance and Accounting Manager for the non-profit Lazarus House in Lawrence, Massachusetts for four years. As the CFO/COO, Brian ensures that all recruitment, hiring, orientation, training, and performance management is done in a way that is consistent with our values. He also oversees all financial and operational activities. Most of Brian’s work experience has been with for-profit companies, including Ryder, DHL, Timberland, TJX and General Electric. Brian earned his Bachelor of Arts at Merrimack College and Masters of Finance at University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He also completed a Financial Management Program at General Electric. Brian can be contacted at

Ada Peña - Director of Permanent Housing & Property Services

Ada Peña has over 15 years experience managing properties in Massachusetts. Starting in 1999, Ada worked as an Area Manager supervising daily operations of 1,400 units, monitoring daily and long term maintenance programs as well as supervising all Permanent Property staff, inspecting facilities, and creating budgets for all the developments within the portfolio.After a year of self employment as a Real Estate Assessment Center Inspector, Ada moved her career along by becoming District Manager for a property company responsible for seven inner-city developments encompassing about 300 units. As a District Manager, Ada managed a staff of 30 site managers and maintenance personel while developing and maintaining positive tenant relations.Since joining Housing Families in 2005, Ada has helped to expand the inventory of safe affordable housing offered by Housing Families. She ensures that Housing Families is adhering to all subsidized housing programs rules and regulations. She also assists both our tenants and our case managers in preventing evictions while promoting self sufficiency and resident responsibility. Ada 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—offering part-time services with no additional staff—to a full-time program with three full time staff, one part time staff, six graduate school interns, and over 70 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