Crucial to the success of Community Housing Partnership are the more than 200 dedicated staff members who work for CHP. Our staff members bring a wide variety of experience and a high level of commitment to our mission to their work. We pride ourselves on learning from the insight and talents of formerly homeless people, and to that end, hire extensively from the community we serve. Many of our staff graduated from our job training programs.
- Gail Gilman
- Eric Fischer
- Cheyenne Purrington
- Christy Saxton
- Laurie Bernstein
- Paul Fox
- Anat Leonard
- Kani Lin
- Jocelyn Michelsen
- Dara Papo
- David Schnur
- James Tracy
Gail Gilman, Chief Executive Officer.
With over 25 years of non-profit experience, Chief Executive Officer Gail Gilman joined Community Housing Partnership in 2002 and became the CEO in 2010. Ms. Gilman is spearheading the local and national conversation on shifting success measurements and outcomes in supportive housing, in addition to creating a housing ladder, thus moving towards a housing equity framework. Gail holds a Master of Non-Profit Administration from University of San Francisco and has been extensively involved in regional and national public policy efforts, including most recently as Co-Chair numerous ballot initiatives from a housing bond to revenue measures for homelessness. Gail has served on numerous housing and homeless taskforces, and presently serves on the board of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and is a City & County of San Francisco Department of Building Inspection Commissioner. Gail enjoys the outdoors, the Napa Valley, good food and strives to make an impact.
Eric Fischer, Chief Financial Officer.
Eric brings over 20 years of experience in working with community-based, non-profit organizations in the areas of strategic financial & accounting management, organizational and fund development, and technology and human resource management. Most recently Eric worked as the CFO for Homeward Bound of Marin, the primary provider of housing and supportive services for the homeless in Marin County. Eric holds bachelors’ degrees in accounting and decision & information sciences from Santa Clara University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and certified executive coach. An advocate for ending homelessness everywhere, Eric is the father of three children, an avid photographer, and an aspiring Latin jazz percussionist.
Cheyenne Purrington, Chief Portfolio Officer.
Cheyenne supports high performance in teams serving vulnerable people and communities. She has over 10 years experience in market rate, affordable, and supportive housing contexts and maintains multiple housing management certifications including LEED AP (O+M). As Chief Portfolio Officer, Cheyenne oversees Property Management and Asset Management functions. From 2014-15, she served as Strategic Initiatives Manager for CHP, working closely with executive and department leadership teams to lead major strategic projects. She returns to CHP after a year consulting for various housing organizations providing strategic guidance and technical assistance on supportive settings and unconventional housing strategies. Prior to joining CHP, Cheyenne represented Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), supervising 1,000+ supportive housing units in San Francisco. Cheyenne holds a BA in Economics and American Studies from Mills College and serves as Vice President on Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB)'s Board of Directors.
Christy Saxton, Chief Programs Officer.
Christy has nearly 20 years dedicated in working with disadvantaged populations. She most recently was the Director of Contracts and Partnerships at First Place for Youth in Oakland, CA. Christy came to First Place in August 2006. The tenure of her employment was in direct programming where she was initially a Program Manager and was subsequently promoted throughout the years to her current position of Director of Contracts and Partnerships. She helped grow core programming from serving 85 youth annually to over 430 youth annually in core programming. She helped First Place expand from working in two counties to now serving youth in five Bay Area counties and in Los Angeles. She was previously the Program Director at Juma Ventures where she oversaw all employment, educational, case management, and youth financial literacy programming. Christy was an integral component to conceptualizing and delivering a new program to Juma and its youth. Prior to Juma, Christy worked for three years at Larkin Street Youth Services in a variety of capacities. She began her tenure as a support counselor and completed her time at Larkin Street, managing the Lark Inn, a 40-bed youth shelter which remains the largest of its kind in the nation today. Christy graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and School Counseling. She is the mother to a spirited 7 year old girl and enjoys camping, crafting and spending time with family and friends.
Laurie Bernstein, Director of Social Enterprises.
Laurie joins Community Housing Partnership with 6 years of non-profit experience and 15 years of for-profit experience. Her early career was spent in the retail industry where she rose to the level of VP Retail Operations with Sephora. Since 2006, she has been involved in workforce development work with Goodwill Industries where she held a variety of positions including Senior Program Manager and Director of Training & Development. Her work has been focused on helping populations with barriers to employment rejoin the workforce. She earned an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School.
Paul Fox, Director of Human Resources.
Paul has over 18 years of Human Resources experience, 12 years in non-profit including Gateway Foundation in Chicago, IL and Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco. He brings experience in strategic planning, incentive plan design, employee and labor relations and talent acquisition. Paul graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a degree in Human Resources and holds the Society of Human Resources Management-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).
Anat Leonard, Director of Clinical and Strategic Initiatives.
Anat Leonard joined CHP in August 2014 as the Clinical Services Director and became the Director of Clinical and Strategic Initiatives in July 2016. She brings over 15 years of experience in the field, having held various positions of increasing responsibility across the homeless services system of care (e.g. shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and supported employment) serving multiple sub-populations, including survivors of domestic violence, youth, families, seniors, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Prior to joining CHP, Anat was the Deputy Executive Director of Bowery Residents’ Committee, Inc. in New York City. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Columbia, and licensure as a Clinical Social Worker in the States of New York and California.
Kani Lin, Controller.
Kani Lin has a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from SF State and Master's in Taxation from Cal State East Bay. She is currently working on a certification for Certified Management Accounting (CMA). Kani has worked for CHP since 2012. She is responsible for managing the organization's 7-person Finance Department, focusing on monthly financials and the organization's annual auditing and budgeting processes. Kani previously worked at the Friends of Library and the Children’s Council and has a background in public grant fund accounting requirements.
Jocelyn Michelsen, Director of Learning & Evaluation.
Jocelyn joined CHP in June 2017 and brings nearly a decade of nonprofit- and evaluation-based experience advocating for displaced and vulnerable communities. She most recently was Senior Research Associate at Public Profit in Oakland, CA, where she designed and managed evaluation studies for diverse government, nonprofit, and foundation clients throughout the Bay Area, state, and country. Prior to that, Jocelyn worked for Doctors Without Borders in several field (Nigeria, Turkey, Syria) and headquarters (Paris, NYC) sites; she has additional field experience in India and Rwanda. Jocelyn holds a Master of Public Administration from NYU, an MA in French Language & Literature from Bowling Green State University, and Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and French from UC Berkeley. A Bay Area native, Jocelyn enjoys being outdoors in the redwoods, Oakland A’s baseball, monster trucks, baking, and spending time with her family and rescue dog Olive.
Dara Papo, LCSW, Director of Support Services.
Dara has over 17 years experience, 8 of which have been in the Tenderloin, supporting individuals and communities increase their health and wellness. She has experience providing and supervising behavioral health services in community based settings. In addition, Dara has developed mental health and substance use treatment programs and has created and facilitated behavioral health trainings. Before assuming CHP’s Acting Support Services Director position, Dara served as the Clinical Services Director for over 5 years. Dara holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
David Schnur, Director of Housing Development.
David joined Community Housing Partnership in 2005 and has been working in the field of affordable housing development since 1999. David has expertise in affordable housing finance, housing policy, and urban development strategies. Prior to joining Community Housing Partnership, he was a Project Manager for Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rice University.
James Tracy, Director of Community Organizing and Resident Engagement (CORE).
Mr. James Tracy is Community Housing Partnership’s Director of Community Organizing and Resident Engagement (CORE). James has over 23 years of experience working to expand the human right of housing. In 1992, he cofounded the Eviction Defense Network which spent the 1990s leading nonviolent direct action campaigns to prevent the eviction of public housing residents during the HOPE VI process. He serves on the boards of the San Francisco Community Land Trust and Jobs with Justice San Francisco. Among the many books, anthologies and publications he has authored, is his most recent book, "Dispatches Against Displacement: Field Notes from San Francisco’s Housing Wars."