VP CAMBA HomeBase Homelessness Prevention

Melissa Mowery has over 30 years of experience in the social services working with diverse populations. She has coached Special Olympians, worked with mentally ill adults and juvenile offenders, and worked on workforce development and vocational training with asylees, refugees, and those receiving public benefits. In 2004, Ms. Mowery took the lead in launching CAMBA’s HomeBase Program, a homelessness prevention program funded by HRA in New York City. This program provides prevention and aftercare services to families and adults most likely to enter shelter by providing the support and the knowledge needed to avert a housing crisis and build household stability. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Mowery has grown and continuously developed the program, constantly looking at new ways of approaching the complex issues and challenges inherent to working in homelessness prevention. As a committed, seasoned and innovative leader in her field, she shares her knowledge and experience with others by developing and facilitating trainings for her nearly 100 staff who run 5 Homebase locations serving over 4,500 households in Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, other providers from within NYC as well as those from other municipalities across the nation interested in launching prevention services in their communities, as well as referral partners. Ms. Mowery prioritizes the use of technology and data (both program level and public data) to improve the efficiency and impact of her team, and has launched many ground breaking initiatives to expand and enhance CAMBA’s HomeBase program. In 2015, the first mobile HomeBase office, the “You Can Van,” was established to increase awareness of available services and reach into the neighborhoods where services are most needed. CAMBA now runs two mobile offices, one in Brooklyn and one in Staten Island. After recognizing that traditional workforce development services were not working for Homebase clients, Ms. Mowery called for an overhaul of services and oversaw the creation of a new model of service tailored to meet the unique needs of clients at risk of shelter entry. In 2017, the Forward Focus initiative was launched within CAMBA HomeBase, offering an innovative, flexible, and personalized approach to improve our clients’ financial stability and to increase their earning power.