WHC Board of Directors
Faith wilder, president
Faith retired in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer of the Global Financial Risk Management division of Aon Group. During her years of overseas residence and travel, she witnessed extreme poverty and became active in debt relief initiatives for the poorest countries and lobbying on issues affecting the poor in America and Washington State. She has served as vice-president/president of Poverty Action Network, RealChange, the Greenbank Farm Management Group and is a founding member of the Whidbey Homeless Coalition Board. Faith's vision is of a Whidbey Island who counts all neighbors as important and worthy of compassionate assistance to restart lives gone awry.
Our work is all about helping others. We are in the business of advocating for those struggling with homelessness, and I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity give back to the community and serve others in need.
I hold a MA Degree in Counseling Psychology and BA in Criminal Justice/Political Science. I am a Certified Chemical Dependency Professional. I am currently working on a PsyD in Clinical Psychology at California Southern University, and plan to continue working in the clinical field as a crisis therapist.
I currently work as a Community Corrections Officer (Parole/Probation Officer) for the State of Washington (17 + years). I work as a Designated Mental Health Professional providing crisis intervention mental health services to persons experiencing acute behavioral health issues (7 + years).
KATIE WATKINS, Secretary
I have been working in the field of Social Work for the past 9 years, primarily with foster youth and adults with disabilities. I have worked as a child and family counselor here and in Syracuse, NY, where we previously lived. My passion is in direct service and helping people get the most basic of their needs met. My husband, two boys, and I moved to Whidbey Island three years ago to be closer to nature and a community that cares for one another. Since arriving here, I have been inspired by all those around us who want to give back to their neighbors. I am thrilled to be working for the Whidbey Homeless Coalition and believe whole-heartedly in their mission to make homelessness a brief and rare experience here on our gorgeous island.
I am a compulsive Volunteer. Since retiring, from Puget Sound Energy I have given service to His Hands Extended, a ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church devoted to the homeless in Seattle, served as Co-Director of Helping Hand, and have served on the WHC Board since it's inception. I have also Volunteered at Bayview Senior Center, working in the kitchen for Meals on Wheels and driving seniors to their medical appointments. I am currently a volunteer at Whidbey General Hospital, assisting a nurse in the Heartwise Screening program at Island Athletic Club. I love helping out my neighbors and those who are struggling in this economy.
Vivian Rogers Decker, founder and president of SPIN Café, has been serving the community for the last 16 years as a homeless liaison and student support specialist for two local school districts. She has a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. In addition, she has been instrumental in founding six different non-profit organizations and projects, of which SPIN Café is her most recent endeavor. Vivian is passionate about creating communities that are responsive to the needs of all citizens, especially those members who are struggling with issues related to poverty and homelessness.
I was born and mostly raised in Seattle and moved to Whidbey Island in 1983 with my husband Lance and our two children, Elijah and Goldah. We quickly put down deep roots and have been involved with many community organizations and endeavors. I worked with young families for 20 years, primarily with Pregnancy Aid, most of that time right in the House of Hope.
In 2004 I dove into being a full time Realtor with Windermere in Langley. Affordable housing is an issue in this line of work that comes up nearly every day, so I was interested in South Whidbey Homeless Coalition nearly from the inception. I was pleased to help SWHC get into the House of Hope; it was one of those coming full circle experiences in life. Entering my 60’s, I am now ready to curb my workaholic tendencies to make more time once again for community service. WHC feels like a good fit for my interests and skills and I hope to help further their goals.
I'm a long-time resident of Island Count, a full-time mother of five girls and a baby boy, and a wife. As a devoted volunteer, I offer resources and advocacy through service work, promoting compassionate and positive changes in our local community. I enjoy spending time with friends and family
Judy Thorsland - Founding Member
I'm a retired Chemical dependency professional and mental health case manager for youth and families. Prior to this work I managed a House of Hospitality (Genesis House) for women and children on South Whidbey for 6 years. After retiring I left Whidbey to volunteer in a Catholic Worker House in Rochester, NY and spent the next 10 years working with, and living among the poor and the homeless there. Since coming back to Whidbey I've have been actively involved in advocating for the poor and the unsheltered here in our community. My passion stems from a deep understanding of the injustice in this world and wanting to do my small part to right it.