Whidbey Homeless Coalition Staff
ursula roosen-runge, executive director
After more than 30 years working with public agencies and non-profits as a consultant and managing my own small business, I am happily turning my skills, experience, and passion for social justice to supporting the homeless on Whidbey. Over the years I have worked with communities across the Northwest to address issues of poverty, community health, mental health and substance abuse, access to health care, universal pre-school, and higher education. Now, after living on Whidbey Island for almost 25 years I am taking joy in my energies to the Whidbey Homeless Coalition. While currently working halftime I will be phasing this new role into full time by year's end.
Ashley Rowley, Residential guest programs manager
I was born in Bellingham, Washington and raised in the foothills of Mt. Baker. I attended college at Washington State University, graduating in 2012 with a double major in psychology and human development. After graduation, I followed my college sweetheart and now husband Sam Rowley back to his hometown of Langley where we now live. My heart lies with non-profits and helping others . I manage the House of Hope and the Mentor Program, including ongoing support to tenants in the WHC Master Lease Program.
Catherine Sasso, OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
Catherine will provide, among many diverse job duties, administrative support to Executive Director, Board, and Program Managers, Coordinate and maintain administrative and technology systems, and at all times hold the vision, mission and values of WHC as central to her work and ensuring quality performance.
I was raised in Upstate New York, and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just knew I wanted to help people. I'm too squeamish to be a nurse, too relaxed to be a politician, and too out of shape to be a police officer. I found my niche in social work where I worked with people with mental illness for 3 years. Already having the passion, I needed the skills to make my voice heard. I attended Suny Broome where I received my AAS in Communications. Fast forward a year and half later and I've moved to the beautiful Whidbey Island, am living in downtown Langley with my better half and senior puggle, and working for an amazing group of beautiful souls. If you love the job you have, you'll never work a day in your life. I have found that with the coalition.
kRYSTAL HAMLIN, THE hAVEN- sHELTER mANAGER
I was raised in Arlington, Washington, where your neighbors were just as likely to be cows or horses as they might be humans. After high school, I moved to Spokane to attend school, where I earned my associates degree in hospitality management. While working on my degree, I also worked as a property assistant, to aid in the management of several apartment communities. It was here I found my passion in helping others find housing and housing resources, as well as helping others to understand their rights under Fair Housing Laws. Upon graduation, my husband and I moved back to western Washington, to beautiful Whidbey Island, where we have founded a non-profit foster based animal rescue group, Critter Conscious. I am nearing completion of my bachelors degree in non-profit administration, and am very much looking forward to utilizing my skills and passion for helping others to serve our community! I manage the Haven shelter in Oak Harbor, which provides overnight shelter and light meals to Haven guests.
DeAnna Furman, The Haven - assistant Shelter Manager
I am a born and raised 5th generation Islander whose compassion for the homeless community has led me to do outreach in the Oak Harbor area for the last 8 months. I am dedicated to serving and helping those in need. I am super excited for this opportunity for our community.
My role is to open and close the Haven on nights the Shelter Manager is not there. I provide guest hospitality; guide the night's volunteers in their work and coordinate with intake and transportation resources.
Kayla Boyle, THE HAVEN - SHELTER ASSISTANT
Growing up on Whidbey Island was not easy for me. I grew up in a “tough Love” environment, struggled to make friends, and was bullied. I had to deal with the loss of my father, who passed away from suicide, and ended up falling into the wrong crowd of people. Although things got very rough, I was able to turn all that negativity into a positive force that I now use to help people. I am using the second chance I was given to do what brings me the most joy; Helping the homeless and less fortunate in our community. Prior to working at The Haven, I was a caregiver at an assisted living facility. During my time their I gained ample experience working with individuals who have mental and physical difficulties. I look forward to using my passion and life experience to show people that anything is possible, just by putting one foot in front of the other! I very much enjoy my role as Shelter Assistant at The Haven, and love spending time with our guests.
TANGILER HOWARD, THE HAVEN - SHELTER ASSISTANT
I was born and raised in Louisiana. I love helping others. In addition to being a shelter assistant for the Haven, I am currently the cook at Spin Café. I also provide laundry service and all of the donation pick-ups. I happily added registration and closing for the Haven to my duties.