MNLM, Senior Director of Homeless Housing Services
Jessica Cruz brings a variety of experience within the housing services field and serving those unhoused in our communities. Cruz has worked with nonprofits and municipalities in Arizona and California. She earned a Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management Degree from the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from California State University Fullerton.
Cruz is passionate about providing affordable, equitable housing and services to those experiencing homelessness. She enjoys program design and implementation and providing oversight to housing departments who provide emergency, and transitional shelter; permanent supportive housing, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP), Diversion, and housing-first, client-centered case management. With her endless desire to learn more about housing, she has led rental assistance voucher programs departments which included the following programs: Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), Project Based Vouchers (PBV), Family Unification Program (FUP), Mainstream vouchers, Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV), Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers (VASH), and additional programing outside of section 8 known as Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA).
Cruz currently serves as member of the Maricopa County Regional Continuum of Care Board. She also holds a seat as a member of the data committee and volunteers on special workgroups as needed. Cruz has worked with the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services (AZDVS) to provide strategic planning for the Women’s Working Group Initiative with a housing focus. Cruz has had the honor of presenting on best practices in Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) locally and nationally, including Arizona Coalition for Military Families Symposium 2016, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans 2016 & 2018, Texas Conference on Ending Homelessness 2017, and the Arizona Housing Coalition Annual Conference 2017. The common theme between all her duties is her drive to break down barriers for those experiencing homelessness and for them to be safely and successfully housed.
Cruz has been featured on the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit innovation in a blog describing attributes needed for cross-sector collaboration. Cruz has a love for golf but has seen better days off the green. Cruz has the distinct bragging rights of UMOM’s 2017 Fantasy Football Champion, loves Los Angeles Angels baseball and Los Angeles Charges football. On the weekends you can catch Jessica camping in the mountains or cooking at home with family and friends.