After fourteen years serving as Executive Director of the Community Shelter Board in Ohio and over twenty years experience in the nonprofit sector with homeless and housing-related organizations, Barbara Poppe has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The announcement, which took place at the Obama Administration’s second full meeting of the USICH, was greeted with broad support by Council members. The Community Shelter Board in partnership with the YWCA of Columbus recently conducted a Family Triage Webinar on behalf of One Family, Inc for the MA ICHH Regional Networks.
With Poppe at the helm, the Community Shelter Board has become a nationally recognized nonprofit organization credited for significant reductions in family homelessness in Franklin County, Ohio and the city of Columbus. Advocating a greater emphasis on permanent supportive housing and prevention strategies, CBS has brought immeasurable hope to countless lives in Ohio and, through its example, the rest of the nation. CSB has been recognized in particular for its innovative Rebuilding Lives program, begun in 1997 under Poppe’s leadership, and for its Stable Families program, which targets families who are facing imminent homelessness. The latter program helps families avoid the shelter system and keeps children enrolled in their school, reducing student mobility and ultimately enhancing their education. A 2004 report by the former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretaries Henry Cisneros and the late Jack Kemp, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and titled “Opportunity and Progress – A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy,” cited the Rebuilding Lives program as a national model for ending chronic homelessness.
Poppe’s achievements have been recognized by numerous honors and distinctions, including the 2006 Woman of Achievement award by the YWCA Columbus, the 2005 Honda Equal Opportunity Community Service Award from the Columbus Urban League, the 2004 Buddy Gray Award for Homeless Activism by the National Coalition for the Homeless, and the 2002 Citizen of the Year Award by the Central Ohio Public Relations Society of America.
Barbara lives in Columbus with her two children and her husband, Bill Faith, Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.