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Head of Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness to Retire in June

Herb LevineHerb Levine, executive director of The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, has announced that he will retire at the end of June.

Levine, 68, is leaving to pursue advocacy opportunities related to redeveloping vacant and abandoned housing in urban areas.

He has been working to end homelessness since the early 1990s, both in volunteer roles and in his current capacity as the head of the Alliance, which is a partnership of government, non-profit and business leaders committed to implementing state and local policy changes that can end homelessness. Levine has served as the head of the agency since 2007.

On the state level, Levine has served as secretary of the New Jersey Advocacy Network to End Homelessness and as the point person on General Assistance for the Anti-Poverty Network. On the local level, he has chaired Mercer County’s Reentry Task Force, co-chaired the Mercer Housing Developers’ Advocacy Team and been an active member of the Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign, in concert with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. Levine earned his doctorate in English from Princeton University in 1977 and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

During his tenure at the Alliance, Levine led the way in revising the agency’s plan to end homelessness, focusing on  new models of permanent housing that stress getting homeless people in to housing as quickly as possibly.

“Under Herb’s leadership, our community has gone through a momentous change, moving from a sheltering model to a rehousing model,” said Cliff Goldman, Chairman of the Alliance, noting that Levine spearheaded the movement that led to the County of Mercer, The City of Trenton and the Mercer County Board of Social Services all committing to the new direction of “rapid exit from homelessness” by focusing on permanent housing with support services, based on need.

“The Alliance not only introduced these models, but helped create local adaptations and supported their implementation through training and technical assistance,” said Frank Cirillo, Director of the Mercer County Board of Social Services. “The Board of Social Services has benefited tremendously from the assistance of the Mercer Alliance. The Board has become an agency that promotes solutions for ending homelessness.”

Under Levine’s leadership, the Alliance has received national notice for its collaboration with the Mercer County Board of Social Services to help make it a rehousing agency. The Mercer Alliance received grant funding to spread its work on Rapid Rehousing across New Jersey.

The Mercer Alliance plans to hold a farewell event for Levine in June.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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