RITA ZIMMER, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Rita Zimmer envisioned and founded Housing+Solutions to provide community-based supportive housing for women including women with children in 2002. The overarching promise was to support them in overcoming homelessness, addictions, trauma, poverty and the effects of incarceration. Today, she leads one of the more innovative and responsive organizations in New York City providing stable and affordable housing coupled with thoughtful supportive services.
Ms. Zimmer also founded Women In Need, Inc. in 1983 and was its President until 2000. Over those years, Rita and Win received over seventeen public service awards, including the Robin Hood Foundation Heroes Award and the Brooke Astor Award for Public Service. Her earliest professional work included time as a Family Worker and Alcoholism Counselor in Rochester, New York. She has been in recovery for over 40 years, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ricker College in Maine and received a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from New York University.
Staff and a board member
Jessica J. Grimm‐Lyon | Vice President of Administration & Finance
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Joyce M. Kelly | Vice President of Tenant Services
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Kimberly Cartagena | Director of Finance
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Steven Vassall | Director of Property Management & Operations
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Tracey Rollins Spann | Vice President of Development & Communications
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In 2002, Housing+Solutions was established with 2 staff and 6 tenants. Today, our full and part-time staff serves up to 191 women and children annually. Our skilled and committed employees include a Director of Programs, House Managers, Housing Specialist, Addiction Counselors, Tenant Coordinators, Vocational Specialist, Administrative staff and Maintenance professionals.
Ensuring cultural responsiveness and maximum programmatic impact, Housing+Solutions strategically hires staff that demographically reflects the backgrounds of our participants. They may also have had similar life experiences.