Mayor Woodward Hires Cerecedes as CHHS Director

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 8:05 a.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward has hired an experienced homelessness and transitional housing professional, grants manager, and community collaborator to lead the Community, Housing, and Human Services department, the latest addition to a team that has added four other members in recent weeks.

Jenn Cerecedes managed homelessness and transitional housing programs for SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners) and helped low-income families and individuals learn about sustainable living with a focus in cost savings and improving healthy outcomes as a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. The City Council confirmed Cerecedes’ appointment tonight.

“Jenn’s experience leading both transitional housing and homelessness programs in our community is a great fit for the mix of work CHHS is responsible for facilitating,” Woodward said. “We are excited to add her leadership and experience.”

She becomes the fifth employee to join the CHHS team recently. Three program professionals and an administrative support professional each started with CHHS over the past few weeks. During that same period, the CHHS team also secured $4.6 million in HOME Program ARP Funds, submitted the annual Notice of Funding Opportunities application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, submitted a progress report to the state Department of Commerce, and supported the opening of a new shelter for young adults in its new location and a service-intensive, referral-based bridge housing program.

Eric Finch, who has been leading the team assembled to support CHHS department staff, will continue as the leader of the Neighborhood, Housing, and Human Services division, which oversees the CHHS department, until the next division director is identified. The City is also recruiting for two program managers and expected to begin a search for the NHHS division director after the first of the year.

“The CHHS department director is a critical piece to ensuring grant funding gets efficiently to our partners who are meeting critical needs,” Finch said. “The team is also responsible for the oversight and monitoring of those funds to keep our community in good standing and eligible for additional resources.”

At SNAP, Cerecedes supervised 14 staff members and managed grants from more than 15 sources, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through that work, she was part of an effort that resulted in communitywide homelessness planning to establish a coordinated entry program for service connection. She also managed the leasing and maintenance of 40 transitional housing units for families.

Cerecedes starts with the City on Jan. 3. She most recently worked for Clearwater Paper doing strategic project management and marketing for the company’s social responsibility, sustainability reporting, and stakeholder engagement priorities.