Working to provide housing in Madison for over 20 years.
Dean Loumos, Executive Director, came to Housing Initiatives with years of experience as a Community Organizer and homeless outreach worker. He has now been the Executive Director of Housing Initiatives for nearly 20 years. He is responsible for overseeing the housing of all our clients and leading Housing Initiatives’ growth. Dean has been in the forefront of expanding housing for homeless mentally ill individuals and families and brings a passionate, street savvy, tireless management style to Housing Initiatives. He is very proud of the eclectic staff he has been able to attract with their many skills that has allowed Housing Initiatives to be a leader in providing a model on how to develop and manage permanent housing to some of the most difficult to house people in our community. In 2013, Dean was elected to serve on the Board of Education for the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Michael Basford, Associate Executive Director, is responsible for maintaining compliance for our various housing programs. Among his duties, he writes the grant applications and annual progress reports for the Shelter-Plus-Care program and meets frequently with funders and representatives from the different governmental agencies that partner with Housing Initiatives. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in music composition. Along with his duties at Housing Initiatives, he serves as chair of Dane County’s Homeless Issues Committee, chairs the City of Madison Zoning Board of Appeals and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Alliance to End Homelessness. He has previously served on Dane County’s Housing Committee, W-2 Citizens Steering Committee and Poverty Task Force and the City of Madison’s Plan Commission and has served as chair of the Dane County Homeless Services Consortium.
Tony Castañeda, Property Manager/Client Services. Besides performing general property manager duties for Housing Initiatives’ “first responder” for our clients in crisis and facilitates resident/case manager problem solving to address issues such as: residents failing to follow treatment and case management plans, residents misuse of prescribed medication, resident conflicts on our properties and he also supervises resident work crews. He has over 20 years of experience in the human services field with an emphasis on employment and training and youth counseling. Tony also is the leader of the renowned Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet and hosts a weekly radio program on local, listener-sponsored community radio station WORT.
Christine Verdico, Assistant Associate Director, co-ordinates office functions at Housing Initiatives, taking care of the paperwork and keeping files organized. She also attends meetings, works with clients and does some of the light-maintenance needed at the properties. She has a two-year degree and has been working in Electronics most of her career, with managing, documentation, and product development of high-tech electronic systems. She has been working with Housing Initiatives for 2 years. Christine brings her organizational and methodical work experiences to Housing Initiatives.
Jenny Hanson, the housing services coordinator, has been serving homeless individuals and families with mental health diagnoses for the past 11 years. She has her master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in mental health, and is a certified advance practice social worker. Before returning to school for her social work degree, Jenny had a 6-year career as a middle school teacher. She brings a passion for trauma-informed care, racial and restorative justice, and the latest research in brain biology as it relates to recovery. As a parent of a young daughter, Jenny also brings research-based intervention and creative problem solving skills to the Housing Initiatives team.