- Senior Director, Hudson Valley Programs
Debbie Perkins joined CHI in February 2000. She is responsible for overseeing CHI’s homeless and prevention programs and assisting in the development of new initiatives in the Lower Hudson Valley. She secures funding, implements and manages emergency housing programs in Westchester, Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. Prior to coming to CHI, Ms. Perkins spent eight years providing services to the homeless by supervising and providing quality assurance for special-needs low-income populations in supportive housing in New York City.
Her social services career began in college at a counseling center and crisis hotline for the community and student population. In graduate school, Ms. Perkins interned as a school social worker in Harlem and as the Manhattan Welfare Advocacy Network Coordinator. After completing graduate school, Ms. Perkins went to work in AIDS-specific programs. She first joined a COBRA case management program in the South Bronx as a supervisor for supportive services to women and their families infected or at risk of AIDS. She then became the Assistant Director of a 40-unit scattered site housing program for PWA’s (Persons with AIDS) in East Harlem.
In 1996, Ms. Perkins shifted her employment to mental health and senior services to direct an 89-room supportive SRO in Midtown Manhattan for formally homeless and/or mentally ill people over the age of 55. She became a Field Instructor for M.S.W. students and participated in academic coalitions to enhance geriatric curriculums and internships for student social workers. She has also participated in several managed care, Medicaid and special needs plans (SNPs) for HIV, mental health, and aging Advisory Boards.
Ms. Perkins has been an active member of the Supportive Housing Network of New York since 1994, and the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Work since 1991. She chaired the NASW HIV/AIDS Committee from 1994-7. In this capacity, she contributed to the publication of social work practice standards, hosted and presented at several conferences, participated in professional development, and facilitated the support and recognition of innovative social workers in the AIDS field by hosting the Diego Lopez AIDS Service Awards in 1993, 1995 and 1997. In 1996, she was elected by the NASW NYC Chapter to the Leadership and Nominations Committee which she chaired in 1997 through 1998.
Ms. Perkins is a Licensed Social Worker in NYS and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. She holds several other training certificates.