Jerry Jennings, LMSW
International Advisory Council
Jerry is Director of Housing at Community Access. He has been working in mental health housing since 1995. He began his career at Pathways to Housing in Manhattan, working as a service coordinator for one of their ACT teams, which housed individuals with histories of homelessness and mental health concerns, as well as co-occurring substance use issues. Overtime, he was promoted to ACT team leader and invited to oversee a new start-up in Westchester County. Despite political opposition, the agency was successful in housing 60 individuals throughout the county, taken straight from shelters into homes. The agency’s “housing first” model was firmly established as a housing alternative for people heretofore languishing in Westchester county shelters due to barriers previously imposed around compliance with substance and mental health treatment.
Since 2003, Jerry has worked at Community Access as a direct service worker, intake supervisor, and program manager of the 24-hour community residences. When the agency took over management at three existing community residences formerly run by Educational Alliance, Jerry was promoted to Deputy Director and asked to supervise their operation and transition them into Community Access, while integrating agency philosophy and service delivery systems including harm reduction techniques. In 2014, Jerry was promoted to his current position of Director of Housing where his portfolio includes four 24-hour licensed community residences, and a mix of lease holder housing in the Lower East Side.
In 2013, Jerry began oversight of the peer staffed Crisis Respite Center (CRC) and co-located peer support line, originally funded under the auspices of Parachute NY. CRC is an alternative to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for individuals experiencing an emotional crisis. The line provided support to individuals calling for anything ranging from psychiatric crisis, referrals, or to get support until their providers were available during normal business hours.
Jerry has also worked with the Mental Health Association in the past, counseling suicidal individuals, as well as providing linkage to services for issues related to mental health and substance and alcohol use.
Jerry has a BA in psychology and is a licensed social worker, having received his master's degree at Hunter School of Social Work.