Staff Developments at the Partnership


I’m very pleased to announce the following recent developments and additions to the team at the Partnership for Strong Communities.

As many of you know, David Fink has formally retired from full-time employment with the Partnership for Strong Communities as its Policy Director. Beginning in January, he will be a consultant to the Partnership working two days per week on a variety of projects. David joined the Partnership in 2004. In this role, he organized and directed the HOMEConnecticut campaign, the statewide campaign to expand affordable housing. David also coordinated education and advocacy efforts that relate housing to education, transportation, energy, healthcare and other key disciplines. 

David is a state leader on housing policy and a tireless advocate for affordable housing. He’s worked with scores of municipalities on planning and zoning issues, and played a major role in transforming the conversation about affordable housing in our state. David wore many hats in his time at the Partnership. His colleagues lovingly refer to him as the mentor, teacher, storyteller, cheerleader, counselor, professor, comedian, and writer extraordinaire. He will be sorely missed in this role. We will be celebrating David’s work on March 3rd, and all are welcome.  

I’m very pleased to announce that Christina Rubenstein has been named the Policy Director for the Partnership. Christy joined the Partnership in 2006 and has been the Deputy Policy Director since 2013. She has been a lead researcher and policy analyst on a variety of housing and homelessness issues. Christy has compiled and analyzed housing data annually for PSC, and provides support for the HOMEConnecticut and the Reaching Home Campaigns. She has been a spokeswoman and worked with the media, and has overseen content development for the Partnership's website, email newsletters and various Partnership publications.

Katy Shafer has been promoted to the role of Deputy Policy Director for the Partnership. In this role, she will manage the HOMEConnecticut campaign, which is charting solutions to Connecticut’s shortage of housing affordable to workers, young professionals, families and others. Katy will also coordinate education and advocacy efforts that relate housing to school achievement, transportation, energy, healthcare and other key disciplines.

Katy joined the Partnership in 2014 as a policy analyst. She has been responsible for researching, analyzing and offering housing policy recommendations to state, municipal and private agencies as well as working closely with the Partnership’s colleagues on issues ranging from supportive and affordable housing creation to community development strategies. She has produced IForums for the Partnership’s annual series and overseen research and community engagement for Regional Plan Association’s development of its 4th Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region. 

Christi Staples joined the Partnership in September 2015 as a consultant to the Reaching Home Campaign. Christi is focused on refining the structure for Opening Doors-CT -- the statewide plan to end homelessness across the state -- and the role of the Partnership as the coordinating organization. Christi also supports and coordinates the Opening Doors-CT Health and Housing Stability work. Previous to her role with PSC, Christi was the Vice President of Health Equity for the Connecticut State Medical Society, focusing on the physicians’ role in eliminating racial and ethnic healthcare disparities. She also served as the interim executive director of the Health Assistance Intervention Education Network of Connecticut (HAVEN), an organization that provides confidential consultation and support to healthcare professionals facing health concerns related to alcoholism, substance abuse, behavioral or mental health issues and/or physical illness. Christi is a Connecticut Health Foundation Health Leadership Senior Fellow, focusing on increasing leadership knowledge and skills to better advocate and improve the health and well-being of those vulnerable to racial and ethnic health disparities. 

Jane McNichol joined the Partnership in January 2016 as the Project Manager for the Opening Doors Hospital Initiative. Jane is well-known across Connecticut from her previous work as the executive director of the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut (LARCC). LARCC conducts public policy advocacy on issues of importance to low-income residents of Connecticut for the Legal Services network in Connecticut. The Legal Services programs provide legal assistance to low-income clients in civil cases. Jane oversaw advocacy on health care, welfare and state budget issues for nearly 17 years. Jane has been very involved in the Reaching Home Campaign in years past and will be a valuable asset to our team.  Prior to working at LARCC, Jane spent 9 years as the Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. 

Cindy Dubuque is joining the Partnership in February 2016 to take on the role of Campaign Manager for the Reaching Home Campaign. Reaching Home is the statewide campaign for preventing and ending homelessness in CT, which is currently implementing the federal Opening Doors plan in the state through a collective impact model. Cindy previously served as the executive director of the Foundation for Fair Contracting of CT where she lobbied for policies pertaining to public construction.  The focus of her work centered around prevailing wage, apprenticeship standards, compliance enforcement and competitive bidding.  She sat on the Construction Contracting and Bidding Transparency Working Group to address the abuses of bid shopping in construction. 

Charles Patton will join the Partnership in February 2016 as Senior Policy Analyst. In this role, Charles will support the data, research, and policy analysis needs of both the Reaching Home and HOMEConnecticut Campaigns, as well as managing special projects related to both efforts. His role will include aggregating and analyzing housing related data to explore trends that can inform strategies to build strong communities. Before assuming his current position Charles worked as a Data Analyst at the Portland Bureau of Transportation.  Here he created a user-friendly database to explore trends in employee automobile collisions, injuries, claims paid by the city, etc.  Prior to that, Charles served as a Research Associate at the Kirwan Institute.  Much of his research attempted to connect the dots between inequality in the labor market, education system, housing market, and criminal justice system.

I look forward to this exciting and challenging chapter in our mission to end homelessness, expand the creation of affordable housing, and build strong communities in Connecticut.

As we make these transitions, we at the Partnership look forward to continuing to work with you to fulfill our mission: ending homelessness, expanding the creation of affordable housing and building strong communities in Connecticut.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.



Alicia Woodsby
Executive Director


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