22ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE TO END HOMELESSNESS
OCTOBER 7th & 8th, 2015
Black Canyon Conference Center - 9440 N. 25th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021
The Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education and Pacific Southwest ATTC, is proud to host an annual statewide conference on homelessness.
For more than a decade, Jama Shelton has worked in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness. After receiving an MSW in 2004, Shelton began a 9-year stint at the Ali Forney Center, an organization that provides housing and supportive services for gay and transgender youth experiencing homelessness. During her tenure she played an integral role in the building of the most expansive housing program in the nation for gay and transgender youth. Having worked in various roles – first as a direct service provider, then developing and directing the expansion of their housing program, and finally as a researcher, program evaluation and trainer – Jama brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing both homeless gay and transgender youth and also the service providers with whom they work.
Shelton is a leading authority on the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming youth experiencing homelessness, which is the topic of her dissertation research. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Social Welfare program at the CUNY Graduate Center, expecting to complete her PhD in May 2013. She is a professor at both the Hunter and NYU Schools of Social Work, leading all of her classes through the lens of anti-oppression and raising issues of social justice to her students. Last year Shelton was elected Faculty Marshall by the student body at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and led the students into their graduation ceremony. She takes the job of educating the next generation of social service providers quite seriously. In addition to her formal education as a social worker and her practice experience with gay and transgender youth, Shelton’s life experiences have played an integral role in her professional trajectory. As a formerly homeless youth, she is well aware of the critical need for building education and awareness for all families and all youth, as well as the importance of inclusion and the impact of rejection.