Board of Directors

Community Homeless Solutions is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of committed professionals and leaders from the local community.  

About our board

Community Homeless Solutions is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of committed professionals and leaders from the local community.  

Our board members are the fiduciaries who steer our organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure Community Homeless Solutions has adequate resources to advance its mission.


Members serve up to two three-year terms. Currently we have six individuals serving as board members, from a variety of backgrounds. To learn more about our board members scroll down or click on the names to the right.

Board News & Updates

Make a difference in our community and help us reach new goals.

Learn more about how you can become a volunteer board member with Community Homeless Solutions.

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Lisa Griffin Burns

Lisa Griffin Burns was pleased to join the Board of Community Homeless Solutions in April 2019, grateful for the opportunity to support this amazing nonprofit serving the most vulnerable in our community, especially the growing number of youth and families experiencing housing instability.

A longtime resident of Monterey County, Lisa received great joy in supporting students and families for 25 years through her professional work! She served for seven years as the Director of two community centers in Monterey, Casanova Oak Knoll and Hilltop Park Center, before leaving to focus her efforts on launching a new charter school in 2000. The International School of Monterey (ISM) is now a highly regarded public school located in Seaside offering the rigorous International Baccalaureate program for K-8 students throughout Monterey County. During her 18 years at ISM, Lisa provided expertise in Human Resources management, volunteer engagement, operations, and facilities / safety management as part of the ISM Administrative Leadership Team. She was particularly passionate about building community as a key tenet of her management style to ensure that all community members felt supported, recognized, and truly part of a uniquely caring ISM community.

It is this passion for community that Lisa applies to her nonprofit activism work since leaving the International School of Monterey. She became involved in housing affordability and homelessness issues after directly taking part in Monterey County’s 2019 biennial Point in Time (PIT) Count. Learning the staggering toll that the rising cost of housing, and the lack of affordable housing has had on families, youth, and older women newly experiencing homelessness in Monterey County has been pivotal to guiding her community engagement efforts.

In addition to serving on the board of Community Homeless Solutions , Lisa energetically embraces her community advocacy role in support of housing affordability and homelessness, foster youth, the nonprofit sector, and those in the cancer community. She serves as a CASA: Court-appointed Special Advocate for a foster youth in Monterey County; promotes housing affordability options, such as ADU construction, through participation in United Way’s ADU Advisory Committee ; volunteers to promote the COVIA Home Match program, pairing individuals needing housing with those with rental space in their homes, thereby addressing housing insecurity and isolation goals! She also serves on the Advocacy and Annual Nonprofit Awards committees with the Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County , is an organizing member of Women's March Monterey Bay , and following beneficial Healing Touch treatments during a recent cancer diagnosis, she enthusiastically serves on the Board of the Healing Partners of the Central Coast (HPCC) .

Lisa holds a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) and a B.A. in Business Management. Before moving to the Monterey Peninsula in 1989 to pursue graduate school, Lisa lived and worked overseas in the Middle East and Germany as the daughter of a diplomat, cementing a lifelong interest in travel and foreign affairs. Her hobbies include swimming, walking her dog, Rambo, bicycling/e-bike riding, gardening, kayaking, painting, and sky-diving! Lisa looks forward to bringing her enthusiasm, positivity, curiosity, and passion to her role as an CHSolutions Board member!

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Eric Johnsen

Vice President

Eric Johnsen, MBA, serves as the Board Vice President of Community Homeless Solutions and has been actively involved since 2008 previously as Treasurer and President. He brings over 20 years of experience in working with senior executives and Board members for numerous industries in the areas of insurance, banking, business and strategic planning.   Eric has been actively involved for many years with non-profit organizations and churches with particular focus on the needs of homeless and youth.  He was instrumental in helping introduce and implement Central Coast Respite Center, which CHS manages, in partnership with three local hospitals for homeless men and women coming out of acute care stays. He also sits on the Advisory Board for the National Healthcare for Homeless organization with focus on respite care programs.  Eric has also been engaged as an advocate and convener of communities interested in implementing Tiny Home villages for housing homeless, farm workers, ex-prisoners, students and other applications. Mr. Johnsen sits on the Community Outreach Advisory Board at Shoreline Church which helps organize community outreach efforts to local homeless individuals and integrating efforts between local churches and faith communities engaging in solving local community issues. Mr. Johnsen graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration, a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California.

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Shirley L. Dickinson, MD


Shirley was welcomed to the board of Community Homeless Solutions in July 2014. After graduating in 1984 from the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, she completed her residency in Family Medicine in Ventura. During this time she had the opportunity to provide services to the homeless in Bakersfield. She was a tremendous asset in the opening of Central Coast Respite Center, sitting on the development committee and now as part of the medical review team for potential clients. No stranger to Monterey County's homeless, she served on the faculty of the Family Medicine Residency program at Natividad for 13 years and was a physician for Clinica de Salud in the mobile medical van. During this time she was instrumental in changing lives of the chronically homeless, giving comprehensive medical services while truly caring for each individual she attended. Currently she is a family medicine physician at Plazita Medical Clinic in Watsonville. Having received Board Certification in Sleep Medicine in 2004, she is now also on staff at the Montage Sleep Disorder Center. Shirley has been a volunteer physician for the Monterey Compassion Pregnancy Center and the Kindred Center.

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Cheryl Camany 

Board Member

Cheryl Camany has served the communities of Monterey County for 30 years as an educator. She is currently the Homeless Liaison and manages the Family Resource Center of Salinas City Elementary School District that serves over 3,100 homeless students as well as their district’s foster youth. Additionally, she has committed herself to raising awareness about the plight of the homeless student population in Monterey County while also volunteering on several boards and commissions, including board member, YOSAL (Youth Orchestra Salinas-­‐El Sistema/USA) board member, Community Homeless Solutions (formerly Shelter Outreach Plus), member of the Leadership Council for Lead Me Home-­‐ Game Plan for Housing Homeless in Monterey and San Benito Counties, volunteer for the Monterey County Homeless Census, educator for the National Steinbeck Center Community Advisory Committee and Children’s workshop, Monterey County Ag Education Farm Daypresenter, and many more. Cheryl’s efforts were instrumental in accomplishing the Winter Warming Shelter in Salinaswhich is funded by the City of Salinas and Monterey County, and operated by Community Homeless Solutions. She is there on a regular basis ensuring that needed services are available for homeless individuals and families accessing the emergency shelter. She has assisted in reorganizing the system and bringing the Salinas interfaith community on board to provide dinner at the shelter seven days a week. Cheryl refers to the Salinas shelter members as family. She has in her work with families and as a volunteer helped hundreds of homeless parents and children one by one. Cheryl is an example of going above and beyond the call of duty to help youth, adults, and families in need.

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Dr. Donna Smith 
Board Member

Donna is currently the Program Coordinator for the Monterey County Office of Education’s Homeless Children and Youth Services Program.  She began her career in the Bay Area as an elementary school teacher and has continued her work throughout Monterey County as a teacher, principal, and administrator for new teacher programs, school safety, special education, and special projects. 


She received her Master’s Degree and Administrative Credential from San Francisco State University and a Doctorate Degree from the University of LaVerne.  She is a commissioner for the Monterey County Community Action Partnership, a member of the Leadership Team for the Coalition of Homeless Service Providers, and a member of the support committee for the Youth Action Board.  She joined the Community Homeless Solutions Board of Directors in 2021.


Donna is a mother and step mother to five young adults.  She enjoys traveling with her youngest son, Connor, hiking, and loves anything to do with animals and the environment. 


Previous Board Members

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Teresa M. Erickson 
Served as President

Teresa Erickson has served as the Board President of Community Homeless Solutions since 2014. She began her work with the homeless by starting a ministry with her husband, Pastor Mick Erickson. After cooking dinner for folks on Sunday evenings and listening to them, it didn't take long to realize each individual they touched had a story. From pregnant women, families, teachers, business people and veterans, the common theme was that one thing finally pushed them to the edge and they found themselves on the street, in a car or couch surfing. When she was approached in 2011 to join the Board of Directors at what was then Shelter Outreach Plus, it seemed a perfect fit for her heart. Teresa has been a physical therapist for almost 40 years, working in every aspect from executive management, hospital staff, outpatient rehab and her favorite, home health care, currently working with Choice Home Health. Using her background in healthcare, she assisted in development and implementation of the Central Coast Respite Center. “My passion is that we can assist our clients in finding a safe place to call home, giving them hope for the future. I have been tremendously blessed by God’s grace and want to spread that joy to others. As our mission says, we are ‘helping people transition to a better tomorrow’.”

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Jason Chavez
Served as Treasurer


Jason Chavez is currently the Treasurer for Community Homeless Solutions while also working as an Accounting Technician at Natividad Medical Center, a 172-bed public safety net hospital located in Salinas, CA. In addition, he previously participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sponsored by The United Way of America and the Internal Revenue Service. This devoted program is designed to provide free tax preparation services to low-income individuals and families located in Monterey County. Moreover, Jason currently holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and completed his MBA program at California State University, Monterey Bay.


For further information, please contact him at or via LinkedIn at

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Terri Eliazar-Stevens

Served as Board Member

Terri Eliazar Stevens has served on the board since 2015. When asked to join the board it was her hope to make a difference in the programs and communities that we serve. Our work with domestic violence hits home as she too is a survivor of DV. For 27 years Terri has been in the salon industry, currently as a stylist in her own business, Salon Jooge, in Marina. Her goal and passion is to work with other women in transition, who have survived DV and are trying to better themselves. By creating a day of fun and beauty, we might assist women who are in search of a job, or want to create a new look for themselves and experience a boost in their self esteem. Terri's hope is that by sharing her story it might empower others, help them overcome obstacles and build confidence. “I serve with a compassionate heart, empathy for all humankind, and a desire to contribute to our community.”

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Alex R. Ortiz

Served as Board Member

Founder of ARO Consulting with experience in business development and digital content creation, editing, distribution and social media marketing.

I have started businesses from scratch and as well created several television reality projects and produced a feature film. I'm always interested in finding new ways to communicate digital media marketing by developing new and innovative platforms.

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Cris Cabanillas

Served as Board Member

Cristofer Cabanillas served in the role of Treasurer for Community Homeless Solutions (formerly Shelter Outreach Plus) until June 2015.  Cris gave his life to Christ as a young man, and now devotes a lot of his efforts to people in transition.  His passion is helping men be better leaders in their homes.  He also loves to support programs that empower people to learn the skills and gain the confidence to pursue what God made us to be.  He currently serves as chair of the Board of Trustees for the International School of Monterey – a Kindergarten- 8th grade charter school in Seaside.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Carmel Bach Festival.

Cris is a partner at Monterey Private Wealth, a firm that offers wealth management services to families, small businesses and non-profit organizations.  Cris graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics from the University of San Diego in 1999.  Cris is married to Shelley and has three daughters.