Josh Spring, Executive Director
Pronouns: He, Him, His
513-421-7803 x 704
Josh graduated from the College of Social Work at Xavier University. Josh is a Licensed Social Worker. Previously, Josh was the Social Worker for Tenants of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing’s 250 units of affordable housing. Josh noticed that repeatedly Tenants or those that wanted to be Tenants were experiencing the same repeated issues. This built a desire to organize systematic efforts to take on the root causes of homelessness, leading Josh to the Coalition.
Josh began learning about homelessness from those who were homeless; while working in the transitional housing building of Tender Mercies, an agency providing affordable housing for people who have experienced homelessness with mental health barriers.
Mona Jenkins, Director of Development and Operations
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
513-421-7803 x 700
Mona received her MA from the University of Cincinnati in Educational Studies with a focus in Foundations of Education and Social Change. As a graduate researcher, Mona focused primarily on community-based issues in health, gender, and education and actively worked with community members to find sustainable solutions specific to each neighborhood. Mona has also been advocating to address food access in communities that are considered food deserts. In addition to her academic and advocacy work, Mona is an active volunteer and enjoys spending time on projects that are designed to build community engagement and empowerment. This includes building houses, playgrounds, and clean water systems, teaching in after school programs, and coordinating other volunteers to assist with various community concerns. Her work is both local and global as she has worked with rural and marginalized communities in Vietnam, Haiti, Ecuador, and Czech Republic. For the last decade, Mona has been traveling every year with a group of friends to New Orleans, Louisiana to help rebuild communities that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mona also serves as the founding board member of the Erica J. Holloman Foundation, Inc., for the Awareness of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
At the Coalition, Mona is responsible for the development work of the organization. She oversees the grant writing, fundraising and donation efforts that are needed to sustain the work that is done here to help reach our mission of ending homelessness in Cincinnati.
Rico Blackman, Director of Organizing
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Rico’s path to the Coalition started with his desire to be a positive influence in the lives of Black Americans across the city of Cincinnati. In the midst of the 2020 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement, Rico founded Black Power Initiative (BPI), a nonprofit organization with the mission of supplying individuals with resources and opportunities. After speaking to several members of the community, BPI narrowed their focus to enhancing food equity and access for citizens across the city by cooking, rescuing, and buying high quality meals. Black Power Initiative would then focus on bridging the gap between education disparities that exist within racial lines by advocating and providing literacy services to Black youth across the city. Rico has committed himself and his organization to fight for greater access to better food, transportation, technology, education, healthcare, and housing for all.
Rico graduated from Notre Dame College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently in grad school at the University of Cincinnati in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Mark Mussman, Director of Education
Pronouns: He, Him, His
513-421-7803 x 701
Dr. Mark’s previous roles included leadership in adult basic education, workforce development, volunteer coordination, and AmeriCorps service. As an education expert, Dr. Mark brings strategies for community education and a desire to build community connections. A Cincinnati native, Dr. Mark graduated from Walnut Hills High School where he helped co-found the first Cincinnati high school-based Gay Straight Alliance. Dr. Mark received his Bachelor of Philosophy from the Western College Program at Miami University after working on projects with the Miami Nation of Oklahoma, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and JumpStart, Middletown. At the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Mark’s research focused on commercialism and student trust. After earning a M.Ed in Educational Foundations and Urban Educational Leadership, and a Certificate of Peace Studies, Dr. Mark received his Ph.D. in Educational Studies. As an AmeriCorps community volunteer, Dr. Mark provided direct instruction to community-based GED school participants through the Urban Appalachian Council and the Northside Community School. Dr. Mark continued his GED instruction at various community sites until embarking on the CAP513 Project. Through an individual grant from People’s Liberty, Dr. Mark founded the Creative App Project (CAP513) in 2015, which developed the first mobile app for the Safe and Supported Initiative, a partnership between Lighthouse Youth Services, Human Rights Campaign, HUD, and many other locally-based partner organizations, aimed at reducing instances of LGBTQ+ homelessness among teens and young adults.
As Director of Education, Dr. Mark administers the educational component of the Homeless Coalition’s mission to educate the public about homelessness and poverty and to combat harmful stereotypes and myths about homelessness. His position includes creating and implementing educational programs and initiatives, including the Speaker’s Bureau, Tours, and Trainings with churches, companies, secondary schools and universities. Through the Cincinnati Urban Experience program, Dr. Mark also coordinates Alternative Break service-learning trips for groups from across the country.