SCOTT ACKERSON: BOARD CHAIR LMSW: Executive Vice President, Prospera Housing Community Services An established advocate for homeless services, Scott Ackerson utilizes his experience in community organization, program development and direct social work practice to implement community-based solutions. Using person-centered care and trauma-informed practice, Scott provides communities with the technical assistance needed to create integrated and collaborative systems of care – applying evidence-based practices to maximize client outcomes and generate significant cost diversion. Prior to joining HMA, Scott provided clinical and programmatic oversight for Haven for Hope, a campus for homeless services with over 1,000 beds in Bexar County. Scott coordinated services and resources among continuum of care organizations, including developing a community-wide strategic housing plan. He oversaw social service operations, workforce development, and supportive housing programs. Scott piloted a peer support integration program that has been replicated across the country, and conceptualized a nationally recognized jail diversion program for people experiencing homelessness. While working for Haven for Hope, Scott was also vice president of community transformation services at the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), a community mental health center in San Antonio. He managed behavioral health services on the Haven for Hope campus, as well as an innovative integrated care clinic that provided care to chronically homeless individuals. Scott championed addiction and mental health recovery programs for both Haven for Hope and CHCS. He oversaw partner relations and strategic community development – particularly in the areas of permanent housing and healthcare for people experiencing homelessness. In his government relations role, Scott advocated for legislation that became the Healthy Community Collaborative program, providing $27 million in funding for people experiencing homelessness and mental illness throughout Texas. Scott also created the In-House Recovery Program, an addiction recovery for people experiencing homelessness and the first treatment program that focused solely on the homeless population. Since joining HMA, Scott has worked across the United States including California, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and South Dakota doing work related to homeless systems of care, Social Determinants of Health, supportive housing and infant mortality. Prior to his career in homeless recovery services, Scott worked for 20 years in child welfare services, including opening a trauma-informed residential treatment center in San Antonio. He received the inaugural Rama Ramanathan National Commitment to Service Award for his innovative work with young adults emancipating from foster care. Scott is an adjunct professor of social work specializing in cultural competency and macro-level social work practice at Our Lady of the Lake University. He continues to serve on local boards in Bexar County and chairs the Street2Feet board, a 5K training program for people experiencing homelessness. Scott received a master’s degree in social work from Our Lady of the Lake University and a bachelor’s degree in social work at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He is a licensed master of social work.
LANA HERNANDEZ Street2Feet Program Director Graduated from Texas A&M - San Antonio, Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, EC-12. Team sports and athletics have played a huge role in her school career as well as playing basketball for San Antonio College for 2 years. Running for 15 + years, Lana has helped lead Marathon and ½ Marathon Training Programs in her community. She currently works with her family business IAAP in race management and logistics, assisting in 200+ events per year. The Street2Feet Organization is her main focus and passion- to assist in the development of the program as well as serving the San Antonio homeless population through the joy of exercise and running.
ATHENA FARIAS Board Member I am a Research Exercise Physiologist, Running Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and small business owner. I have been in the health and fitness industry for the last 19 years and I have been running for 30 years. I am a big believe that moving your body can have a profound effect on your physical, physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I had a very traumatic childhood, I have experienced things in my life that no one should go through, yet I overcame and I am still here. There were days I felt I couldn't go on, but for whatever reason I would lace up my running shoes and felt my anger, hate, loneliness, worthlessness, emptiness just slowly fade away with each mile that I ran. By the end of my run, I felt free and in control of my thoughts and actions. I am so excited to be part of Street2Feet and their mission.
LAURA MARSHALL Board Member I have always had an appreciation and love of running. My passion for helping others (strangers to family and friends) has always driven my focus in life. Working with Street2Feet is the perfect combination of two of my greatest passions. I fully believe in the service and community involvement that Street2Feet provides to its participants and I am excited to help it grow and touch even more lives!