Sustainability Squad SIF

Fellowship Description

Winter is coming and, on any given night, New Jersey’s shelters are keeping over 7,500 homeless men, women, and children alive.

Are you looking for a project where your contributions will bring direct and immediate benefit to a large and growing population of homeless individuals and families in New Jersey? Where your insights and leadership will resonate and inform advocates for the unsheltered across the country? 

As the Sustainability Squad Fellow for the New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness, you will work with high-level decision makers across the state to ensure that our homeless shelters, places of life-saving refuge for thousands of men, women and children each day, are, in fact, sustainable. This unique and multi-faceted fellowship will offer you the opportunity to work in a variety of ways with seasoned professionals from the governor’s office, municipalities across the state, and even local shelters. Our goal is to change government policy in New Jersey to better meet the actual needs of New Jersey’s shelter system.

Some of the key tasks:

  • Analyze the current funding models for NJ shelters

  • Master New Jersey’s intricate governmental budget system

  • Analyze and compare data on shelter funding in other states

  • Identify untapped federal funds for which shelters might qualify

  • Create and collaborate on policy: Is there data to support the claim that ‘affordable housing is healthcare’? 

  • Build data driven arguments: How shelter support services have led to better outcomes for those placed in permanent housing.

  • Coordinate a campaign to rebrand shelters: Shelters and their services are important, holistic and change lives.

  • Organize both large group meetings and small task forces.

Your Host



The New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness (NJCEH) is a statewide, social impact organization [a 501(c)(3) non-profit] with one goal: to eradicate homelessness in New Jersey. Toward that end, the Coalition will advocate, educate, organize and, if necessary, litigate for emergency and permanent solutions to homelessness. 


SIF Mentor

Connie Mercer
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
CEO, New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness

In 2022, Connie Mercer took over the helm at NJCEH and significantly broadened the Coalition's work. Connie has been called a "trailblazer" in caring for NJ's families who are homeless. She is the founder and was the CEO for thirty-one years of HomeFront, one of NJ’s most innovative and largest providers of shelter and rehabilitative services…

Apply to this SIF

Current and Past Fellows and Mentors

Kellie G. Abbott
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Director of Special Initiatives at NJCEH
Megan Armknecht, GS, HIS
Summer Intern, Bureau of Bureau of Public Affairs/ Office of the Historian in Washington D.C
Leanne Clark-Shirley
Vice President of Programs and Thought Leadership, The American Society on Aging
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Andrew D'Amico
Assistant Director for Operational Engagement & Impact Analysis
Jessica Dheere '93
Director of Ranking Digital Rights, New America
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Peter J. Dougherty
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Director, The APS Press, and Member, The American Philosophical Society
Benjamin Dziobek
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Community Outreach Specialist, New Jersey Future
Anna Eddelbuettel Hancock, GS, CBE
Community College Teaching Fellow
Alicia M. Ejsmond-Frey *19, CLA
GradFUTURES Summer Fellow, Open Innovation Team, Cabinet Office (London, UK)
Alissa Fishbane
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor
Managing Director, (Un)Warranted at Ideas42