Gateway Housing First

Building Homes, Changing Lives, Creating Community

Gateway Housing First

Building Homes, Changing Lives, Creating Community

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GHF Team Members

img_1976Cynthia Duffe – Executive Director

Cynthia Duffe founded Gateway Housing First in the fall of 2013 with long-time colleagues and fellow supported housing advocates Francie Broderick, Kelly Wilson, Sam Nuernberger and Ken Nuernberger. Cynthia has proudly served GHF as its Executive Director since 2015.

Cynthia, also a Partner with ND Consulting Group, advocates for affordable accessible housing for all citizens. Cynthia has an extensive background providing comprehensive finance and housing development consulting to non-profit organizations serving very low-income “special needs” populations, including those with various physical and mental disabilities, HIV/AIDS and senior citizens.

Cynthia holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law. Before joining ND Consulting Group and GHF, Cynthia practiced law with a Washington, D.C. firm specializing in the representation of workers with civil rights and other employment problems.

Cynthia is on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis City Continuum of Care and serves as Chair of its Rank and Review Committee. She lives in the historic Shaw Neighborhood with her three labs, two sons – Jonathan and Chaim – and one, very vocal, parrot.

tammy-headshotTammy Laws – Partnership and Collaboration Director

Born and raised in St. Louis, Tammy began her career in the non-profit sector in 1992 after finishing college with a degree in music from Southeast Missouri State University. After moving back to St. Louis, she took a job working in the Development field as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Jewish Community Center and has enjoyed moving along the development career path working for such great St. Louis non-profits such as the Saint Louis Symphony, Forest Park Forever, and Crossroads College Preparatory School.

Tammy served as the Executive Director of Shalom House from November of 2005 until May of 2015. After serving as a Foster Parent for the City of St. Louis, Tammy became interested in the field of social services and that interest led her to Shalom House and ultimately instilled a passion to house the homeless.

After having partnered with Gateway Housing First while at Shalom House, and being impressed with the “Housing First” approach at GHF, Tammy decided to join the GHF team in April of 2016. Tammy serves on the Executive Board as Secretary of the Saint Louis City Homeless Services Continuum of Care; is a member of the Association of Women Executives, and is a graduate of the Nonprofit Services Center 2009 Women Executive Director Leadership Academy.

Tammy and her husband Travis (also working in the non-profit field) have a 22-year-old son, Curtis who recently graduated from the University of Central Missouri and works in the marketing field.

Jenny Vukson – Program Director

Jenny Vukson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience serving people with histories of homelessness, serious and persistent mental illness, and co-occurring substance use. Jenny spent 15 years managing an Assertive Community Treatment team, a multi-disciplinary team focused on providing intensive support services to improve treatment outcomes, reduce episodes of crisis and increase clients’ overall health, wellness and independence. One of the primary areas of focus for her team was providing quality, person centered support services to assist people with living as independently as possible in the community, thereby reducing costs associated with emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and arrests. Jenny has a special interest in creating housing for our most vulnerable neighbors: persons with complex physical health needs, histories of homelessness, legal problems and substance abuse in addition to mental health challenges. Jenny has extensive knowledge about outreach and engagement with homeless persons and with evidence based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Community Treatment, Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment, Trauma-Informed Care, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Permanent Supportive Housing.

lynn headshot.jpgLynn Diraimondo – Finance Director

Lynn is an accountant with over 30 years experience. She joined the GHF team in April 2016. Prior to that, Lynn worked for Stone Carlie LLC, a local CPA firm, for 17 years, where she was responsible for a wide variety of tax related functions, including the preparation of business and personal tax returns and related issues. Prior to joining Stone Carlie, Lynn had her own tax and accounting practice for 12 years.


Sam Tsemberis explains the housing first approach and why it is essential and successful in housing our homeless neighbors.

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