Marsha Young

Chief Program Officer

Marsha Young joined the executive team at SELF Inc. as Chief Program Officer in February 2024. With more than 26 years of diverse experience in the social services field, she spent the last two decades of her career holding various managerial shelter positions within New York City government as well as nonprofit provider agencies. Young brings extensive knowledge and leadership skills serving the vast homeless populations in NYC, which is comprised of vulnerable families, single adults, children, seniors, veterans, formerly incarcerated, mentally ill and chemically addicted subsections.

She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration from Monroe College in White Plains, N.Y. and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy from Fordham University in Bronx, N.Y.

During her early professional career, she began working with NYC Administration for Children’s Services as a Child Protective Specialist investigating familial allegations of child abuse and neglect which often involved filing court petitions and conducting protective removals to ensure safety. She later joined New York State Office of Children and Family Services where she worked as an Institutional Abuse specialist investigating child abuse throughout juvenile detention centers across New York State. While working with children and families she noticed a recurring trend that the families being served all shared commonalities of poor socioeconomic backgrounds such as lack of education, limited financial resources, low wage jobs, little to no family support and most often suffered housing instability. While working to implement preventive services to reunite families and prevent removals, she became aware of the homelessness crisis and instantly became intrigued.

These early experiences in Child Welfare were instrumental in culminating a drive for Young’s desire to serve the underserved which spearheaded her transition to the NYC Shelter System. She initially began working in NYC Department of Homeless Services over 20 years ago as an Administrative Director of Social Services in Bellevue-30 th Street Men’s Intake which is the largest central intake and assessment site in NYC serving over 800 homeless men. Subsequently, she moved into the nonprofit homeless sector as a provider where she successfully managed and opened several brand new single men and women shelter facilities each having capacities of 200 or more residents. Young formulated a plan from the ground up for all of the shelter projects, developed strategic initiatives and monitored program compliance with all contractual as well as regulatory agreements. Each facility was individually designed for specialized populations such as medically frail elderly men 55 and older, mentally ill and chemically addicted females, formerly incarcerated and/or sex offenders and veterans.

In addition to having extensive shelter management experience, Young is well-versed in all realms of homeless systems such as intake, bed management, intensive case management, motivational interviewing, crisis intervention, trauma informed care, housing placement and aftercare. During her 20-year tenure in management she has held various positions which supplemented the expertise she brings to this position such as staff recruitment, development and retention, organizing facility layouts, developing protocols, creating training plans, enforcing facility policy and procedures, collaborating with local, state and federal entities to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, conducting quality assurance reviews, managing audits and chairing community advisory boards all while building a cohesive work environment.

Young is a native New Yorker and new to the City of Philadelphia. She is excited to navigate Philadelphia, visit the museums, experience the vibrant art and culture scene, partake in the many food delicacies that Philadelphia is known for such as water ice, soft pretzels and Philly cheesesteak, all while working to serve the underserved vulnerable homeless communities of this city.