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Management Staff Profiles


Executive Officers

IMG_7195 (2)Matthew Okebiyi, Founder & CEO

Matthew Okebiyi is the Founder and currently serves as the CEO of the African American Planning Commission, a New York City-based 501(C)(3), not-for-profit organization committed to addressing homelessness and the related issues of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, shortage of affordable housing, and unemployment in the communities in which we live and serve.

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Finance & Human Resource Officers

raymondRaymond Okebiyi, BSc, M.B.A., Fiscal Officer

Ray is an experienced Fiscal Officer with over eighteen years of diversified accounting and finance experience spanning both for-profit and non-profit environments.

Before joining AAPC, Ray worked with Volunteers of America–Greater NY, Inc., (VOA-GNY), Comvision.com and PC Learning Center, Inc., YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities (NIPD), Manhattan Valley Golden Age Senior Citizens Center, Inc. and with the 163rd Street Improvement Council, Inc. Ray’s experience spans the accounting/finance field ranging from credit and collections to auditing and consulting, including maintaining financial statements, preparing, conducting and reviewing audits (both internal and external), supervising personnel, payroll and fringes and preparing business financial plan forecasts.

Ray assists both the CEO and the volunteer Board of Directors with managing the organization fiscally, ensuring that the organization is in fiscal compliance with our funders’ requirements. Ray has oversight for budget preparation and all general accounting issues impacting upon the organization. Ray hopes to bring his extensive experience associated with innovation, efficiency and cost cutting to the Commission.


Program Officers

Serenity House Family Residence

gladysGladys B. Pipkins, MSW, Program Director

Gladys B. Pipkins currently serves as the Program Director at Serenity House Family Residence (SHFR), a transitional Tier II residence for survivors of domestic violence. Prior to her current post, she served as the program’s Assistant Program Director.

Gladys works with the Assistant Program Director, who oversees the Supervisor of Family Services; Supervisor of Family Safety, and the Coordinator of Child Care & Recreational Services. Gladys focuses on staff development by ensuring that all staff are properly equipped to perform their responsibilities. This is accomplished by facilitating staff trainings.

Gladys brings over 25 years of experience working with victims of domestic violence. She began working with survivors of domestic violence in 1981. She has worked in several domestic violence shelters and was the Director of Hotlines, which included the domestic violence hotline operated by Safe Horizons (formerly known as Victim Services). Gladys has also served as a Board Member for a domestic violence shelter.

Before coming to SHFR, Gladys was a Team Supervisor for the Day Care Council of NYC. There she supervised five MSW students who provided services to parents, children and teachers at 15 day care centers. Services included crisis intervention counseling, parenting groups, individual counseling (consisting of the provision of services to many parents who were victims of domestic violence), as well as the provision of technical support and professional training to the teachers In 1986 and again in 1994, Gladys was honored and received a Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contributions in her work with victims of domestic violence.

Gladys graduated from the College of New Rochelle, receiving a B.A. with Honors in Psychology and Education. She continued her education and graduated from Hunter College School of Social Work, where she received her MSW on a full tuition scholarship through the NYC Department of Mental Health. Gladys also holds a SIFI certification which affords her the opportunity to supervise MSW students in New York City.

Gladys was an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College School of Social Work. Her focus was on preparing MSW students for academia and providing them with tools to help them coordinate busy work schedules and field placements in order to receive MSW degrees.

Gladys enjoys laughter which she considers medicine for the soul, southern home cooking, especially collard greens and fried chicken. Grits and fish for breakfast are always a special treat. Gladys collects African American dolls (she has over 100), enjoys traveling, reading, stimulating and intellectual debates on social issues.

What I enjoy most about working at Serenity House Family Residence: touching the lives of residents, holding their babies and looking for opportunities to assist my staff hone their skills. SHFR is Home and it’s where I belong”.

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monicaMonica S. Lee, B.S., Assistant Program Director

Monica currently serves AAPC and the residents of Serenity House Family Residence as the Assistant Program Director. Monica oversees the Supervisor of Family Services; Supervisor of Family Safety, and the Coordinator of Child Care & Recreational Services. Prior to her current post, she served as the program’s Supervisor of Family Services. Monica has over 20 years experience in public service. Her experiences are diverse and yet share a common goal — to assist those in need.

Along with her calling to public service, Monica brings a strong business background to AAPCI. Monica has twenty years experience working in a corporate environment. She began her career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Greater New York (EBCBS) and worked there for nearly 15 years in various positions each with increasing and diverse responsibility. She held the positions of Supervisor, Business Analyst, Trainer and Manager.

After taking an early retirement from EBCBS, Monica applied her experiences and started her own desktop publishing company called Computer Designs. She offered a variety of services including P.C. training; resume production and general desktop publishing services. However, after a few years she missed the business environment and joined AmeriChoice, Inc, a Medicaid managed care service provider. It was at AmeriChoice that Monica began her work with the underserved populations in NYC, and she developed a greater desire to serve others. She remained with AmeriChoice for four years, when she left it was to spend more time with her family.

When Monica returned to work she joined another Medicaid managed care service provider as a Marketing Manager. She worked extensively and directly with the public and various government and private agencies.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, Monica was presented with the opportunity to provide a service to her country. Monica joined Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS) as a Trainer. AIS was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security to train the techniques and principles of security to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees.

In 2003, Monica experienced a life altering event with the loss of her father. Monica decided to return to college, and dedicated her work to the memory of her father. Monica worked full-time, while she attended St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn as a full-time student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health and Human Services. She maintained a GPA of 3.92 or better and was on the Dean’s List during her academic career. She earned certificates in Counseling, Leadership and Supervision, and Information Technologies. She was inducted into the Delta Gamma Sigma Honor Society for academic achievement, and service to the community and the college; and for commencement she was given the honor of being the class Valedictorian.

Monica has formal training and professional experience in: Health Care Delivery Systems, Community Health and Human Services, Principles of Counseling, Family Counseling, Counseling Techniques, Emotional/Behavioral Disturbances in Children and Youth, Mental Health and Crisis Intervention, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving. Her future plans include earning her graduate degree.

Monica is a member of the Shinnecock Nation, a Native American tribe located on Long Island. She enjoys spending time with friends and family at the family’s home on the Reservation. Monica is a child at heart and loves to spend her free time playing. She enjoys making people laugh and loves to tell stories.


Renee Steedley Family Residence

Lateth Jackson-300x235Latetha Jackson, MSW, Program Director

Ms. Latetha Jackson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercy College, studying to become a Social Worker. Ms. Jackson worked at Westhab Inc., a non-profit organization geared towards building communities and changing lives. Ms. Jackson was involved in their Rapid Re-Housing Program where she helped families transition from shelter to permanent housing with intensive homebased services and community referrals.

Over the past seven years, Ms. Jackson worked within Safe Horizon’s emergency and transitional shelters providing services to survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Jackson has taken great pride in the work she has done to impact the lives of many during her time there.

Ms. Jackson has also served as the Director of Social Services for Acacia Network where she oversaw day-to-day supportive services coupled with case management within single Tier II hotel shelters and worked in conjunction with DHS, OTDA, HUD and outside agencies.

Ms. Jackson earned her Masters in Social Work from Lehman College where she graduated Magna Cum Laud in June of 2017. Ms. Jackson currently serves as the Program Director of Renee Steedley Family Residence (RSFR), a transitional Tier II shelter for homeless victims of domestic violence. Prior to her current position, Ms. Jackson served as the program’s Assistant Program Director. Ms. Jackson oversees the Assistant Program Director, Supervisor of Social Services, Coordinator of Childcare and the Supervisor of Family Safety. Ms. Jackson takes pride in implementing AAPCI’s core values in the day-to-day operations at Renee Steedley Family Residence.

Ms. Jackson has worked with many at risk populations with a variety of presenting issues. Ms. Jackson empowers these families to break the cycle of recidivism; encourages sustainability and helps develop self-sufficiency.

Ms. Jackson is a strong innovative leader who evokes empathy and compassion for the residents that she serves, and ensures the advancement of staff development to reach their optimal potential.

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Celida Jimenez, BA, Assistant Program Director



Emergency Shelter and Social Services in Commercial Hotels

Kimberly K. Joneskimberly profile pic, MS. Ed., LMHC, Director of Operations – Commercial Shelters

Ms. Kimberly Jones currently serves as the Director of Emergency Shelter Services overseeing all AAPC/DHS’ shelter programs in commercial hotels – citywide.   Ms. Jones is an experienced, licensed, Behavioral Health professional, skilled in the procurement, administration and oversight of government funded contracts, special needs housing, and the delivery of social services programing. Ms. Jones presents more than 25 years of experience in the human services field. Her expertise includes Mental Health Counseling, vocational counseling, recovery oriented services development and delivery. Ms. Jones has served as a Deputy Housing Director and a Contract Compliance Program Auditor in a nine-year tenure with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Ms. Jones brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to African American Planning Commission. She is a natural leader and motivator, and takes pride in staff training, professional development and mentoring. Ms. Jones holds a Master’s degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.


Brooklyn Way Hotel

Brian Bailey, MSW, Program Director

, Director of Social Services

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Lower Manhattan Holiday Inn

, Program Director

Victoria_Monroe -250X294Victoria L. MonroeCMHC-LP, CASAC-T, Director of Social Services

Ms. Victoria Lenora Monroe is a CMHC-LP, CASAC-T, currently serving as the Director of Social Services at the Holiday Inn Women’s Shelter. In this capacity she oversees the program and quality of equitable services provided. Monroe graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude in undergraduate studies in Psychology.

Ms. Monroe has an extensive background in counseling various population and experience with Substance Use Treatment, Trauma, Homelessness, Bereavement, and persistent severe mental illness. She also has a history of providing clinical treatment services through an assertive community team, outpatient settings, and working along side foster care system. Through exposure with working with diverse populations, Ms. Monroe saw a need in addressing inequitable care and barriers especially to those in greater need. She hope to bring her experience, clinical skills, and compassion to empower the community that we live in and change lives one day at a time.


Cabana Hotel Men’s Shelter 

waleska_salgado_bio picturesWaleska Salgado-Nunez, MA, CMHC-LP, Program Director

Ms. Waleska Belmar Salgado-Nunez graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of Staten Island; winning the Mental Health Counseling award at CUNY and chosen as the Key note speaker for all graduates in 2017. Ms. Salgado graduated both her undergraduate and Master’s degree with Summa Cum Laude. Most of her graduate career was dedicated to research on the psychological health of children in South Africa. Ms. Salgado is a published researcher and has traveled nationally and internationally conducting lectures, presentation and symposium on the implications of parental HIV/AIDS on the psychological health of children. Ms. Salgado has also taught at Baruch College and mentored incoming first generation minority students.

While providing therapy for Spanish speaking high-school students, Ms. Salgado saw a need for support in the teen immigrant community. Ms. Salgado developed and implemented a high-school acculturation processing group in which students were connected to one another and supportive resources. Ms. Salgado also provided preventative services such as in-home family therapy and crises avoidance and management training to children with significant mental health or developmental disabilities in foster care.

Currently, Ms. Salgado serves as the Program Director overseeing program staff and ensuring the highest quality of services is delivered to clients. Equitable treatment and access to services is amongst her highest priority therefore Ms. Salgado works diligently with staff to develop their skills in assessment and treatment of clients. Ms. Salgado is also a life-long equestrian who is developing a practice that will offer equine-assisted psychotherapy, also known as “horse-therapy” to trauma victims.

, Director of Social Services


Econolodge Hotel Women’s Shelter

, Program Director

Pamela Anderson, Director of Social Services


Days Inn Hotel Men’s Shelter 

Michelle Banks, MSW, Program Director

Lesley Bruno, Director of Social Services

Ms. Lesley Bruno has been in the field of Social/Human Services for over 15 years.  Ms. Bruno’s career has involved working with Mentally Disabled Adults, Foster Care, homeless families, federal inmates, and currently with homeless single Adult females.  Ms. Bruno has a passion for helping those in need and currently mentors entry-level professionals.

Ms. Bruno is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work degree from Adelphi University. Once obtained, she plans on doing research with trauma victims to assist in post-traumatic therapy.  As the Director of Social Services for the Holiday Inn Shelter, Ms. Bruno’s passion for serving the underserved will continue to flourish through her work and experience.