Deputy Executive Director
For more than a decade, Jama Shelton has worked in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth homelessness. After receiving an MSW in 2004, Jama began an 8 year stint at the Ali Forney Center, an organization that provides housing and supportive services for gay and transgender youth experiencing homelessness. Having worked in various roles – first as a direct service provider, then developing and directing the expansion of AFC’s housing program, and finally as a researcher, program evaluation and trainer – Jama brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing both homeless gay and transgender youth and also the service providers with whom they work. As a trainer, Jama has led numerous workshops and has provided technical assistance to service providers throughout the United States and Canada. Jama received her doctorate in Social Welfare from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her award-winning dissertation examines the unique needs and experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming youth experiencing homelessness. She is also a professor at both the Hunter and NYU Schools of Social Work.