Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director | Email: Kuoppala (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Liz has been at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless in various capacities since 2001. She brings a clear appreciation for the importance of statewide organizing in making systemic change. Before joining MCH, Liz did brief stints as a locomotive engineer in the mines and as a staffer in Senator Paul Wellstone’s D.C. office. She is the 2008 recipient of the League ofMinnesota Cities’ Women in City Government Outstanding Leadership Award for her work in leadership development while serving as an Eveleth City Councilor (2007-2010), the 2009 recipient of the Ann Bancroft Dream Maker Award for Leadership and Achievement for her work in recruiting and training rural women to run for elected office, the 2011 recipient of the Simpson Housing Services Champion Award for her advocacy work. She was one of six individuals to recieve a Virginia Binger McKnight Award in Human Service in 2014.
Liz holds a certificate in Sociology from Reisjarven Opisto in Finland, a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Cloud State University and a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In her spare time, Liz enjoys hiking, reading, and skiing. Liz lives in Moorhead.
Kenza Hadj-Moussa, Communications & Development Director | Email: kenza (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Before joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Kenza worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services and St. Stephen’s Human Services. She serves on the board of Our Saviour’s Community Services and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Kenza holds a Master’s in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and is a certified MBTI practitioner. She is lives in St. Paul.
Dan Kitzberger, Policy Director | Email: Dan (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Dan has experience as a researcher, organizer, and advocate in a variety of nonprofit organizations including the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Association for Nonsmokers, and Neighborhood Housing Services. Before joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Dan worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives as a legislative assistant and constituent services specialist. Dan serves as the Vice Chair of the City of Richfield Planning Commission. He holds a Master’s in Advocacy & Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota Duluth. As an undergraduate, Dan was a starting linebacker on the UMD football team. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. In his free time, he can be found fishing, working out, or woodworking. Originally from New Ulm, Dan lives in Richfield.
Katherine Wagoner, Director of Member Engagement | Email: katherine (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Katherine took a class in 2004 called Homelessness: Critical Issues for Policy and Practice which included touring shelters, volunteering, and exploring public policy. From then on, she knew she wanted to be an advocate for ending homelessness. Katherine worked with low-income families through the Minnesota Family Investment Program for seven years before becoming the director of the Affirmative Options Coalition in 2011.Katherine holds a BA in Social Science and a Masters in Public and Nonprofit Management, both from Metropolitan State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, camping, and watching her daughter play softball. She lives with her family in Coon Rapids.
Atom Robinson, Director of Outreach & Campaigns | Email: atom (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Before joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Atom Robinson led organizing efforts for social, racial, and economic justice campaigns with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, and Catholic Charities Office for Social Justice. He is a founding board member of The Lift Garage and former musician. Atom holds a Master’s in Advocacy & Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter.
Val Strukel, Northeast Organizer |Email: Val (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Val worked as Basic Needs Program Manager at the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) which serves the entire arrowhead region. She was retired for less than a day when we scooped her up! At AEOA, Val supervised the homeless programs: shelter, prevention, and services. She is past co-chair of Heading Home St. Louis County and the Rural Housing Coalition. In addition to her lifelong work as a service provider and advocate, Val brings personal experience of having fled domestic violence with two small children and no place to live. She lives in Eveleth.
Rhonda Otteson, South West Organizer | Email: Rhonda (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Rhonda Otteson is the Director of the Link, a small, faith-based non-profit based in Spicer, MN. Before coming to the Link, Rhonda worked at Heartland Community Action Agency to implement policies to meet the needs of low-income citizens in her community, most recently with programs serving households at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. Rhonda has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and graduate coursework in advocacy and political leadership. Rhonda brings a dedication to working with low-income people which is rooted in her personal experience with poverty as a child and young parent. She was the first Minnesota recipient of the Sargent Shriver Achievement Award for overcoming poverty and giving back to her community.
Kirsten Rokke, Social Media Manager | Email: Kirsten (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Kirsten joined the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless as a savvy social media intern in January 2014. She was hired full-time as the Social Media Manager in May 2014. Kirsten holds a BA in American Multicultural Studies, and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Minnesota State University. In her free time, Kirsten enjoys being with friends, playing pool, teaching confirmation, taking road trips and playing piano. She lives in the Moorhead area.
LeAnn Littlewolf, Grant Writer | Email: LeAnn (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
LeAnn Littlewolf joined the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless in May 2014 to build capacity for statewide advocacy. She has over twenty years of non-profit experience, in housing & homeless youth services, youth leadership & grassroots organizing, and policy work. LeAnn worked at Life House in Duluth, as an housing advocate and youth service provider. LeAnn received a YWCA community award as a Woman of Distinction in 2008 for her work at Life House. LeAnn’s first grassroots organizing experience on the Iron Range transformed her life and she has been working with others to create change ever since. LeAnn holds a Master’s in Advocacy & Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a Master’s in Education from the College of St. Scholastica. She loves growing organic food, teaching, and being with her family. She lives in Duluth.
2013-2014 Board of Directors
Heidi Johnson McAllister, President
Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH)
Janine Wenholz, Vice President
People Serving People
Jennifer Peterson, Treasurer
City of Cottage Grove Council Member
Kathy Sauve Lutheran Social Service, Youth Services
Senta Leff Wilder Foundation
ThaoMee Xiong Minnesota Housing Partnership
Jen Arzaus Division of Indian Works
Lorrie Janatopolous Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency
Damon Dranchak General Mills
Emily McGann MN State Bar Association
Mike Nystuen United Health Group