Passing the Baton: Farewell, Rhonda Otteson, and Thank You!

2024 greetings to you on behalf of the board and staff of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless! I’m writing today to share some big news: an announcement from our Executive Director, Rhonda Otteson and a note of thanks from the board.

Rhonda’s Message: A Goodbye and Thank You

Good morning friends and colleagues,

Since joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with passionate advocates with lived experience, member and partner organizations, donors and funders, and an incredible board and staff. While some people say that advocacy and leadership is a marathon, I prefer the analogy of a relay—and it’s time to pass the baton to the next leader of MCH. My last day at MCH will be 1/29/2024.

Since joining MCH in October 2019, we’ve navigated a global pandemic and secured historic levels of funding to address homelessness and create homes all across Minnesota. I’m deeply grateful for the work we’ve done together and filled with pride in how we partnered to garner support to get the most significant increases in programmatic funding for shelter, services, homelessness prevention assistance, and creating homes in our State’s history. So many lives have and are being impacted by our collective advocacy efforts and I’m excited to see all that will be accomplished in the upcoming legislative session.

In reflection, there are so many moments along this journey that inspire me and all of them include the advocates and partners that have shown tenacity and heart by sharing stories and advocating for solutions to end homelessness. I’m leaving knowing that I’ve poured my heart and soul into this work and content with the decision that it’s time for me to exit to a new opportunity.

I won’t be too far away: I’ll be joining the Minnesota Department of Human Services staff as a Capital Grants Manager in the Office of Economic Opportunity. I’m thrilled to be part of the team administering capital grants to enhance and create shelters across Minnesota–funding we all worked so hard to secure in the 2023 legislative session. 

Thank you for your leadership and partnership over these past four years. It’s been the honor of my life.

With gratitude,
Rhonda Otteson

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Rhonda for her dedication to serving Minnesotans, before, during, and following her time as Executive Director for MCH. Rhonda’s commitment to improving the lives of our fellow Minnesotans shows and the tremendous results MCH helped deliver during her time as our leader speaks for itself. The Board and staff are committed to finding a new Executive Director to pick up the baton and carry our advocacy forward to the eventual goal of ending homelessness in Minnesota.

While we conduct a thorough search, Matt Traynor will serve as a temporary Acting Executive Director until the board selects an Interim Executive Director and eventual permanent leader. 

Please join us and thank Rhonda for the past four years and wish her well in her future endeavors! 

Andy Pomroy
Board Chair
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless