Action Nexus on Housing and Homelessness
About the Nexus
Shana Ellis, Executive Director
Shana Ellis has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management in the areas of aging, disabilities, fundraising and incubation of new programs. Most recently, she was a Vice President of Programs and Services at Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix, Arizona, overseeing programs that enable seniors to enrich their quality of life and remain as independent as possible.
Prior to her work at Area Agency, she was the President/CEO of The Centers for Habilitation, helping individuals with disabilities through employment, housing, transportation and socialization programs.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems/Business and a master’s degree in Public Administration, both from Arizona State University. She has served on many non-profit boards that focus on youth, transportation, disabilities, leadership aging and homelessness.
Additionally, Shana served eight years on the Tempe City Council, with two years as Vice Mayor. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership, has received the Don Carlos Humanitarian Award for community service and was honored by the Phoenix Business Journal as an Outstanding Woman in Business.
Amber Maiberger, Program Coordinator, Sr. - Shared Housing
Amber Maiberger brings a range of diverse experiences with her as she joins the Action Nexus as the Program Coordinator Sr for the Shared Housing Initiative of Maricopa County. Prior to joining the Action Nexus, she worked for the School of Social Work’s Field Education Office as a Field Education Specialist, working directly with master of social work students searching for, entering, and completing their foundation and advanced internships. She is the Media Coordinator and a site volunteer for the harm-reduction organization Shot in the Dark and works directly to foster safe and empowered communities.
Prior to her work with Arizona State University, Amber lived in Chicago where she worked in the nonprofit sector for over 4 years. She worked as a clinician for adolescents with substance use, mental health, trauma, and problematic sexual behavior. She has a Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and is trained in TF-CBT and PSB-CBT. She has provided community-based, school-based, and prison-based interventions for young people.
Amber holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Millikin University in Decatur, IL and a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Forensics from Aurora University in Aurora, IL. She is currently pursuing a Master of Art in Social Justice and Human Rights from Arizona State University with research regarding harm-reduction and destigmatization.
Jessie Helmes Program Manager, Evaluator
Jessie Helmes joins the ASU Action Nexus as the Program Manager, Evaluator after more than nine years working with students in College of Health Solutions as an internship coordinator, where she supported undergraduate and graduate students as they navigated finding, securing, and completing their internships.
She brings with her experience collaborating with internal partners and community leaders to build successful programs for students and a passion for working with underserved populations. She is also a volunteer mentor for first-generation students in the One-at-a-Time scholarship program at St. Vincent de Paul.
Jessie holds a bachelor's degree in Art History from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Education in Postsecondary and Higher Education from Arizona State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration (Nonprofit Administration), graduating in Fall 2022.