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CEO Resigns From Board Overseeing Spending on Homelessness

Cindy Adams nodded to tensions around the county’s allocation of funds from its share of a 10-year, $2.5 billion supportive housing services measure.

Cindy Adams, CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, abruptly resigned from the executive board of A Home for Everyone on July 25, saying in an email to agency director Marc Jolin she felt “unable to have an impact in the current governance structure.”

Adams was one of just three private-sector representatives on the eight-member board, which oversees Multnomah County’s spending on homelessness.

Adams provided feedback in an April board survey that nodded to tensions around the county’s allocation of funds from its share of a 10-year, $2.5 billion supportive housing services measure. In that survey, she said A Home for Everyone’s board was dysfunctional and needed to “maintain a sense of urgency, and hold ourselves accountable to the public.”

In an email to Adams, Jolin expressed surprise and regret at her resignation, while acknowledging that Adams’ concerns were “consistent in many respects with what we’ve heard in other discussions.”

In a statement, Adams said United Way will continue to work with the county on homeless issues.

“I was honored to serve on AHFE’s executive committee,” Adams said. “A key takeaway for me is we also need to make investments in innovative ideas and approaches to address our housing crisis.”