Joe Finn: Executive Director, Massachusetts Homeless Shelter Alliance

“I have always fundamentally believed that the issue of homelessness needs to be addressed. And all of my life’s work has been focused on what we can do to end it and meet these people’s needs.”—Joe Finn

For Joe Finn, devoting his life’s work to helping the needy has always made sense. Coming from a religious background within the Franciscan community values of assisting the poor were instilled in Joe at a young age. When he decided to leave religious life the transition to a career in the nonprofit sector helping the homeless was a clear and logical one. Beginning as a shift manager at the Long Island Homeless Shelter, Finn has since worked at a number of organizations: Positive Lifestyles; Shelter Inc. in Cambridge; Father Bill’s Place in Quincy, where he served as the director; and finally the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA), where he has served as the president and executive director since 2003.

Under Joe’s guidance MHSA has made tremendous strides in implementing low-threshold housing for the chronically homeless. Home and Healthy for Good, a cornerstone program of MHSA, was developed under Joe’s leadership and is now one of the programs leading the charge in Massachusetts towards a housing first model of sheltering the homeless.

In a career spanning over twenty years the number of lives Joe has touched is truly immeasurable. He has devoted himself to helping disadvantaged people and giving them a chance to succeed. Joe stands out in the Boston community as a figure who has truly made strides toward ending homelessness for good.

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