Meet the Staff: Rachel Bereza, Deputy CEO

As the lead agency that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Sacramento, our team plays a significant role in shepherding the community to activate collaborative plans and actions. 

We met with Rachel Bereza, our newly installed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, to learn about her background, what drew her to this work, and what she looks forward to doing in this new role.

What will you be doing at SSF?

My #1 goal is to support the SSF team in all I do. In the short term, this looks like freeing up some of Lisa Bates’ bandwidth so she can focus on high-level fundraising and strategic initiatives. Longer-term this looks like our neighbors recognizing a visual difference in the landscape of housing and homelessness. 

What motivated you to join SSF? 

I’ve lived and worked in Sacramento and the social impact space for almost 20 years. I’m known in some circles to say, “We’re changing the world, starting in Sacramento.” Not only do I believe that statement is possible, I believe SSF is a catalyst for making that change and I just couldn’t wait to be a part of it. 

What do you wish people knew about homelessness? 

Homelessness is not an indicator of the value of an individual, it’s an indicator of the values of our society. I would also like people to know that homelessness is complex, but solvable if everyone is willing to take responsibility, be accountable, and do the hard but rewarding work at hand.

What are you excited to do next in your new role? 

I am excited to work with our data team to provide deep insights into our work, the relationships between variables, and performance measures. I’m looking forward to boldly stepping forth in the community and leading innovation and human-centered solutions in the housing and homelessness space. And near and dear to my heart, I am very enthusiastic about doing the work to drive down race as a predictor of success and advancing racial equity.

Rachel is a self-proclaimed nerd particularly about the intersection of behavioral psychology and social impact. We are excited for her to join our team to be a true partner that leads with compassion, kindness, and care. Rachel’s purpose is to help others challenge the status quo, uncover possibility, and make effective change in the world.