The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness at its recent Board of Directors’ meeting appointed Frank Cirillo, the current Director of the Mercer County Board of Social Services as its new Executive Director. Mr. Cirillo recently announced his retirement from his current position effective February 1, 2015. “Frank Cirillo brings a wealth of experience and a proven commitment to the task of ending homelessness; the Board feels there could be no better candidate for the job,” noted Clifford Goldman, Chairperson of the Mercer Alliance Board. Mr. Cirillo was recognized as a Champion for Change by the White House in 2012 for his innovative work on redesigning the system of family homelessness in Mercer County.
A 1971 graduate of Rider University, Mr. Cirillo has a long history of service in the public sector as an administrator and elected official. He has been employed by the Board of Social Services for 43 years and has served as its Director since 2004. Mr. Cirillo is past president of the County Welfare Directors’ Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Child Support Council, and currently serves as an appointee to the Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Mr. Cirillo served on the Trenton City Council from 1991 to 2002 and served as Council President from 1999 to 2002. During his tenure he was involved in many economic development and affordable housing issues and became more aware and sensitive to the issue of homelessness.
He was appointed to the Board of the Alliance in 2008 and since that time has been increasingly involved in introducing Housing First concepts to the community at large and to the Board of Social Services in particular, where he spearheaded a redesign of the system to deal with families who become homeless.
“Rapidly moving people into housing and supporting them to remain stably housed is the answer,” said Goldman. “Frank Cirillo has made this a reality for families in Mercer County. Families now move into an apartment and their children go to the local school. They receive help to find a job and to learn skills to maintain their housing. We have seen a 70 percent decrease in family homelessness during the Annual Point in Time Count. Fewer families are homeless on any one day. We are proud of this achievement and know the important role Frank played in this outcome.”
The Mercer Alliance with its unique Board from government, non-profit, health care, education and the business community has received national recognition for its innovations in introducing and supporting new models of service delivery for the homeless in Mercer County. “Our collaboration with the City of Trenton, the County of Mercer, the Board of Social Services and our non-profit providers is unique. We not only support the concepts, we organize our financial resources to achieve the same goals; permanent housing for anyone who becomes homeless in our community,” said Marygrace Billek, Director, Mercer County Department of Human Services and a member of the Alliance Board.
Cliff Goldman concluded, “Frank’s leadership will make the Alliance stronger and our mission to end homelessness in Mercer County a reality. He will be no stranger to the Mercer County social service and business community. He is both well- known and widely respected for his compassion, commitment and his ability to achieve results.”