True North Housing Alliance Appoints Taylor Storey as Executive Director – Chico Enterprise-Record

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CHICO – Taylor Storey was named the new executive director of True North Housing Alliance on Tuesday.

Storey will oversee programs under the True North Housing Alliance, including Torres Shelter remodeling, street outreach, emergency shelters, bridging housing, permanent supportive housing and rapid relocation.

Storey worked as a campfire recovery counselor, providing therapeutic services to students, and earned her Masters of Social Work in Chico State.

“Although she was not as seasoned chronologically as some, she is an old soul and a sage far beyond her age; and that’s something that struck us, ”said Tim VanderHeiden, Chairman of the Board of True North Housing Alliance.

VanderHeiden said he was impressed with Storey’s experience in dealing with clinical situations.

“We deal with a lot of trauma in our organization with our clientele, and having this skill set is so valuable to the organization and to the case managers, the supervisors,” said VanderHeiden.

Former CEO Joy Amaro will assist Storey in the transition of leadership responsibilities.

Amano said she looked forward to Storey pursuing the vision of True North Housing Alliance and for Storey to bring a social work perspective to the organization as opposed to her own perspective which was on the business side.

“I’m excited because she brings a completely different skill set than I have,” Amaro said.

Prior to accepting the new role of CEO, Storey ran a vocational and therapeutic training program for at-risk youth, who in many cases suffered from mental illness or homelessness.

She had revamped an existing program for transitional youth at Plumas County Behavioral Health that she said did not address the systemic causes of mental health. Storey took an approach called Solution-Based Therapy and held focus groups on the needs of adolescents.

“I saw that the program had a ton of potential, so for my masters thesis I completely redesigned and redesigned and increased the scale.”

With the help of nonprofit partners, Storey taught young adults professional skills as well as emotional and social regulation skills. The students learned skills and met with a counselor afterwards.

A sign is seen on the door to Taylor Storey’s office at the Torres Community Shelter in Chico, Calif. On Thursday, Jan.6, 2022 (Michael Weber / Enterprise-Record)

“They got therapeutic services in real times, rather than practicing their skills in a therapist’s office,” Storey said.

With that experience behind her, Storey is now the Executive Director of True North Housing Alliance, an organization whose population consists primarily of an underserved population – many of whom are affected by mental illness.

In 2020, more than 55% of visitors to Torres Shelter suffered from a mental illness or mental health issue, according to Ashiah Scharaga, director of marketing and communications for True North Housing Alliance.

Storey said the Torres shelter helps visitors manage individual cases and creates a housing action plan, which she calls a solutions-based approach to dealing with the homeless population.

“They have the right to dignity and self-determination and for them to be successful they have to buy what is available to them,” Storey said. “So you plan with them what they need and what they want to work towards. “

Storey said she is now focused on building a solid foundation with staff and continuing to grow relationships with service providers.

“A lot of good changes have happened already, and I’m in a good position to build on the foundation that has been laid for me,” Storey said.


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