Executive Director, Jan Stokley, is a graduate of the University of Virginia with highest honors where she was an Echols Scholar. Following a Fulbright Fellowship, she attended the University of Virginia School of Law where she graduated with the Order of the Coif. After practicing law with a firm in Los Angeles, Jan moved to the practice of affordable housing law with the National Economic Development & Law Center (now the Insight Center for Community Economic Development). Jan was a clinical law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and led two other Bay Area nonprofit organizations before joining Housing Choices in 2012. She has written extensively in the fields of affordable housing, family support services, and early care and education. A parent of an adult daughter with developmental disabilities, Jan finds that her job at Housing Choices has woven together many different threads of her life in complex ways that never fail to surprise and reward.
Staff Accountant/ Office Manager
Christine was born in South Vietnam and moved to Bay Area 14 years ago. After moving here, she attended San Jose State and earned her B.S. in Accounting. She loves to cook Vietnamese food and hang out with her family in her spare time. Working at Housing Choices has been rewarding because of the relationships she has built with her team. She has become very close with her coworkers over the years and loves supporting them as they work with clients.
Dennise grew up playing competitive soccer in Southern California. For college, she attended UC Santa Cruz where she graduated with a BA in Psychology. Attending UC Santa Cruz meant leaving family and friends to experience something completely new. Upon graduation, she stayed in the area for job opportunities and has been living here since then. She started working as a Housing Coordinator at Housing Choices and was the only Housing Coordinator for much of 2013. When the organization began growing, she eventually became the Program Manager, and now is the Program Director. She now oversees the Program Managers and the Housing Coordination Team. Over the years, she has seen the organization grow and improve in many areas. Since working here, she has developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector and is passionate about helping others in need.
Housing Coordination Program Manager
Jessica was born and raised in Salinas, CA, and lived in Mexico for 11 years. Jessica attended UC Santa Cruz where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing and a Minor in Classical Studies. Jessica believes Housing Choices is a well- structured organization and loves that it gives her the opportunity to work with the community. She believes that having a stable home is an integral part of an individual's identity and she finds it very rewarding to be able to help individuals attain something that has such a direct impact on their future achievements and successes.
Housing Coordination Program Manager
Betty graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Development. During her free time, she enjoys watching baseball and hockey as well as spending quality time with family and friends. Working at Housing Choices has been an enriching experience that has allowed her to grow as an individual. She enjoys being able to make a difference in her clients’ lives and help them reach their housing goals.
Housing Coordination Program Manager
Tiffani Almanza was born in Vallejo and raised in the Bay Area. Tiffani stayed on a straight and narrow path after high school and attended College where she obtained her AA degree in Liberal Arts, BS degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Policing, and her MA degree in Organizational Management and Public Administration. Her biography has been published by the National Deans List 2 years in a row where only 2% of college students are awarded this recognition due to their academics and class placement. She was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society, which seeks out its members based on their academics. Tiffani enjoys helping people increase their quality of life by leading and coaching her team on how to effectively search for housing for the clients they serve. In her spare time, she loves watching movies and shopping with her husband who is a well respected Iron Worker throughout the Bay Area. Tiffani hopes to bring knowledge to the organization, which can help our clients obtain and sustain housing for the future and live out the American Dream, which everyone deserves to acquire.
Veronika was born and raised in San Jose and is currently attending De Anza College, pursuing a B.A. in Psychology. As the Housing Assistant, her goal is to get potential clients to receive services as soon as possible by giving then the right information and steps required to get them housed in a new home. After receiving her degree, she hopes to become a Housing Coordinator here at Housing Choices to be more involved in the process of helping clients. In her spare time, she dances Folklórico with Grupo Folklórico Luna y Sol de San José State University and tries to go to Disneyland as much as possible.
Housing First Case Manager
Cindy was born and raised in East Side San Jose and attended San Jose State University, where she got her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Health Science. While at SJSU, she participated in a school integration expedition to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she volunteered in a Health Fair for the small community of Arisola. It was there that she discovered her passion and realized she wanted to be in the public service field. As a Housing First Case Manager at Housing Choices, she works primarily with clients experiencing homelessness by assisting them in finding a temporary shelter or place where they can reintegrate and develop their rental history while placing them on a waitlist them for an ideal residence. Being part of an organization that makes a difference and gives a voice to a marginalized population has brought a new meaning to her life- so much so that she is planning to pursue her Masters in Social Work to develop skills to better serve her clients. She loves all things Disney and Sailor Moon, and in her spare time you can probably find her with her boyfriend at Game Kastle, playing some type of board game, painting, or role playing as a magical gnome in DnD.
Housing First Case Manager
Vanessa is a California native raised in the busy city of San Jose and is always seeking different types of adventure. She pursued higher education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a B.A. as a triple major in Legal Studies, Feminist Studies, and Forensics with a minor in Politics. During her time at UC Santa Cruz, she interned at the San Francisco District Attorney's office as a legal aid and then ventured off to Washington, DC to be a congressional intern. Having first-hand experience drafting different types of legislation on Capital Hill was thrilling and stressful- hence a piece of her remains in the DC area. In the near future, she plans to begin her legal career. As the Housing First Case Manager here at Housing Choices, she enjoys being able to provide different resources and information that can assist clients in bettering their quality of life. In her spare time, she enjoys reading by the pool or ocean side as well as attending concerts and rodeos.
Cynthia was born and raised in San Jose in a bilingual household where she learned to be fluent in Vietnamese and English. After high school, she attended San Jose State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in Business Administration. Her dream is to use her Communications degree as well as her bilingual skills to help people in challenging situations. She loves that at Housing Choices, every day is different and full of surprises. The United States is a country composed of immigrants and for many people English is not their first language. She is grateful for working with clients where this is the case.
Jose was born and raised in San Jose and attended San Jose State University where he graduated with a degree in Spanish and two minors in Mexican-American Studies and Portuguese. He considers himself a “Disney Geek” because he has watched every movie more than once. In his free time, he enjoys learning new languages, watching movies, and listening to different genres of music. Working at Housing Choices has helped him develop and grow as an individual. Every case is unique and it helps him come up with creative methods to help each individual or family. This job has inspired him to return to school and obtain a Master's in Counselor Education.
Juan was born and raised in Watsonville, CA. He attended California State University, Monterey Bay and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Social & Behavioral Sciences and with a minor in Spanish. In his spare time, He enjoys reading mystery novels and hanging out with his spouse. Working at Housing Choices has helped him to develop new skills and establish good relations with clients and San Andreas Regional Center Coordinators.
Luis grew up in San Jose, CA, in a bilingual household that taught him to embrace both his Mexican culture and American culture. He obtained his A.A. degree from De Anza College in Liberal Arts (Emphasis in Human Behavior), and obtained his B.A. in Sociology (Emphasis in Law & Society) at UC Davis. The reason that he likes working at Housing Choices is because it is flexible with him when he has emergencies or other duties, and because his coworkers and manager make him feel welcomed and supported in his work. He will be attending University of San Francisco in the Fall of 2017 to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and he is hoping to one day become a school counselor or advisor. He also hopes to obtain his PhD in Chicano Studies and become a part-time professor. Things he loves to do are workout, play soccer, and dance. He loves all types of Latin Music, collecting shoes, and DC and Marvel Superheroes.
Lizzy moved to Watsonville in 2013 from Pennsylvania after graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in Latin American Studies and Public Policy. She completed two terms with AmeriCorps in Watsonville before starting her position here at Housing Choices. She's really glad to continue to be involved in the community and to provide such a needed service! She believes that housing is a human right that all people deserve.
Diana was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and moved to United States when she was 7 years old and since then has lived in Salinas, CA. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Latin American and Latino Studies in 2009. She loves helping people in need and connecting them to resources. Before working for Housing Choices, she worked 7 years in retail and learned a lot about customer service. During her free time she enjoys cooking, listening to music, dancing, hanging out with family and friends, taking pictures, and exploring new places.
Jennifer was born and raised in Watsonville, CA, where she grew up seeing the need in her community for affordable housing. She went to San Jose State where she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Psychology. Following her graduation she started working with adults with developmental disabilities. She likes helping connect people to their housing needs. During her free time, you’ll find her at the beach, amusement parks, and hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Nora was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, and moved to the United States when she was 13. Since then, she has lived in Salinas. She attended California State University, Monterey Bay where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Being a Housing Coordinator at Housing Choices has being rewarding since she is able to help a community that needs help with housing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, traveling, and enjoying life to the fullest.
Omar was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States when he was 12. Since then, he has lived in Watsonville. He attended California State University, Monterey Bay, and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business. He enjoys watching movies, trying new things, and meeting new people everyday. During his free time he likes to go to the gym and spend time with friends and family. His experience working at Housing Choices has been rewarding because he gets to learn about the housing market but even more importantly, he gets to help the community. Housing Choices doesn't just allow him to provide a valuable service to the community- he also gets to develop new skills and methods to work with people more effectively.
Perla was born in Mexico, but grew up in the Bay Area. She attended Evergreen Valley College and received her A.A. in psychology. She then transferred to San Jose State University and majored in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. She enjoys being able to help people, and wants to further her education by entering a Master's program in Social Work. She started working for Housing Choices because she knew it would be a great opportunity and would help her progress in her career. It is a great feeling knowing she is doing something significant to help others.
Sergio grew up in Hollister, CA, a very small town which most people confuse for the clothing store. He attended Gavilan College in Gilroy, and earned his A.A. degree there. He then transferred to San Jose State University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology. Working as a Housing Coordinator with Housing Choices is very rewarding; it gives him the opportunity to change the lives of individuals as well as families. He personally enjoys helping people, which is why working at Housing Choices is fun and enjoyable. During his spare time, he enjoys going to the gym and watching movies. His favorite actor is Leonardo Dicaprio and his favorite movie is The Departed. When he is not doing those things, he enjoys being with his beautiful baby son, Leonardo.
Angel was born and raised in Salinas, CA. He attended San Jose State University and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Biology. He is currently considering pursuing a master’s degree. During his spare time, he watches Do-It-Yourself videos in order to acquire new sets of skills. He enjoys working at Housing Choices because he has the opportunity to create relationships with clients and their support teams. As a Resident Coordinator, he ensures his clients keep and maintain their housing. His overall goal is to assist his clients and help them develop new skills that will allow them to continue living in stable households.
Cathy attended UC San Diego and graduated with a degree in Human Biology and a minor in Psychology. She likes to watch movies and TV shows and listen to music when she has free time. She loves working for Housing Choices as a Housing Coordinator because she's able to meet one on one with residents and assist them with their housing needs. Seeing residents smile and hearing that they are happy really makes her day.
Monica grew up in the Bay Area, but has spent significant time in Jalisco, Mexico, which she also calls her hometown. She is grateful to have been raised in Mexico and the Bay Area because she acquired Spanish alongside English, which helps her to serve the Spanish speaking community in the area. The Bay Area has provided her with many things- one being an education and another being a close knit community. Having an education has given her the tools to give back to her community, which is why she pursued a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics with a minor in Mexican American Studies. She loves working for Housing Choices because helping out the community is her calling and she has a need to advocate for those that need their voices heard. Seeing her clients housed is also why she does the work here at this agency. An interesting fact about her is that she loves to dance; she dances all types of music, but her favorite is dancing to Mariachi music. She spends her spare time dancing to Mexican folk dance, representing her culture in an artistic form. Later on, she plans on developing her Reiki skills to become a Reiki healer, to help the community even more with her talents!
Eric was born and raised in San Jose. He graduated from SJSU in 2017 with a degree in Sociology. Eric enjoys working at Housing Choices because it gives him an opportunity to give back to the community in ways that strengthen and develop the lives of individuals and families. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching hockey, spending time with his German Shepherd, and eating his mother's home cooked enfrijoladas.
Rothar is currently going to school at Mission College, pursuing a degree in Management Information System. His hobbies are rock climbing, backpacking, hiking and playing computer games. He enjoys working as a Resident Coordinator. Being with Housing Choices has taught him a lot and has helped him grow personally and professionally.
Erika Ameca is 25 years old and was born in Mexico City but raised here in the Bay Area. She has her A.A. from De Anza College in Social and Behavioral Sciences and is am currently attending San Jose State University pursuing her bachelor's degree in Sociology. She loves working at Housing Choices for so many reasons, including working with clients who constantly teach her new things. She loves her Housing Choices Team and everything that they do in order to support people with developmental disabilities. Something interesting about her is that she looks younger than her actual age and when she tells people she has a 4-year-old daughter, they are shocked. She loves being a mother and also loves her job!