Chicago Homeless, Housing First, Ending Homelessness
Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness


The Chicago Alliance has five full-time staff members.

The Staff

Dr. Nonie Brennan, Chief Executive Officer, Emergency Fund. Nonie Brennan took on the role of Executive Director of the Emergency Fund in 2003, and was selected to be Chief Executive Officer of the new organization formed by the consolidation of the Emergency Fund and the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness in October, 2011. She has overseen the organization during a period of significant growth. Under her leadership, the Emergency Fund has become the largest provider of homelessness prevention funding in the mid-west. Brennan took a leadership role in developing Chicago’s Homelessness Prevention Call Center. She is a founding board member of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, and was part of a community development team from DePaul University who worked with government and nonprofit leaders in post Katrina New Orleans.

Prior to joining the Emergency Fund, Brennan was Executive Director of the Volunteer Center in Battle Creek, Michigan. During her tenure there, she was credited with bringing “211” (a three digit dialing code to access community resources) to the state. She served as President of Volunteer Centers of Michigan and was a founding member of the ConnectMichigan Alliance Board of Directors. Brennan also served on the Volunteer Center National Network Council and was appointed by Governor Engler to the Michigan Community Service Commission.

Dr. Brennan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario; she completed her Master of Public Service degree at DePaul University and her Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Her current research focus is non-profit collaboration. Brennan is the recipient of a DM/Mandel Center Fellowship and the Mitchell V. Morse Memorial Scholarship. In addition to her speaking engagements at national and international conferences, she is a part-time faculty member at DePaul University.

Sherise Alexander, Director of Operations. Sherise Alexander joined the Alliance in July 2007 to fill the new Director of Operations position. Sherise served previously as Executive Director of North Side Housing and Supportive Services, Program Director for that agency's Permanent Supportive Housing Program, and Executive Director of the YMCA of Metro Chicago, Child Welfare Program. She holds an MSW from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Nicole Amling, Director of Public Policy. Nicole Amling joined the Chicago Alliance in September 2008 with several years of policy and advocacy experience on issues of homelessness and human services. Nicole worked previously at The Night Ministry as the Manager of Government Relations and at Women Employed as a Senior Policy Associate. Nicole is an active member of her community, sitting on the Goethe Elementary Local School Council and serving as chair of its Fundraising Committee. She received a Master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

Amanda Becker Carlisle, Director of Projects. Amanda Becker started with the Alliance in November 2007 and draws on two years of experience as a Community Planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Amanda holds an M.U.P.P. in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Nicole Bahena, Project Associate. Nicole joined the Alliance in July 2008 after receiving her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before coming to the Alliance, Nicole spent time at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago where she worked on supportive housing programs for individuals with chronic illnesses. Nicole sits on the Young Women’s Leadership Council at the Chicago Foundation for Women which seeks to promote awareness about social justice issues facing women and girls. She also participates in the Emergency Fund Associate Board.