Mayor Brandon M. Scott Names Irene Agustin Homeless Services Director
Tuesday May 11th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Tuesday, May 11, 2021) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing the appointment of the two leaders to the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) who will be responsible for implementing an anti-homeless strategy for Baltimore: Irene Agustin, who will serve as Director, and William Wells, who will serve as Deputy Director. They will assume their roles in June.
“Naming a Homeless Services Director with the experience to build an anti-homelessness strategy in collaboration with service providers and community partners has been one of my top priorities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Irene and Bill bring deep commitment and a wealth of experience to their respective roles, and I look forward to working with them to make homelessness rare and brief in Baltimore.”
Irene Agustin will serve as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services for the Scott administration. She has experience that spans the spectrum of homeless services, including outreach, emergency shelter, and permanent housing. She has worked with the continuum of care program, including serving as the collaborative applicant to administer and monitor HUD funds.
Agustin currently serves as the Director of Coordinated Entry and Problem Solving for San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. She was deployed to the City’s COVID Command Center to lead the alternative sheltering system and oversaw the operation of 29 hotels established to respond to the public health crisis. She then transitioned to develop the strategy to rehouse guests and demobilize hotel sites. This included creating a pandemic prioritization plan that overlaid coordinated entry as well as implementing process improvements to increase outflow and connect guests to permanent housing options established in the Mayor’s Homelessness Recovery Plan.
Previously, she served as Chief Program Manager for the homeless services division in the City of St. Louis, which led to a mayoral appointment to Director of Human Services. Agustin graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. She earned a Master’s in Social Work from the Saint Louis University.
William Wells will serve as Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services. Currently, he serves as Senior Vice President for Business Strategy at Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC). Wells has over a decade of government and nonprofit management consulting, organizational development, and public opinion research experience. He has worked with Medicaid waiver programs, led the reorganization of HABC following its split from the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, and was responsible for strategic planning, external partnerships, local government relations, and ensuring the success of cross-functional initiatives.
Wells currently serves on the board of directors for the Middle Grades Partnership and the University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs Dean’s advisory board. He is a proud Engineer, having graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) prior to earning his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.
Since May 2020, Tisha S. Edwards has served as the Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services. She guided the agency through its action plan on homelessness and COVID-19 Response Plan. During her tenure, the City leased five hotels to offer safe shelter in non-congregate settings and launched the expanded Rapid Rehousing Program. Edwards concurrently serves as the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS). She will remain in that role, where she leads the City’s strategy for investing in and radically improving the lives of children and families.
“I thank Acting Director Edwards for her diligence in the dual roles she has played over the past year, particularly during COVID-19,” said Mayor Scott. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with MOHS and MOCFS as the lead human services agencies in Baltimore City.”