Michael Mallory is the Chief Government Relations Officer at Connections for the Homeless and started his role here in spring of 2023. His role involves managing our public funding, overseeing the compliance of our government contracts, cultivating external relationships with government officials, and advocacy.
Michael has always lived around the Chicagoland area, from being raised in the Northwest suburb of Addison, IL, to currently living in Albany Park in Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree at University of Illinois – Champaign and his Masters of Social Work at New York University.
He is a clinical social worker by trade. He has spent the majority of his career serving the homeless population through managing various housing programs at Heartland Alliance Health in Uptown. There he was responsible for 90 units of site-based permanent supportive housing (PSH) for people with substance abuse and mental health issues, and over 100 units of scattered-site housing. The most challenging part of his career was directly supporting the site-based programs throughout the pandemic, as they housed an incredibly vulnerable population.
The advocacy involved with Michael’s role includes engaging with people who work in affordable housing across the region and fostering relationships with them. He serves as the co-chair for a regional committee for homeless service providers and advocates. Recently, he helped coordinate the region’s annual legislative breakfast and invited different government officials to participate in a panel discussion about what they’re doing for affordable housing. He engages in advocacy work through the National Association of Social Workers of Illinois, serving as the chair of the legislative committee, which guides and supports the work of the legislative director.
Michael thinks that to improve affordable housing in Evanston, we need to explore innovative approaches with policy work to circumvent NIMBY tactics that use municipal processes to stall developments. The risk of affordable housing developments losing funding is all too real, as they can lose funding if they face delays in municipal approval. Therefore, they should be prioritized and acted upon in a timely manner to survive and make any sort of impact on the community. Trying to prevent anything that will stall an affordable housing project is key to our advocacy work.