Introducing our New Executive Director, Chelsea Deloney!

The JOIN board of directors and staff are excited to announce that Chelsea DeLoney has been selected as our new executive director. Her tenure will begin on November 13, 2023.

This decision is the culmination of an extensive process led and organized by Kathy Kniep Consulting, along with a committed recruitment team comprising 15 employees from across the organization and two board members.

The recruitment committee received a substantial number of impressive applicants both locally and from across the country. JOIN’s full staff, board, and Community Advisory Committee also participated in the recruitment process. Chelsea was selected for her skills, talent, and experiences, both lived and earned, as well as her expertise, commitment, and passion for our work.

Chelsea, a graduate of Concordia University, most recently worked as the Port of Portland’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Program Manager. She served in several positions at the County, including leading a COVID response team that focused on the BIPOC community and as the Multnomah County Health Department’s Equity Leadership Program Manager.

She also served as Renter Relations Program Specialist with the Multnomah County Department of County Human Services and led a high-level strategic project researching exclusionary housing laws, socioeconomic barriers, and current practices in local housing through a racial justice lens. In 2016, she took on the role of Board President at the Community Alliance of Tenants and served until taking on the interim executive director role there during 2020-21.

In alignment with her deep commitment to activism, cross-cultural leadership, and trauma-informed care, she has regularly worked professionally and personally to organize initiatives in support of under-served people in our community, including those at risk of and experiencing homelessness.

Chelsea’s background inspires her dedication:

“My passion to transform society through storytelling and community-driven policy and program development is rooted in my lived experience as a Black Portlander and descendant of Vanport survivors who endured destruction and the lack of workforce equity in the wake of the Vanport flood.”

Chris Bonner, who has served as Board Chair for ten years, enthusiastically welcomes Chelsea to this role.

“We have had some amazing executive directors at JOIN, and Chelsea certainly continues in that tradition. Her understanding of the region and the history that has brought us here, along with her passion for collaboration and systems change work, will make her very effective as our next leader at JOIN. I look forward to working with her to make sure staff members have what they need to walk alongside folks on their path to permanent supportive housing.”

Chelsea’s commitment to racial, economic, and social equity is evident in all of her work and positions her as an exceptional leader. JOIN continues to strive to become an anti-racist organization, which it views as a necessary and ongoing process in meeting its mission.

The JOIN family would like to acknowledge the commitment of Cristina Castano, our interim executive director, during this transition. She has been integral to several advances we have made, particularly in the area of contract negotiations with the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

Cristina’s behind-the-scenes work in keeping the staff motivated and the implementation of new and effective processes in both our leadership and staff teams has been invaluable. JOIN is grateful that Cristina will play a critical role in on-boarding Chelsea. We extend a heartfelt thank-you to Cristina for her dedication and hard work leading JOIN through this transition.

Come meet Chelsea at our upcoming celebration and fundraiser, Hullabaloo!

We’re gathering on October 20 at The Redd. You can register and learn more at

We thank you all for your continued support and partnership as we welcome Chelsea into her our community. May we continue growing stronger together!