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Project Description Negotiation Team FAQ Photos Homelessness Info


COF Housing Navigation Center Project

The Negotiators

Many people have requested to be on the team, but Cabinet wanted to limit the team to 5-8 people. After speaking with the people involved, cabinet recommended the following people to be on the team: ohn Smith, Judy Zlatnik, Jim Thomas, Bill Palleschi, Tarrah Henrie, Amy Gunnarson, and Pastor Jeff Spencer. This was approved by the congregation. It was also anounced that anyone wanting to attend the meeting may do so and may service as a consultant if so disired. The following are the bios submitted by everyone who wanted to be a part of the team, either as official members or as consultants:

The negotiation team

These are the people who will, by concensus, work with the City in preparing the lease agreement:

Tarrah Henrie serves as the Secretary for the Abode Services' Board of Directors. She strongly believes that everyone should have a home. During her 15 years of experience in the business world she has successfully negotiated dozens of contracts.

Marilyn Singer has successfully worked on issues that have guided this church through times of change: a venture with Kidango, Discernment, the renovation of our current building. She has the time and the desire to walk the talk of our inclusiveness and go on this mission trip right in our own backyard. She can negotiate calmly to reach win/win results.

Amy Gunnarson is a registered nurse with knowledge of public health and older adult resources in the Tri-City area. This knowledge was gained during her graduate school nursing practicum with the Fremont Department of Human Services which is also the department responsible for programs serving the homeless. She is volunteering to serve on the negotiation committee because she is aware of many necessary considerations when reaching an agreement with a government body. She plans to facilitate an agreement that will benefit both the City of Fremont and Niles Discovery Church equally.”

Jim Thomas has been the representative for Niles Discovery Church participation in the Abode Services' "Home Warming/Rapid Rehousing" program since its inception in 2009. Prior to that, he worked as the church coordinator for the “Winter Relief Program” that was part of the then Tri-Cities Homeless Coalition. His knowledge and insight to programs that help people transition out of homelessness into a new home is a valuable resource. He continues to seek out new ways of ministry for the homeless.

John Smith lives his Christian beliefs and serves Christ by modeling His example and this services as the reason he wants to be on the NDC Navigation Committee. He wants to ensure that Niles Discovery Church Congregation along with the City of Fremont are successful in helping the homeless become housed in our community. His background includes being a Marketing/Merchandise Manager with Levi Strauss, a Realtor, a Board Member of Abode Services, Alameda County Fair, and Kidango, as well as an elected member of the Alameda County Democratic Party, and the Fremont Human Relations Commission Chair. These are all ways that have broadened his knowledge and developed his business acumen.

Judy Zlatnik has over 45 years of experience of Fremont’s political and non-profit scene: 10 years on council, President of Board of both Niles Main Street and LIFE ElderCare. She attended the first community meeting on homelessness in Fremont, voted to approve Sunrise Village and volunteered with services to the homeless including Winter Relief. She also has experience as a negotiator and understands the processes of effective communication and negotiation. Throughout these activities, she has remained committed to service “to the least of these” set forth by Jesus in Matthew 25.

Bill Palleschi wants to be part of this project to provide a temporary location for homeless because it affords him the opportunity to be proactive in helping the most vulnerable in our community. He has been a member of this church for 40 years. There is a history of social activism and outreach for our community and he has always been a supporter of those programs and of the movers and shakers leading those programs. This program is his opportunity to join the shakers and movers. He has an extensive history in this church as a trustee and in Ministry of Property. He sees this project as a win-win opportunity. Niles Discovery Church can be part of a small but not insignificant program to aid the homeless.


These people bring a valuable skill set and have been requested to help us through areas where they have extensive expertise:

Leonard Lloyd, as a former probation officer, retired family therapist, police department delinquency prevention program manager and Red Cross shelter supervisor during the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake, has experience with much of the expected population from which residents at “our” Housing Navigation Center will likely be part of. His goal is to see that all center residents are treated with respect and dignity and included as our neighbors. He hopes to see Christ in each person. Although relatively new to Niles Discovery Church, he understands how hosting this center might impinge on our church and its members. He will seek to see that we as a church and as people are also treated with dignity and respect. He will seek that we love ourselves and we love our neighbors.

Iris Nicholson will help with the Housing Navigation Center project as the expression of God’s love for us all. As a retired manager of Fremont’s Human Services Department, her professional background may be helpful. Suzanne Shenfil was her supervisor. Her duties included securing grants, negotiating and administering contracts as well as monitoring contracts between the City of Fremont and non-profit agencies. She is familiar how the City of Fremont negotiates, manages and monitors contracts with local non-profit organizations to address community needs. She is also familiar with the operation of emergency shelters and the needs of people who are homeless having served as SAVE’s Executive Director. In addition, she helped to set up and operate a second-stage shelter in Oakland after the Loma Prieta Earthquake, and initiated the family case management system still in place at Fremont’s Family Resource Center.

Steve Armstrong No bio submitted as yet

This page will be updated as new information is gathered. It was last updated on 5/15/2019.