Beth Southorn has been working in the Social Service field since 1991. She has experience working with the mental health population, aging, homeless, incarcerated, domestic violence and individuals in drug and alcohol recovery. Her experience in diversity, leadership, training, and program development has allowed her to form national models of success with vocational rehabilitation, and affordable housing programs. Beth earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Notre Dame de Namur, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Beth has been developing a successful model of resident empowerment for affordable housing communities throughout California.
As Executive Director of LifeSTEPS, Beth has propelled LifeSTEPS to its current status as one of the premier social service providers in affordable housing, now serving over 23,000 homes throughout California. Beth realizes that enhanced resident services and education are the keys to breaking through the barriers of poverty. Under her guidance, LifeSTEPS has developed proprietary adult, teen and after school curriculum in addition to a model resident services program. Her leadership has led LifeSTEPS to influence policy and strengthen funding for resident services. One excellent example of Beth’s inspirational leadership is her vision in creating the LifeSTEPS’ Client Emergency Assistance program – designed to catch people before they fall into homelessness and literally change the cycle of poverty. Since 2010, LifeSTEPS has provided over 2,800 individuals with client assistance resulting in an astounding success rate of 80% of those individuals still housed one year later after only one intervention.
Beth routinely makes presentations for various affordable housing and mental health organizations and relates her 20+ years of experience serving affordable housing partners, special needs populations, and other hard-to-serve groups with humor, wit and relevance to the affordable housing industry.