This month, we welcome Debra Johnson as the newest member of HDC’s Board of Directors. Johnson is the Director of Administration for the Housing Authority of the County of Chester. With an extensive background in management and organizational leadership, Johnson says she always “puts people first.”

Learn more about Johnson and the work she’s excited to do with HDC below.

Why is housing an issue you care about?

Housing and people go hand in hand. Anyone can be housed, but the question is can they maintain that housing? We can get people off the street, but can we keep them off the street? I believe in giving people the necessary tools to stay housed. If we can provide them with resources, they can carry that down through the generations.

What made you interested in joining HDC’s board?

 I like the fact that HDC puts people first. You have a lot of programs that are geared toward providing resources so people can better themselves. I’m interested in doing anything I can to help others.

What skills or knowledge are you hoping to bring to the board?

I decided to get into the Human Resources field because I believe that no matter who you are, you deserve to be treated fairly so you can better yourself. I work to manage processes for people so that we are able to better serve the vulnerable populations we work with. I think my experience allows me to a be a voice for people who don’t have a voice. It’s important to me because I was that person. I am a minority. I was often afraid to speak up, but once you have a voice, you can make a difference. I feel that we often speak, but don’t listen. Everyone has an underlying story. Let’s get to the core of it and help people be successful and understand what that means for them.