Heartland Coalition for the Homeless
Brenda Gray who retired from US Army after serving 22 years also served as Deputy Mayor of the City of Avon Park for 12 years; member of the City Council for 19 years and is also a retired Certified Probation & Parole Officer for the State of Florida. She is now serving her 7th year as council member. She is currently serving as Executive Director for Heartland Coalition for the Homeless, serving (6) counties providing rental assistance for the homeless and needy low- income individual throughout Highlands, DeSoto, Glades, Okeechobee, Hardee and Hendry Counties. Brenda Gray has been serving others for the majority of her adult life. Brenda’s passion for service is evident throughout the many roles/positions she has held. Brenda has always put others’ needs before her own and has portrayed selfless character throughout.
HMIS/IT Project Manager
I’m currently enjoying my position as HMIS/IT Project Manager at Heartland Coalition for The Homeless. I began working with at-risk youth in 1999 in the Juvenile Justice System as a Vocational Instructor helping youth become certified in the Microsoft Office Suites. I’ve enjoyed my work as computer systems Administrator in the facilities that I’ve worked in. I’m looking forward to acquiring knowledge and gaining skill that would help advance our efforts to eliminate Homelessness in America.
I have worked for 35 years as a Secretary under the FRS System which included 16 years at South Florida State College, 6 years in the Highlands County Schools and 13 years in Florida Children and Families Protective Services. I am currently Licensed as an Ordained Minister and serve as Senior Pastor of the Wauchula Church of God. I love and enjoy smiling and laughter. Most of all to help others as they become better equipped in their everyday lifestyles to become productive individuals that fully know who they are in Christ Jesus. I joined the Heartland Coalition for the Homeless team in June 2020.
Coordinated Entry Specialist
Has a background in Administrative, Clerical, Supervisory and Regulatory positions with the State of Florida most of her career. In doing so, she has accomplished many friends, skills, abilities and goals in making her to be successful in an Office environment. She looks forward to completing her college degree in Early Childhood Development in the future. The love which she portrays in helping others is a blessing from God and comes naturally. She also is an Ordained and Licensed Minister for more than 30 years. She has migrated from the northern part of Florida and is joyfully adjusting to this central retirement area.
Having obtained his Master’s Degree in both business and public administration, A.J., has been committed to building and uplifting communities in some of the most underserved areas around the country. His career has led him to take part in a variety of non-profit and for-profit community development programs and initiatives in Miami, Boston, Montgomery, and Houston. Currently, he has decided to return home with hope to bring some of his expertise that he have gathered in his travels. Further, A.J. is currently serving on the City of Avon Park Planning & Zoning Board, owner of Avon Notary, and currently working towards his Law Degree & Real Estate License. A.J. is determined and passionate in his civic duties and being an integral part in serving the community at-large.
Devont’e Taylor was born and raised in Highlands County. He graduated with the Class of 2016 from Avon Park High School and is currently working towards getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Devont’e has been working as a customer service specialist for four years and recently joined the Heartland Coalition for the Homeless team in November 2020.