President & CEO
John Yazwinski’s road to becoming one of the region’s thought leaders in addressing homelessness started on the front lines nearly three decades ago, when he served as an intern for the Quincy Interfaith Sheltering Coalition (Father Bill’s Place). After graduating from Bentley College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, John worked as a case manager for the Quincy shelter between 1996 and 1998, providing stabilization and crisis-intervention services to residents in need. From 1998 to 1999, he served as the agency’s Director of Housing Services, overseeing state and federal housing programs, supervising and training housing-search specialists, and implementing a consumer advisory board.
John, whose professional and personal growth came under the tutelage of shelter founder Father Bill McCarthy, was named Executive Director of Father Bill’s Place in 1999. Five years later, he implemented an innovative strategy to shift from the emergency shelter system to a Housing First approach, a cost-effective solution he has advocated for at meetings and conferences at the local, state and national levels. In 2007, John was selected to lead Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), overseeing the successful merger of Quincy Interfaith Sheltering Coalition and the MainSpring Coalition for the Homeless in Brockton, two faith-based organizations with similar missions.
Over the past decade-plus, John has maintained and built partnerships with public and private organizations, including nonprofit housing developer NeighborWorks Housing Solutions. He continues to pursue new housing development opportunities for the agency, which currently manages more than 700 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals, families, and Veterans throughout the region. FBMS’ housing portfolio includes the Roadway Apartments in Brockton, the first-in-the-state, hotel-to-housing conversion project for homeless individuals.
In recent years, he has led a strategic plan to transition FBMS to a new service-delivery model, including a revamp of its Family Programs and the development of innovative Housing Resource Centers serving individuals in Quincy and Brockton. With its housing resource model, FBMS is shifting away from the traditional emergency-shelter model toward a more proactive, cost-effective approach that provides daytime services focused on homelessness prevention and diversion, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable members of the community. Business and community leaders have hailed the Housing Resource Center as a national model in the fight to end homelessness.