GRACE Transitional Housing Manager Martisha Smith receives her Leadership Academy certification from Tarrant County Homeless Coalition trainer Shannon Barnes.

GRACE Transitional Housing Manager Martisha Smith, and Marisol Landaverde, GRACE Client Services Bilingual Caseworker II, each recently received certification through the Leadership Academy of Homeless Services offered by the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.

The Leadership Academy was created to provide professional development to case managers and share best practices to promote excellence and consistency in the quality of care provided to the homeless in our communities.

The 10-week program focuses on educating and enabling case managers to better serve clients; increasing knowledge on research-based interventions and best practices; enhancing collaboration and problem-solving between partner agencies; expanding leadership opportunities for academy graduates; improving community outcomes; and creating a unified case management approach in the community.

This curriculum was designed for case managers to connect with others serving the homeless population. Course objectives increase the candidates’ knowledge and develop the essential skills needed to work with the diverse homeless population in Tarrant County.

Marisol Landaverde, GRACE Client Services Bilingual Caseworker II, receives her Leadership Academy certificate from Shannon Barnes of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.

Academy candidates must first complete Case Manager Boot Camp to learn more about homeless services, important systems being employed, best practices in case management, and services available to those experiencing homelessness.

In addition to training courses, academy candidates meet weekly to network, discuss training topics, and share experiences in the field.

Joining Marisol and Martisha in the Leadership Academy graduating class are Heather Armendarez, LMSW, Union Gospel Mission; Melanie Bennett, MHMR; Tomeka Garnett, SafeHaven of Tarrant County; Alane Henderson, SafeHaven of Tarrant County; Jacob Rosenberg, MHMR; Daniel Tiblets, LMSW, Union Gospel Mission; Princess Vonleh-Duo, Salvation Army Family Life Center; and Nigertankerga Williams, Salvation Army Mabee Center.

The Case Manager Boot Camp and Leadership Academy are administered by Shannon Barnes, Director of Training and Special Initiatives at the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. For additional information, please contact her at