As a settlement house dedicated to uplifting the communities of the Bronx, a central tenet of our strategy is to hire from within our communities and then help our staff grow into leaders providing the critical services that our communities deserve and need. Case in point: Lisbenny Salcedo, Program Director, Park Haven Supportive Housing.
Lisbenny was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. After she graduated high school in the DR, she came to New York to pursue higher education. It was not easy for Lisbenny as an English-language learner, but still she completed her Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, followed by her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration both from John Jay College.
Lisbenny joined BronxWorks in 2019, after completing her B.A. She started as a Housing Specialist at the Pyramid Safe Haven, helping prepare chronically street homeless clients for the housing application process and, ultimately, permanent or supportive housing.
My favorite part of the job is being there when clients first see their apartments. That moment after all the work we’ve put in together through housing applications and interviews, seeing that work come to fruition, that’s what I loved most.”
In 2021, when the Park Haven Supportive Housing Program opened, Lisbenny joined the team as the Assistant Program Director. She helped with the start of the new program, moving 50 clients, including 10 families, into permanent supportive housing, while helping to guide the program through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Lisbenny was promoted to the Program Director of Park Haven. She brings to the role her experience and perspective working with homeless clients on the shelter side and in permanent supportive housing.
The goals are very different. In the shelter, there is an ultimate outcome – housing placement. But in supportive housing, we work with clients for their lives and with their own goals, and they could be anything from education to employment to behavioral health, even relationships with their families. We get to see people grow into their lives after shelter, and it’s amazing.”
Outside of work, Lisbenny spends a lot of time reading. She also loves going to the gym and considers it her daily therapy. She loves to find all kinds of occasions to meet up with her family and friends.