Our spokespeople

Rick Henderson, chief executive

Rick is responsible for the day-to-day running and management of Homeless Link and its people. He joined Homeless Link in July 2012, prior to which he was Chief Executive of Action for Advocacy, an organisation that he founded and which is the leading national authority on the development of effective advocacy services for vulnerable and disempowered people. 

With over 20 years’ experience gained at a senior level within the voluntary and community sectors, Rick has also published widely on advocacy matters and operated as a national policy advisor.

You can email Rick , or call him on 020 7840 4430.

MATT HARRISON, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE

Before the merger between Homeless Link and RIS, Matt was the Chief Executive of RIS. He joined RIS in 1990 and worked on the various directories, research reports, databases and online systems that we  developed over that time. Prior to working for RIS, Matt worked in advice services, day centres and hostels for homeless people in Coventry and London. Matt has a degree in IT and qualifications in Public Sector Management and Project Management.

Since the merger Matt has been responsible for our Social Enterprise arm, providing In-Form, consultancy, IT services, information websites and training to our members.

You can email Matt , or call him on 020 7840 4462.

Jacqui McCluskey, director of policy and knowledge

Jacqui joined Homeless Link in September 2009. Most recently she has worked in the arena of children’s policy, first as Senior Public Policy Officer at NCH (now Action for Children) and for the last three years at 11 MILLION, the organisation of the Children’s Commissioner for England, as Associate Director (Policy & Research). She has worked in a community based project in Glasgow working on housing and welfare rights and as a manager in a leaving care project.

Having worked as a Research Fellow at Stirling University on the first Scottish study on ethnic minority housing problems, Jacqui then moved to London and worked in a homelessness day centre and then as Research Manager at the homeless campaigning organisation CHAR.

Jacqui is a qualified social worker who has spent the majority of her working life in the voluntary/charity sector, apart from a spot of social working in Sydney, Australia.

You can email Jacqui or call her on 020 7840 4429.

Mark Mcpherson, Director of Practice & Regions

Mark joined Homeless Link as Director of Practice and Regions in June 2010.  Mark has nearly 20 years experience in a variety of roles in the voluntary sector, the last 4 of which have been at Look Ahead Housing & Care.  At Look Ahead he was responsible for a management restructure and service improvement programme at the 173-bed Victoria Hostel, Westminster’s largest homelessness service, and for restructuring two tenancy sustainment teams to ensure financial viability and contract compliance.  Prior to this he primarily worked in addiction and mental health services, both residential and non-residential treatment.

The department of Practice and Regions provides information, support and guidance to both agencies and commissioners. A team of regional managers are the 'face' of Homeless Link across England and help to deliver the Government's 'Places of Change' programme and support local authorities who are trying to address the issue of moving people on from homelessness services. The Innovation and Good Practice team develop online information resources and undertake  practice-based projects that tackle sector-wide issues.

You can email Mark or call him on 020 7840 4466.

Samantha Rennie, Director of Homelessness Transition Fund

Samantha joined Homeless Link as Director of the £20m Homelessness Transition Fund in November 2011. She brings over 20 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector, including twelve years in grant-making with a range of funders. She has held senior executive roles with The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and the Lottery. She was Chief Executive of Handicap International UK and currently chairs a Comic Relief advisory group.

She has been responsible for developing several major grant-making initiatives including the Lottery’s £90 million Fair Share scheme, the 20-member Corston Coalition and The Diana Fund’s final £5 million  ‘legacy’ programmes on criminal justice and landmines/ cluster munitions.  She has expertise in building partnerships, influencing policy, and designing change programmes.  Her commitment to social justice stems from an early career working with local voluntary groups in both Northamptonshire and West Africa, and continues through volunteering roles with two international charities.