Cynthia E. Roat, President
Cindy Roat first got involved with homeless encampments when Tent City 3 was hosted in her neighborhood in 2008. After cooking a few meals for the camp, she decided that everyone would be better off if she offered her organizational skills instead, so she joined GSC’s board as the Secretary/Treasurer in late 2009, becoming President in 2013.
When not sorting donated clothing in her garage, Cindy is a national consultant on language access in health care, helping health systems implement programs to communicate with their limited-English-proficient patients. With a Masters in International Public Health, she has made significant contributions to the field, both in the U.S. and abroad, as a trainer, program developer, researcher, policy analyst, advocate and founder of local, state and national organizations. She is the author of a wide array of key resources for healthcare interpreters and administrators and is recognized nationally as an engaging speaker, a knowledgeable resource, and an energetic advocate for underserved populations in general.
Janiece Coss, Treasurer
Jenny has a heart for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. Too many friends and family members have experienced this, so the struggles people experience are very real to her. She first got involved helping at-risk teens that were in and out of foster care, runaways, and some living on the streets through a program at the Wichita Children’s Home in Wichita, KS. After moving to WA state with her job at the Boeing Company, Jenny started volunteering in 2009 when her church did a coat drive and a hot meal for Tent City 3. GSC invited her to join the Board of Directors later that year.
With a Masters Degree in Business Administration and over 30 years of experience as a manager at Boeing, Jenny brings a practical set of skills to help with GSC Board administration as well as the desire to see significant changes in government policies and practices that relate to low income housing and services for the homeless. She continues to serve the homeless directly through the work of GSC and her church.
Liz Hinkofer, Secretary
Liz comes to Greater Seattle Cares with a long career in the hospitality industry. She currently works in human resources for a large food service organization. Like her husband Josef, Liz joined the board in 2013 after Josef received an “Employee of the Year” award for his work providing meals to Tent City 3. Joining Greater Seattle Cares has provided Liz with the opportunity to use in service the skills learned at work as well as to support Josef’s meal ministry. Liz has also served on the Vestry of her church, including one year in the role of Senior Warden.
A native of Washington State, Liz currently resides in Redmond and is a member of St. Jude Catholic Church. She worked at Seattle University as the Director of Conference and Event Services for twenty seven years and left in 2009. Liz is also a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership.
Liz’s involvement with the homeless community began in February, 2005 when Seattle University hosted Tent City 3 on campus; Liz and a colleague planned menus, gathered volunteers, and coordinated the daily meal service to the residents. She became involved with Greater Seattle Cares and from 2006-2012 sat on the board serving as meal coordinator and was elected to a two year term as President. During Graduate School Liz worked for the Faith & Family Homelessness Project and helped faith communities in Snohomish County address and respond to the crisis of family homelessness. She returned to the GSC board in 2015 and is currently working on Facebook and fundraising projects and as a liaison with Camp Unity Eastside. Liz is also employed full time as the Dispatch Center Manager at Operation Nightwatch in Seattle, a non-profit organization which serves the poor and homeless.
Josef joined Greater Seattle Cares in 2013 with his wife Liz. They learned about Greater Seattle Cares when an opportunity to provide a meal for the camp presented itself. Josef, a meat cutter with a long culinary career, loves an opportunity to prepare good, wholesome food for hungry people. At one time in his late teens, he was close to being homeless himself and remembers knocking on a church door and being provided a can of spinach. He was so hungry that he ate it cold; he can still taste the metal of the can. He knew he could do better. After some miss-steps and stops and starts, he eventually started a feeding ministry at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Shoreline that now provides approximately 250 meals per week, including a Community Dinner and weekly meals for Tent City 3 and Camp United We Stand. Working with Greater Seattle Cares has allowed Josef to build relationships with Tent City 3 and other homeless camps that go beyond the weekly meals, resulting in lasting friendships with volunteers and campers alike.
Frances Posel joined the board in July 2015, but she is hardly a newcomer to the issues surrounding homelessness. Her first exposure to homelessness came in 1981, when as a VISTA volunteer she worked on-site in a homeless shelter and transitional housing program preparing grant proposals. Added to her already deep-seated commitment to creating a more just society, this experience prompted her more recently to apply her editing and proposal writing skills as a member of SHARE’s Fundraising Committee – and to Greater Seattle Care’s benefit as well.
A professional librarian by training and trade, Frances now works for University Beyond Bars, a non-profit that provides post-secondary education to people incarcerated in Washington’s prisons. “We can do so much better,” says Frances, “in supporting and preparing people to lead dignified, autonomous lives.”
Roger Franz, new to the board in late 2015, lived in Tent City 3 for five years, from January 2010 to May 2015. During that time he came to understand many of the issues facing the homeless every day. Currently he’s a member of the Allhome Coordinating Board, and participates in the Faith Justice Commission at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Roger has a doctoral degree and has formally studied engineering, creative writing, chiropractic, network engineering, and theology. He is an amateur photographer, musician, and writer. Informally, he has studied a wide variety of fields, and in particular, the problem of homelessness.
“The answer to homelessness is homes — homes they can afford. It’s really simple,” he says, “but the financing for it, the political will to do it — those aren’t so simple. Meanwhile, the homeless need simple shelter, to keep them from dying while they wait.”