Melissa (Melly) Cruz

Director

Melissa “Melly” Cruz (she/her) is the Community Programs Manager at the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness, overseeing a number of programs, including legal clinics, housing navigation clinics, Constituent Advisory Committees, training, youth work, and SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery). In these programs, constituents who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are served. Additionally, Melly is part of the coalition’s senior leadership team, where she assists the executive director with administration, staff management, and strategic planning.

Melly’s professional experience includes working in the juvenile justice field, behavioral health, and nonprofit management for over ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the Equity Commission for the Continuum of Care and other diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and has recently been accepted into the RI Foundation’s Equity Leadership Initiative. As a trusted and valuable resource in these fields, she has established strong partnerships throughout Rhode Island.

Melly is Dominican-American, born and raised in the Washington Park area of Providence. With the supportive programs through Rhode Island Housing, Melly initially witnessed home ownership when her mother was able to purchase the family’s home in the Olneyville/Silver Lake neighborhood of Providence. More recently, Melly became a proud homeowner with help of Rhode Island Housing, as well. She lives with her family in the Elmhurst area in Providence.