New Year, New PATH: Jennifer Hark Dietz Becomes New CEO of People Assisting the Homeless

California—As of January 1, 2022, Jennifer Hark Dietz has stepped forward to the position of chief executive officer for PATH (People Assisting The Homeless). She now leads one of California’s most impactful housing and homeless services agencies. PATH’s former CEO, Joel John Roberts has moved to become CEO of PATH Ventures, the housing development branch of the PATH family of agencies.

For the last 25 years, Joel John Roberts served as CEO, beginning his leadership when the organization served Los Angeles’ Westside with a dedicated dozen staff, a 32-bed transitional housing facility and employment center, and an annual budget of $500,000. Today, the PATH family of agencies — PATH, PATH Ventures, and PATH Partners — has become a statewide homeless services and housing development agency serving nearly 20% of California’s homeless population.

PATH’s new CEO, Jennifer Hark Dietz | Credit: Courtesy

Jennifer previously served as executive director and deputy chief executive officer of the organization, leading PATH’s strategic direction, business management, and person-centered efforts across California. She will continue to guide the organization’s statewide initiatives, working alongside nearly 1,000 team members with a shared commitment to establish permanent solutions to homelessness that are faster and more affordable.

For eight years, Jennifer has been part of the staff leadership team that has grown PATH tenfold, led PATH‘s efforts to prevent our homeless population from succumbing to COVID, is the driving force in guiding PATH to address racial and gender equity, and represents the next generation of nonprofit leadership.

“PATH has been a trusted partner during my time as mayor, building on its nearly four decades of leadership and incredible work to support our unhoused neighbors,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Together, we’ve brought innovative solutions to this long-standing crisis, and I know that Jennifer will bring compassion and energy to the position of CEO.”

In her previous role, she managed the organization’s assets, directed mergers and acquisitions, analyzed risk for new projects and programs, and coordinated legal issues. Under Jennifer’s mission-driven leadership, PATH’s programs statewide have increased by more than 20 percent each year, increased operations from $15 million to $140 million, and expanded its reach from 4,000 Californians across 90 cities to 26,000 across 160 cities. She also worked with PATH Ventures to expand its portfolio to 2,150 units completed or in the pipeline. 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria shared, “Communities across California are focused on ending homelessness, and that is certainly true in San Diego. From innovative housing sites like Connections Housing to our newly expanded coordinated street outreach, PATH is focused on best practices. I look forward to continuing that work with Jennifer.”

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has been an advocate in homelessness, Veterans, and mental health services for the past fifteen years. Prior to joining PATH, Jennifer worked at the Greater Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs, where she managed the nation’s largest program to help Veterans and their families find supportive housing.

She currently serves on the Los Angeles Regional Community Veterans Engagement Board and is a partner with Social Justice Partners Los Angeles. Jennifer received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, double majoring in psychology and anthropology. She holds a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Southern California, where she later became an adjunct lecturer for the MSW course, Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations.

“Since expanding its presence into Silicon Valley, PATH has played an instrumental role in providing more desperately-needed permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home. ” PATH remains both an important thought leader and an integral partner in Santa Clara County’s collective impact model, and we are excited to build on this partnership under Jennifer’s leadership.”

Each year, PATH invests nearly $160 million of resources toward ending homelessness, and in the past decade, with its development partners, has raised an additional half billion dollars of capital funding for supportive housing developments. Jennifer will help implement PATH’s Three-Year Strategic Plan and bring a new focus on homelessness prevention. PATH staff and board of directors are proud and excited to welcome Jennifer to this new level of leadership! 


About PATH

Founded in 1984, PATH is committed to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities in California. We do this by building affordable supportive housing and providing homeless services in more than 160 cities across the state. Our services support nearly 20 percent of the state’s population experiencing homelessness. Since 2013, PATH has helped more than 13,000 people move into permanent homes. More information at www.epath.org

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