Ritter Center Board Chair Bobbe Rockoff today announced that, on August 1, Mark Shotwell, the Center’s Senior Director of Housing and Whole Person Care, was appointed Interim Executive Director. Shotwell, a regional expert in developing housing and health care services for unhoused individuals, assumes the senior leadership position held by Linda Tavaszi, PhD, CEO.

Tavaszi, who joined Ritter Center in September 2017, will remain at Ritter into September to ensure a smooth transition. “It has been a year of a lot of important work, and I am pleased with the headway we have made,” reported Tavaszi. “I have completed much of what I set out to accomplish, and Ritter will be in good hands.”

“This was a planned transition,” explained Rockoff. “We are grateful to Linda for the many contributions she has made during just one year. She has provided us with a clear road map to a sustainable future, added needed resources, and, most importantly, re-started our efforts to move out of downtown San Rafael.”

Ritter/Shotwell to focus on Whole Person Care/services relocations
Shotwell, who joined Ritter Center in March, is known throughout the Bay Area for his innovative work and effective advocacy in working with unhoused individuals. He will continue his focus on Whole Person Care, a countywide effort that is currently underway to improve coordination among the various agencies serving the most vulnerable, chronically unhoused individuals.

“The Whole Person Care pilot has already proven to be a great success,” he reported. “This year, we have already served 55 people, over half of whom have been relocated; next year, we will serve 130. The individuals we are serving are among the most vulnerable, having been unhoused for many years and also having some of the most complex mental health and medical problems.”

As Interim Executive Director, Shotwell will continue Ritter’s efforts to work with the City of San Rafael to identify new locations outside downtown San Rafael for services for unhoused individuals.

“This is significant progress and a sign that major inroads can be made to the issue of homelessness in Marin,” he concluded. “It is indeed possible that we can end chronic homelessness in Marin by 2022, which is the goal of the Marin County Coordinated Entry System.” Ritter Center is a member of the System’s Steering Committee.