Meet Our Leadership Team
Director of Administration
As the Director of Administration, Annie is tasked with coordinating daily operational functions, monitoring budgets, and analyzing financial data. She also works closely with Payee Services to coordinate clients' budgets. Annie has been with Helping Hands since 2017 and lives in Chatham with her husband, Matt, and their three children. She is passionate about being of service to those in the community and has found her position at Helping Hands rewarding professionally and personally. Annie enjoys cooking for and with her children, traveling and staying active in any way she can.
Before working at Helping Hands, Laura worked as a Residential Care Counselor for Northern Lakes Community Mental Health in Cadillac, Michigan. As the Director of Permanent Supportive Housing, Laura works with her support staff to assist individuals experiencing chronic homelessness with obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. Laura has been with Helping Hands since 2018 and lives in Springfield with her husband Gordon and four children. She is also the co-owner of Whimsy Tea Company and enjoys spending time with her family.
Director of Shelter
Prior to accepting this role, she worked for Helping Hands as the manager of the Winter Warming Center. Before coming to Helping Hands she served as the intensive case manager for Supportive Services for Veteran Families. In this role she was an intensive case manager to house homeless veterans and provide support services to assist them as they re-gained independence. In her current role she works closely with the chronically homeless and the community to address needs, provide support and resources to agencies and the homeless population.
Director of Payee Services
As Director of Payee Services Andy facilitates the management of social security disability benefits for clients located in central Illinois. He began working at Helping Hands in February of 2020 where his focus was connecting local residents with housing, employment, and healthcare. Andy is a Springfield native, graduate of Springfield High School and Eastern Illinois University. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and supporting local businesses.
Jilnita is the R2D2 aka Director or Retention, Recruitment, Development and Direction. Jil is responsible for staff development activities, monitors housing program practices and acts as point person for Housing for Health interdisciplinary team. She builds on-going relationships and collaborates with community partners in healthcare, government, education and social service agencies. As a past program coordinator, consultant, community organizer and case manager, Jil is motivated by success in service. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is What are you doing for others?-Martin Luther King Jr.” Married with an adult son, Jil enjoys traveling, coloring and a good nap.
Nick Dodson is the Housing Navigator for the Heartland Continuum of Care housed at Helping Hands of Springfield. Nick is a resource for nonprofits, landlords, and individuals experiencing homelessness utilizing the Emergency Housing Voucher Program. He works to increase the capacity of affordable housing in our community including educating and onboarding landlords into the section 8 program, helps clients find appropriate housing and advocates on the principles of Housing First. Nick is passionate about his two dogs that he loves dearly, making and eating great food, and around advocating and protecting the environment. He believes that an organized group of passionate individuals can change the world.