Our staff is the heartbeat of HQ’s mission and vision. Together, we bring our shared passions to the table in the name of building authentic relationships and breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community.
Shandra Steininger, LMSW
Co-Founder + Executive Director
I exist to help others realize the power they hold in their life and over their future, even in the face of extreme adversity. I know from personal experience the impact one person can have when they truly believe in you, and I strive to do that to the greatest extent possible…and to live a life of no regret!
I enjoy and do what I do at HQ because I was shown by another that at the end of the day I am absolutely cherished and matter as well as am loved. HQ is a wonderful outlet that allows me to bring this to our youth, my co-workers, and anyone who walks through our doors. Basically, I’m just about it, dude!
they/them or he/him
I am so excited to be a part of this team! I believe that safe and stable housing is imperative to a life that thrives. HQ represents a forward-thinking model for addressing the myriad of needs associated with the housing concerns of Grand Rapids’ youth. I feel HQ approaches this process in a way our community desperately needs, focusing on members as whole people and prioritizing their self-selected goals, needs, and dreams. I’m so happy to be at this table, supporting an organization and youth that are capable of amazing things!
Experience has taught me how impactful access to support can have on a person’s success. I strive to empower others in ways that fit their present and future goals and believe an inclusive, equitable, and safe environment is essential in this process. I was drawn to HQ’s mission because it aligns with my passions for promoting engaging conversations and creating space for others to make meaningful connections; at HQ and all around our community. At the end of the day, I look forward to growing HQ’s reputation as a space that is committed to making youth feel safe, recognized, and cared about.
Alyssa Anten, LLMSW
I am deeply passionate about empowering people to realize and reach their full potential. I believe in people, even those others have given up on. I am attracted to HQ because I am able to work with young people who have the whole world before them. I love being able to help youth reach for what they need to succeed. I think it is important that HQ continues to educate people about the potential of the youth in Grand Rapids and works to show how we can all work together to end youth homelessness.
I believe that when we strive to empower others, our whole community gains from the effort. I was drawn to HQ because it is a safe place where youth can adjust the trajectory of their lives to achieve hopes and goals. We all succeed together, and every HQ member who realizes their potential makes our community stronger and more vibrant for us all.
I was immediately drawn to HQ when I began to learn about the values here. Creating a safe place of belonging is one of my greatest passions. I am so grateful to work in place that strives to make every member feel accepted and celebrated just as they are as soon as they walk through the door.
Member Specialist + Advocate
I am incredibly passionate about providing not only support to those in crisis, but also providing youth with the affirmation and support that they each deserve, regardless of the beautiful characteristics that may set them apart from systems or norms. HQ allows youth in our community to have a safe space & staff they can rely upon to walk with them through situations that many of us don’t struggle with because we have strong sources of support; navigating our first job, establishing housing and the regular ups and downs that come with being a teenager or young adult. I am proud to be a part of the team at HQ and the change they are promoting within our growing community.
The mission and vision of HQ align with so many of my own core values of humble curiosity, radical compassion, and a mutual responsibility to care for one another. HQ is a place where resources and services are shared without shame or judgment and members are embraced for all of who they are. Youth are integral to building the future and I am excited to be supportive while centering their voices as they explore their gifts, passions, and vision for the world.
Today, I see there is an every-increasing need for love and human connection. HQ provides a space for youth to make meaningful connections with others, which leads to self-empowerment and that is what creates change. I am so excited to be apart of such an important resource in this community! There is nothing more beautiful than seeing an individual thrive when they can see their own worth and potential, no matter what society tells them. HQ is changing the way youth see themselves, the world will only reap the benefits.
What Our Members Say
"I knew there would be other people in this space that are going through the same situation that I’m going through."
"I feel compassion when I walk through these doors.”
"HQ is open arms. They love everyone. Even though everyone is different, they don’t judge.”
“From when I first stepped in here, we were family.”
Our Board of Directors
We’re proud to have community leaders committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness on our board.
Young people should be able to count on a safe, nurturing home. Helping those who can’t is simple human decency. I appreciate both the immediate, short-term help HQ offers our youth, as well as the longer-term vision to change their life trajectory in a positive fashion. I hope my business and technology experience can contribute to the mission.
HQ is the prefect place for me to exercise my skill sets and experiences, as well as connect with diverse people, HQ members, and community partners. I believe in the vision of HQ and that is why is am here. No person should be punished because of the situations they face. Instead they should be uplifted, empowered, and supported. HQ gives youth the opportunity to feel a part of a community. I am honored to be apart of the team!
With years of foundation experience and a personal passion for addressing systemic gaps, I couldn’t be more excited about serving intentionally with, and for, HQ. HQ dares to step in and meet youth where they are at today, amongst the messy, difficult circumstances of their reality, while walking alongside of them, breaking down barriers, and pointing them to a path for a better tomorrow. I look forward to pulling on my business, foundation, and social work experience as we lean in to HQ and the youth we serve as a board!
Inner City Christian Federation
HQ is the perfect way for me to connect my experience and passion for affordable housing to help HQ members find safety and stability. There’s more need today than ever to act on affordable housing and homelessness in our city. As we grow, we need to put a stake in the ground for those more disenfranchised groups. Living in Grand Rapids should be accessible for everyone, across all income levels; we should all be able to celebrate and enjoy the community we share.
Claystone Clinical Associates
I am honored to serve on the HQ board because it is an opportunity to help others in ways that were instrumental in helping me as a kid in Detroit. I am certain of the role that my mentors had in helping me to become a man that I am today. I am eager to help set the stage for young adults to have the chance to realize their visions. It’s an honor to have just this opportunity here at HQ.
Raising awareness on homelessness is so important. Most people think that homelessness is people living under a bridge or begging for food. It has no boundaries and by the grace of God I have been spared. I am honored to serve on the HQ Board with others that share my same passion for an organization whose mission statement gives me chills: To create a safe and affirming space where youth find rest, build connections, and pursue their passions to realize their dreams.