Phone: (716) 853-1101 | 960 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Staff of the Homeless Alliance


Kexin Ma

Executive Director | [email protected]

Kexin Ma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from China Agriculture University and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo, with a specialization in GIS and economic development.

She was hired since graduated from UB in the beginning of 2011. She has built great expertise on managing HMIS and had been producing the Annual Reports and other customized reports for users. Since 2013, she took the CoC position and oversees both the HMIS and the CoC programs. She developed a great interest in grant management and program development and able to use her expertise on data analysis to provide funding recommendations.  In 2015, she was awarded by Business First, 30 under 30 for her outstanding contribution to the community.

She is committed to end homelessness in WNY.

Sukie Smith

Director of Planning and Operations | [email protected]

Sukie joined the Homeless Alliance in 2011. She is responsible for our financial, administrative and HR functions as the Director of Operations of the HAWNY.

Sukie received her MBA from the Conservatoire National de Arts et Métiers (CNAM) University in Paris, France, Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Oxford Brookes in the United Kingdom, and a BA in Public Administration from the Polytechnic of Namibia. She is a graduate of the 2019 class of Leadership Buffalo.

Nathan Pyzikiewicz

HMIS Administrator | [email protected]

Nathan graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Anthropology.

Nathan worked through college as an instructor of recreational programming.  After graduating, he found himself working in the nonprofit field.  He spent two years serving with AmeriCorps at Tifft Nature Preserve teaching environmental education and followed that by working with Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara advocating literacy education.  He has volunteered with various local organizations through is interests in education, the outdoors, and finding new restaurants.

His experiences serving the community led him to HAWNY where he hopes to continue advocating and using his background to support the reduction and elimination of homelessness in WNY.

 Ariel R. Peters, MSW

Youth Program Manager | [email protected] 

Ariel holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University at Buffalo, a BA in Political Science from Buffalo State College, and an AA in Media Arts from Niagara County Community College. They discovered their passion for social justice while serving in AmeriCorps as a mentor for children in Buffalo Public Schools. Ariel has experience in journalism and academic research (published) as well as clinical experience with children and adults. They’ve has worked in mental health and substance use counseling using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. Their passions include progressive social policy, youth empowerment, and family health with a focus on Trauma-Informed Care.

Ariel’s duties at HAWNY include coordination of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project, Coordinated Entry, and co-chairing the Erie County Youth Task Force and Youth Action Board.

Ariel is proud to be part of the team at Homeless Alliance; working with NY-508’s Continuum of Care to promote fair and inclusive housing for all.

Joelle Dyer

Data Analyst | [email protected]

Joelle graduated with a BS in psychology from the University of Vermont. While attending UVM, she spent a year and a half as a research lab manager for social cognition and intergroup processes which incorporated her passions for data and understanding how differences among people affect everyday life. After graduating, she served for a year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA at Wheaton College in Massachusetts developing extracurricular STEM programs for local, low-income kids.

She recently relocated to Buffalo and is looking forward to applying her experience and skills to the rewarding mission of the Homeless Alliance.

Jarrett Steffen

Compliance Coordinator & Niagara County Coordinator | [email protected]

Jarrett graduated SUNY University at Buffalo with a BA in Philosophy.  After graduation, he studied at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and spent time in the Order of Carmelites novitiate in Middletown, NY.  Jarrett then moved back to WNY to join the Catholic Charities Service Corps and had an AmeriCorps placement at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.  He went on to full-time employment with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and later moved to Niagara Falls to work as Compliance Officer for the City of Niagara Falls Department of Community Development.

Jarrett looks forward to apply his experience with HUD, local non-profits, and community service to contribute to the mission of the Homeless Alliance.

Andrea Hurley

Services Coordinator| [email protected]

Andrea graduated from SUNY at Buffalo State with a BS in Community Health & Wellness. From there she started her Continuum of Care work as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Vermont. After AmeriCorps her work continued with the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness where she gained a passion for providing support to the Continuum of Care and the amazing work they do.

As COVID-19 became part of our daily lives, Andrea relocated back to the WNY area to be closer to family and joined the Homeless Alliance of WNY. She is excited to be able to bring her previous experience working with homeless service providers and have the opportunity give back to a community that she grew up in.

Jeremy Garson

Data Manager | [email protected]

Jeremy is from the WNY area and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Colgate University. Colgate selected him to study social inequality in South Africa in the cities of Cape Town and Durban. After graduating Colgate, he helped provide essential banking services to the WNY community at financial institutions while also earning his Master’s of Science in Data Science & Analytics at Buffalo State College. He enjoys using data to create vivid stories that draw in a variety of stakeholders to spark dialogue and action.

Jeremy is happiest when helping people. He’s thrilled to belong to a team paving a path towards eliminating homelessness.