Maria has been a member of the board since 2020. Prior to taking early retirement, Maria was an Environmental Health Practitioner and worked for over thirty years in the NI public sector, much of it delivering food safety controls. Maria was a member of the FSA’s Executive Management Team with responsibility for Regulatory Compliance and ran the FSA’s Northern Ireland office. She is now on the list of interim directors for CO3. She was awarded her CBE in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List.
Following her election, Ms Jennings commented:
“It is a privilege to have been elected as the new Chair of Homeless Connect. As the representative body for the homelessness sector, Homeless Connect plays a pivotal role in supporting its members to prevent and reduce homelessness. This is a very challenging time for the sector, with rising levels of need for temporary accommodation and a continued rise in the number of households found to have homelessness status. Due to the lack of a functioning Government here, budgetary instability and uncertainty have become the norm. The leadership of Homeless Connect is as needed now as it has ever been.
I know that I am succeeding an excellent Chair in Liam Milligan, who provided invaluable leadership and support to Homeless Connect during his tenure. I hope to follow in his footsteps in working with the senior team at Homeless Connect and the board to provide strategic leadership and support to the organisation.
I look forward to working with the team at Homeless Connect, my fellow board members and the membership of the organisation as we look to take the journey to end homelessness together.”