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Shawneshia Hoover: A Beacon of Empathy and Leadership at Homeless Children’s Network

At Homeless Children’s Network (HCN), we believe that the essence of our work is rooted not just in the services we provide, but in the hearts and minds of those who deliver them. In this spirit, we are proud to spotlight Shawneshia Hoover, our Director of Afrocentric Clinical Programs, whose leadership is a fusion of empathy and guidance, uplifting our entire team.

Shawneshia's journey at HCN has been marked by her deepening involvement and expanding influence within our community. Starting as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Shawneshia quickly demonstrated her unique leadership and empathy. Recognizing these qualities, HCN's leadership, including our CEO Dr. Silas, entrusted her with the management of the Ma'at Program as Clinical Supervisor. Her advancement to Associate Director came as a testament to her significant contributions to our program's growth. Now, as the Clinical Director of Afrocentric Mental Health, Shawneshia actively leads the Ma'at team with innovation and dedication, embodying the values at the heart of HCN.

Cultivating a Culture of Affirmation

Shawneshia's leadership transcends the traditional boundaries of compliance and clinical expertise. She is the architect of an initiative that nurtures our team's diverse strengths and fosters a culture of affirmation. Her approach is about creating a work environment where every team member feels valued and integral to our mission. When asked about her approach, Neshia responds “It's about weaving a tapestry of support where every thread is valued. It's not just about fulfilling roles; it's about fulfilling lives, both within our team and in the communities we serve.”

Our Ma’at program’s approach to care is deeply influenced by Afrocentric principles, particularly the seven tenets of Ma’at — Order, Balance, Harmony, Justice, Truth, Reciprocity, and Righteousness. These principles are not mere guidelines but the soul of our work, encouraging our clinicians to connect deeply with their humanity. Shawneshia understands the critical relevance of these tenets both in serving our community and in nurturing our team. She emphasizes that for our clinicians to effectively support our clients, their own 'cups' must not be empty. This understanding has shaped our practices, fostering an environment of equity, empathy, and understanding for families dealing with homelessness, while ensuring our team is well-supported, balanced, and harmonious.

Under Shawneshia’s stewardship, our clinicians transformed their engagement with work and each other. Recognizing each clinician as a valuable asset, Shawneshia champions a culture of support, mentorship, and empowerment, ensuring our impact on families is profound and enduring. "When we look at our team, we see a mosaic of potential," said Neshia, "and it's my job to ensure that each piece is acknowledged, appreciated, and aligned with our collective purpose."

Crafting a Legacy of Afrocentric Healing

Looking ahead, Shawneshia envisions a shift towards peer-to-peer support models, where Ma’at principles serve as a sanctuary for peace, support, and healing. The goal? To create a self-sustaining network of care and support.

Shawneshia is not just directing a program but is crafting a legacy of care, affirmation, and Afrocentric healing. Her leadership embodies HCN's core values, prioritizing a workplace culture that harmonizes compassion with strategic foresight. She continues to set new standards of excellence. Her understanding that effective community service begins with cultivating a sense of belonging and celebration within our team is what makes her an invaluable leader at HCN.


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