13 November 2021

Marian Cohen, Director of Education at the Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, is the longest‑serving member of the HAB board. She has been involved in supporting homeless people since the soup kitchen run at Finchley Reform Synagogue and Finchley Methodist Church in the 1980s.

Marian successfully helped petition Barnet Council to establish the HAB Day Centre and has remained an active Board member since the Centre was set up in 1997.

She has seen HAB grow from a soup kitchen, feeding and giving advice to vulnerable homeless men and women, to an organisation which in 2019/20 supported 767 individuals, of whom more than 80 per cent were identified as homeless, either rough sleeping, sofa surfing or sleeping in sheds, garages, public transport or cars and vans, with the remainder needing support to maintain their tenancies.

“The benefits of joint working at the start and during the pandemic was impressive,” she says. “It was amazing to have HAB staff work with Barnet Homes to get all rough sleepers who wanted accommodation off the streets by the end of March and, with our brilliant volunteers, our generous community supporters and TIB, to get food parcels made up and delivered to them in accommodation across London.” 

Sameer Pabari, Managing Director, International Media for the National Football League (NFL), has recently joined the Board. He brings a wealth of experience in media management and knows how to use social media platforms to build awareness of HAB and its work. 

He has been impressed by HAB’s holistic approach to delivering services, seeing their clients move from night shelters into temporary accommodation and moving on to more settled homes.

Like many, he fails to understand how a wealthy country has such a problem dealing with homelessness and rough sleeping and is concerned that the terms of the Police Bill may criminalise rough sleepers just as the Vagrancy Act of 1824 did.

He says that in the future stronger public/private partnership working is the route to successfully combatting homelessness and to get people up on their feet again.

Who we are

Four members of the Board resigned during 2020/21: David French, Terry Matthews, Jon Cook and Rabbi Emily Jurman. John and Joe thank them for their dedicated service and commitment to HAB over many years. New trustees with a wide range of skills have been recruited.

The board now consists of:

  • John Bier, Chair
  • Marian Cohen
  • Clare King
  • Stuart Slater
  • Jane Myers
  • Anna McCaughley
  • Sameer Pabari
  • Yeong-Min Choy
  • Rose Delfino
  • Roque Collante
  • Josh Tapper

These are the HAB staff:

  • Joe Lee - CEO
  • Olamide Adetunje – Centre Co-ordinator
  • Sonya Levin – Projects Co-ordinator
  • Anne O’Sullivan – Support Officer
  • Kate Jack – Support Officer
  • Freddy Macha  – Support Officer
  • Jean Marc Gadou – Support Officer
  • Nedene Dixon – Support Officer
  • Lyn Fisher – Support Officer
  • Julie O’Sullivan – Cook
  • Joe Ramsell – Kitchen Assistant
  • Katherine Delane – Receptionist Noushin Kalati – Receptionist

Autumn Newsletter 2021

The Satisfaction of Volunteering

Dark days now leading to a bright future

Providing a pathway out of homelessness

Future fundraising

Partnering with Together in Barnet

HAB helps dreams come true