Point Source Youth is pleased to welcome Jenna Mellor to our growing team as Associate Director. Directly prior to joining Point Source Youth, Jenna worked for Congressman Jerrold Nadler on constituent issues related to affordable homes, public housing and immigration. Jenna is motivated by the belief that all people deserve agency over their own lives and wellbeing. As a child, she witnessed the structural violence and social disenfranchisement in the Atlantic City region, which provides the foundation for her nine-year career as a sex educator, harm reduction advocate, and community organizer. This experience informs her commitment to intersectional work that addresses the impact of power structures.
Jenna previously managed the flagship Outreach Program at HIPS in Washington, DC, which supports folks engaged in sex work, sex trade, and criminalized drug use. She led a team of over 75 volunteers to offer a diverse range of services including HIV testing, harm reduction counseling, crisis response, and syringe exchange. This work inspired her commitment to expanding nonjudgmental mental health and housing-first options.
After HIPS, she moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia to see her partner’s hometown and was mentored by a street psychologist, working from a youth-empowered perspective, who engaged young folks who live outdoors and inhale glue. She then returned to her treasured home state of NJ as a Global Health Corps Fellow at Covenant House Newark, where she coordinated medical services for homeless and displaced young adults. Jenna redesigned the Medical Department to include holistic wellness programming and then joined the Covenant House staff to solidify this programming and launch a Youth Advisory Board to incorporate a meaningful youth voice into the organizational structure. She continues her home state commitment by serving on the boards of New Leaders Council—New Jersey, where she was a 2016 Fellow, and the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund.
Jenna graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Social Studies and wrote her honors thesis on the impact of race and class in coercive reproductive policies, like involuntary sterilization and the Hyde Amendment, enacted through state and federal law.
As Associate Director at Point Source Youth, Jenna will work with our local and national partners as well as Point Source Youth’s research advisors to expand solutions to end youth homelessness in 50 cities and towns in 10 years.