Meet Our Team

OurStaffAlong with over 50 volunteer coordinators, one from each congregation, and approximately 1,500 individual volunteers, PIHN is run by talented professionals, consultants and interns.

Core Staff

Rachel Falkove, M.B.A., Executive Director: Rachel served as a PIHN Board member for five years before taking the Executive Director position, initially as a volunteer, in an organization that was depleted of funds in 2002. Partially salaried, Rachel has worked to support the Board of Directors in strategic planning, fundraising, and management of the agency. Rachel has overseen the development of the Network from a one-program congregational based emergency shelter to a holistic continuum, serving current guests and alumni with an array of supportive services, housing and advocacy programs. Before assuming this position, Rachel worked in health care management for twenty years.

Catherine Smith, B.S.W., Social Worker, Northeast Program:  
Cathy was employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for 37 years beginning as a caseworker and working her way through positions of increasing responsibility. At the time she retired, Cathy had served as Director of Program Operations. She had oversight for 6 County Assistance Offices in Philadelphia County whose functions were to determine eligibility for public benefits including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, Food Stamp Benefits and Medicaid.  Following her retirement from the Pa DPW position, Cathy served as PIHN Social Worker from 2006 through 2008.   She joined the PIHN Board briefly this past year before stepping in to her former role as Director of Family Services on an interim basis. We are delighted to work with Cathy once again!

Keyonnee Thalia, M.S.W., L.S.W., Director of Family Services:
Keyonnee graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2006 and a Masters of Social Work in 2012. Before joining the PIHN staff, she worked as a research assistant at the Temple University College of Health Professionals and Social Work and also as an intern with the Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). As a case-manager intern for United Communities, she helped design and implement after-school programming for youth in grades five through seven. She has volunteered for numerous programs serving people experiencing homelessness and has been actively involved in the Vote for Homes Coalition. She brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to her work with PIHN families. Keyonnee began her work with PIHN first as a volunteer from 2008-2009 and we are very excited to have her back with us!

Bob Byrne, Coordinator, Director of Northeast Programs: Bob was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in 2006, he decided to pursue a career in human services. Bob initially became involved at PIHN as a field study student while earning a certificate in Human Services from Community College of Philadelphia. Bob then joined our staff team in 2012 to open our second network of caring congregations. In 2015, Bob earned his certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University’s School of Business. We are delighted to have Bob helping us continue to grow our program!


Support Staff

Jim Anderson, JD (Project Management, part time) –  Jim joins us out of retirement following nearly 30 years with a large Philadelphia social service agency, where he served as Chief Operating Officer.

Pesha Leichter (Bookkeeper, part-time) -  Pesha is an active PIHN volunteer at her congregation and has worked with PIHN on a part time basis for the past 10 years.

Christian Gordon-Scott (Digital Marketing Specialist, part-time) – Christian is a graduate from Arcadia University (’16) with a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts, who designs our various marketing material.