MHCH STAFF MEMBERS
Liaison and Outreach Coordinator
Bert Newton is the Liaison and Outreach Coordinator for Making Housing and Community Happen. Newton has participated in the work of the Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group for 19 years, but was recently hired by MHCH in his current position to help build a network of congregations and other community groups and organizations to support the work.
Newton was an Associate Pastor at Pasadena Mennonite Church for seven years and continues to be recognized by that congregation as a Ministry Associate, representing the church in the community. Newton also worked for 15 years as a Housing Specialist and Case Manager in an intensive program for adults with severe mental illness who experience homelessness and incarceration. In this work, Newton has gained intimate knowledge of the barriers to housing encountered by this population, the various types of housing available them, as well as the lack of housing for them.
Bert is the author of Subversive Wisdom; Sociopolitical Dimensions of John’s Gospel (https://wipfandstock.com/subversive-wisdom.html) and produces a podcast, Bible Study; Parody and Subversion in Matthew’s Gospel (https://www.buzzsprout.com/874393).
Morgan Duff Tucker
Morgan Duff Tucker is the office assistant for Making Housing and Community Happen. She has experienced the benefits and blessing of affordable housing first hand. In the early 1990's, her parents became first time home buyers through the mentoring of PNHS (Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services), a successful, non profit affordable housing agency. With stable housing, Morgan was able to thrive in her community and in 2013 she graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Writing for Screen and Television. Morgan went on to work in television production for four years and to build her artist portfolio with both independent and commissioned projects.
In 2019, Morgan opted to leave television production and work for Making Housing and Community Happen. She now uses her writing and media skills to help develop and create awareness about the growing non profit organization. Morgan hopes to make a difference in her community as others have made a difference in her life.
Executive Director of
Making Housing & Community Happen
Dr. Jill Shook, D-Min BGU, is the Executive Director and chair of GPAHG. Beginning in 1978, Jill served as a campus minister with Missions Door, in San Jose, Fullerton and Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. In the late 80’s she was with Food for the Hungry Intl. coordinating teams from Berkeley and Harvard to serve in developing nations doing sustainable community development with and by the people. In 1991, she moved from Mexico to Pasadena to learn from Dr. John Perkins, her long-time mentor who started the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). Jill later worked collaboratively to a plant a Spanish speaking church, Comunidad de las Americas, which is part of Lake Ave Church. She Co-Founded, an afterschool program (STARS), with Martha Shenkenberg. Working with PCC, the churches throughout the community, and the juvenile court judge, Jill founded the Parent Project, a citywide gang prevention program. In 201l, she met her husband Anthony Manousos, at the Palm Sunday Peace Parade celebrating Jesus as the Prince of Peace and promoting ending war.Jill joined the parade planning team and one year later planned a gun buyback as part of the theme. And later a “Walk the Second Mile” as part of the parade, with Anya Slaughter leading the way to the spot where her unarmed son was shot seven times by the Pasadena Police. Worship Dance groups joined along the way.
After listening to why the STARS students were dropping out of high school, so they could work or babysit so their parents could work to afford increasing rents, Jill found out about the Agape Court, a faith based affordable housing complex on Garfield Ave. Once living there, the parents had time for their children because they were paying only a third of their income on rent. All the students who moved to the Agape Court graduated from college, completely breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Due to this, Jill was led to become an advocate for affordable housing. She authored/edited Making Housing Happen: Faith Based Affordable Housing Models. See: later she developed and taught Housing Justice and Community Organizing in the APU MA Social Work Dept. Today Jill is the Executive Director of Making Housing and Community Happen (MHCH) and she does a variety of workshops, including One-Day Housing Justice Workshops around the US. Jill is married to Anthony Manousos, a Quaker peace activist, co-founder of MHCH.