Our Team

Staff & Board

Meet Our Executive Director

Verni Howard is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana and the daughter of the late Rev. and Mrs. C. F. Williams. She is a 1987 graduate of Caddo Magnet High School and furthered her studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. After earning a BS in Microbiology (1993) and a MPA (1997), Verni began the Commercial Banking Training program with SunTrust Bank in Atlanta, Georgia. After more than 18 years of corporate and non-profit banking experience including Regions Bank, Whitney Bank, Hancock Bank, and JPMorgan Chase, Verni became the new Executive Director of Providence House in December of 2015.

In addition to a stellar banking career, she has served wherever she has been planted. While living in Baton Rouge, Verni served on the East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority Advisory Council, Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, Volunteers of America, Volunteers in Public Schools (Treasurer and President), Boys and Girls Club, Catholic Charities, and Downtown Development District. In 2011 she was nominated for the Outstanding Women in Business Award by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge and in 2012 received the Volunteer Activist Award from the Emerge Center, an honor bestowed upon twelve outstanding volunteers across the city of Baton Rouge.

Verni returned to her hometown of Shreveport in 2013 in the role of Senior Vice-President/Relationship Manager of Public and Institutional Banking at JPMorgan Bank. Her love and service to the community was quickly felt. In 2015 she was recognized for her outstanding achievements and was honored with an African American Achievement Award. In 2017 Verni received the Angel Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and a year later in 2018 she was a Virginia Shehee Influential Woman Award finalist and Athena Award finalist. Verni is a 2021 recipient of the Shreveport Chamber’s Minority Business Organization’s Non-Profit Professional of the Year and Providence House received recognition as one of the best places to work in Shreveport. She and her team are relentless when it comes to serving and caring for homeless families in northwest Louisiana!

Verni Howard is a Paul Harris Fellow (Shreveport Rotary Club) and a member of Christus Highland’s Quality Committee and Strategic Planning/Finance Committee, the City of Shreveport’s Choice Neighborhood Implementation Advisory Group, Bancorp South CRA Advisory Group, a trustee of LifeShare, and chairman of Louisiana State University’s Institute for Non-Profit Administration and Research. She is busy lending her time and talent to ensure that Louisiana leads the charge in changing the landscape for homeless families.

Above all, Verni Howard is committed to God and family! Verni and her husband Don, have been married for 25 years and together they have the joy of parenting two AMAZING children: Hannah Elizabeth (age 16) and Matthew Reed (age 12).  She and her family live by the belief that, “We are our brother’s keeper.”


Our Leaders

Emily Bearden  Director of Development

Wendy Bristo  Director of Housing

Lakeisha Florence  Administrator

Shelly Marshall  CAO & Director of Human Resources

Dr. Whittney Polley  Director of Education

Mikayla McCoy  Director of Child Development Center

Katherine Shirley  Director of Marketing & Community Engagement

Yutoriea Smith  Director of Finance

Board of Directors


George “Trey” Delano Fauber, III, President
Cole, Evans & Peterson

Joe E. Reynolds, President- Elect
The Reynolds Foundation

Melissa Couch, First Vice-President
Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Justin Gambill, Treasurer
Cross Keys Bank

Melanie Wright, Secretary
Kipu Systems, LLC


Reginald Abrams
Brian Crawford
Sean Deere
Judy Madison
Marcia Moffatt
Rodney Murray
Julie Nix
Steven Pracht
Dr. Evelyn Pryor
Dr. Susan Seiler-Smith
Amy Snowden
Malia Wollerson

Power of $25

Your monthly gift can provide food, clothing, housing, education, and support that can forever transform the lives of families in need.