Alumna Danielle Amrine offers a holistic approach to reducing homelessness as CEO of Welcome House Northern Kentucky, after having experienced homelessness herself firsthand.

Mount St. Joseph University alumna danielle armrine with arms crossed smiling outside organization

Danielle Amrine ’07 came to the Mount as an adult student looking for evening classes. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology. She returned to the Mount from 2009-2012 as an adjunct instructor teaching classes like “addictions” and “social policy.”

In 2017, Amrine became the CEO of Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, an organization that offers a holistic approach and range of services aimed at ending homelessness. “I wanted to help people the same way other people have helped me growing up,” Amrine says. The mission of Welcome House is close to Amrine’s heart.

When she was 18, she personally experienced homelessness.

“I’ve been there,” she says. “I’ve experienced it. I know what it’s like. And I know how impactful services that help people who are experiencing homelessness can be.”

Amrine’s work is on a macro level, introducing new services to the organization, and connecting and working with legislators on changing laws that assist the population they serve.

“To me, this is the most important part, being able to have a say and a hand in developing and bringing more services to those who need them the most,” she says.

Welcome House offers a continuum of services, with 28 programs, from addressing the root causes of homelessness to medical street outreach, all the way to housing stability. The continuum is made up of three main service areas, including housing, service coordination, and outreach and stability.

“We’re looking to not only provide a handout but a hand up,” she says. “We are housing first, which means it’s the first priority we work on. We don’t have complicated qualifications to get them a place to live. We believe housing is a basic human right.”

Welcome House offers three shelters: one for veterans, one for two-parent families, and one for women and children. In the spring of 2023, they’ll welcome a new facility in Covington, Kentucky, that will accommodate the expanded population of single parents, including single dads and their children. Above all, Amrine is fighting to eliminate any stigmas. “People often think that people experiencing homelessness are violent or have a drug addiction, or that it’s their own fault,” she says. “When we see people on a street corner, we often put a onesize-fits-all filter over homelessness. That’s not really the case.”

According to a survey from Bankrate, 56 percent of Americans are only one $1,000-emergency away from needing to borrow money or sell something. With a nation of people so financially close to the edge, stats like this one put into perspective the possibility of how many people are one unexpected circumstance away from homelessness. Amrine has seen teachers, nurses, and many people with degrees experience homelessness. She’s also seen people who have experienced many challenges, but at the end of the day, everyone, no matter their background, is an individual.

“They’re human beings who have stories and when you sit down and talk to them, it dissolves the judgments we’ve made up about them,” she says.

One day, Amrine says she’d love to be out of a job. “My hope is to see numbers go down and provide comprehensive care that eliminates homelessness altogether.”

About our Social Work Program

While sociology majors study to understand how human beings relate to each other, social work majors focus on changing and improving lives, working to empower people to achieve their full potential. 

The Department of Sociology and Social Work offers majors in Social Work and Behavioral Science and minors in nonprofit leadership, gerontology, addictions, social work, leadership & civic engagement, socio-psychology, and sociology. In 2021, this program had a 100% social work licensure pass rate and has been accredited since 1991. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our Social Work program page here!