Employee Spotlight

Welcome to our employee spotlight page. At CL&A we realize that our success comes from the people that have joined our CL&A family. Without our hardworking and dedicated teams, we would not be where we are today. In an effort to recognize our employees for the exemplary work that they do, we’d like to take a moment and highlight one member, who we believe to be doing an outstanding job. The people who are featured here represent the best of us. They are an example to everyone around them of the excellence that can be achieved.

Employee Spotlight: Devonne McMorris
Congratulations to Devonne McMorris on being a valued CL&A employee. You are an outstanding member of our team, and we couldn’t do it without you! We are honored to highlight you in this month’s employee spotlight.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a native of the Bronx, New York and I absolutely adore New York City. It has been my pleasure to help Veterans in need. I have several retired military persons in my family and am honored to be used in the capacity of helping those who have served our country, especially when in a time of need.

I am a graduate of Nyack Christian College and Fordham University Graduate school of Social Work, where I received my Masters degree in 2011. I believe that the sky is the limit and look forward to a great, prosperous and rewarding future.

What is your role at CL&A?
For the past 8 months I have been employed with Carlos L. Lopez & Associates as an Associate Director of Housing, which I enjoy tremendously! On a daily basis I interact with Landlords and Brokers to locate suitable-affordable housing for homeless Veterans through the Hud Vash Section 8 program. I must say that the work that I do is very rewarding, to not only witness a homeless person become stably housed, but to know that I played a major role in doing so is priceless. However, my job just doesn't end with locating housing, and because I am very passionate about the work that I do, I am committed to going above and beyond, which may include early mornings and late nights.

What would people never guess you do in your role?
One thing that people would never guess I do in my role is occasionally pick up and deliver furniture items to elderly Veterans who are unable to physically do so themselves. I have always been a hands-on type of person and I do not mind getting my hands dirty, or going the extra mile, when necessary.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
What I enjoy most about my role as an Associate Director of Housing is putting my Administrative skills to work. I often find that when a Veteran moves into their apartment, they have limited funds to purchase furniture, in addition to basic living necessities such as food and clothing, and that's where I come in. I locate various community resources that are able to assist Veterans with obtaining donated furniture, bedding, toiletries, groceries and clothing. In NYC there are tons of food pantries, and Non-Profit agencies which are designed to assist Veterans with resources, after they have exhausted all other means.

How did you first learn about CL&A?
Prior to becoming employed with CL&A I was a Hud Vash Case Manager for 3 years at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which is when I first learned about CL&A. When the opportunity presented itself for me to grow in my career I applied to CL&A for the Associate Director of Housing position, with the desire to continue housing as many homeless Veterans as possible. I must say that this opportunity has helped me to sharpen my administrative and outreach tools in more ways imaginable. It has allowed me to build a great repoir with so many others who are dedicated to assisting Veterans with ending their current state of homelessness, and receiving the various other services that they may need to better thrive in the community.

What do you like most about CL&A?
To be given the opportunity to still go out into the community, and to tap into community outreach agencies is something that I really enjoy, however, what I like most about CL&A is working alongside my colleague Roni Rodman. Roni is just as passionate about housing homeless Veterans as I am, and she has well over 20 years of experience in the field. I find Roni to be extremely knowledgeable and resourceful. She continues to assist me in transitioning into my new leadership role, and is a very pleasant person to work with. 

Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Prior to working at CL&A my most interesting job was during my Junior year in Graduate school, as I was placed at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (BHCF) to complete a 10 month internship. BHCF is the only maximum prison for females in the state of New York. During my internship I co-facilitated 2 groups; Spousal Abuse and Child Victim. The spousal abuse group consisted of inmates who had been either abused or the abuser, and the child victim group mainly consisted of inmates who were doing 15-25 to Life sentences for murdering a minor, which often resulting in being their own child or children. Both groups were extremely intense. Each group ran for 12 weeks, 4 days a week for 3 hours a session. The gruesome, detailed murder stories that I heard on a daily basis is something that I will never forget!

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
Outside of working, however, I have a lot of hobbies that I engage in such as playing the drums, roller blading, swimming and walking my two red Toy Poodles, but my most newest hobby which gives me great pleasure is commuting to work on my motorcycle

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
The various experiences that I have had in my young career has helped to prepare me for my position at CL&A. I believe that my faith has anchored me to be the caring and compassionate person that I am, which I contribute to my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is something that I could not live without.

What is your hidden talent?
 A hidden talent that I have had over 18 years is that I ride a unicycle. I enjoy engaging in adventurous activities, and riding all sorts of bikes which include bicycles and Motor cross sports.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when someone blows there nose while I am eating. I am a very visual person, and so the thought of hearing snot combined with the amount of germs i'm exposed to while eating immediately takes away my appetite, no matter how hungry I may be.

What is your favorite movie and book?
My favorite book is the Holy Bible. I enjoy reading about life captured during a time period in which I did not live to experience myself.

My favorite movie is the Temptations because there are so many Sing-A-Long scenes, not to mention it's based on a true story.