About Us


Guiding Principles


In crisis, needing life’s basics of food, clothing and shelter, young people come to Covenant House day and night and are accepted without question or cost.


Covenant House offers young people protection and safety. We stress the reality of the present moment and encourage belief in their potential for the future.

Values Communication

At Covenant House, lasting, caring relationships are built on unconditional love and absolute respect. We teach our youth the benefits of positive values like honesty and trust.


Stability is uncertain when facing homelessness or human trafficking. We offer young people guidelines, plans, and options— not rules and regulations that will impede them.


Change, freely chosen, brings the surest progress. We assist our young people in making positive decisions about their future.

Who are our kids?


Young people receive care at Covenant House each year

  • 85% are survivors of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse, assault, or rape
  • 30% aged out of foster care
  • 15% ran away from home
  • 75% were thrown out of homes that no longer wanted them
  • 52% are young women, 46% are young men, and 2% are transgender
  • 40% of our young men and 30% of our young women have been released from jail or juvenile detention
  • 36% of our young women are mothers
  • 30% are survivors of human trafficking and/or sexual labor
  • 35% identify as LGBTQ+
  • 85% suffer from PTSD/poly-trauma – 35% receive medication
  • 80% have used drugs – 40% have a serious addiction

In Their Own Words

Our young people are so much more than statistics. They are good, and beautiful, and brave.
Despite all they have been through in their short lives, they are full of hope.

“I am blessed to have turned my life around these past six months. Now that I have a job, and soon an apartment, I have begun thinking about possibly working in youth ministry.”

“I want to go to college and become a surgical nurse so I can make enough money to give back to the people at Covenant House.”

“I don’t have my own family helping me, so just by having Covenant House as a family – it’s like a miracle to me.”

“I can’t remember how many different foster care homes I lived in. I just remember how happy they were to see me go. When I was sixteen I ran away to New Orleans.”

“I came here to get myself together, and I ended up finding a lot of friends and a lot of staff that really support me mentally and emotionally.”

“The staff here at Covenant House have had a big impact on my life. If I hadn’t come here, I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing with my life.”

“There’s no place like Covenant House. You can come here, build up your pride, self esteem, confidence, and your money.”

“Covenant House helped me realize that people who might not be related to you are actually with you during your struggle off the streets.”

“My mom had a drug problem, and she left one day. Covenant House is a place where people really care about you. It was the best move I ever made.”

Senior Leadership Team

Rheneisha Robertson

Rheneisha Robertson

Chief Executive Officer

Rheneisha is a passionate advocate and demonstrated public health professional with over 20 years’ experience in Non-profit Leadership and Community Public Health. Her extensive resume reflects a successful career and dedication to positive youth development and adolescent & women’s health. Throughout her career she has worked to improve the overall health outcomes and quality of life of marginalized communities, with a particular interest and focus on women, youth, and communities of color. 

Rheneisha’s professional achievements include 15 years with the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a national non-profit health organization domiciled in New Orleans. Her various leadership roles at IWES have included Chief Programs Officer and Chief Operations Officer. She has served on the boards of Girls on the Run NOLA, the Greater New Orleans Breastfeeding Advocacy Coalition, and Emerge LA. She currently serves on the board of Iggie’s House – A Nia Robertson Foundation, and the New Orleans Metro Stars. Rheneisha is also a past member of Off the Field Players’ Wives Association, a national association comprised of wives of active and retired professional football players.

Rheneisha earned a master’s degree from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and a bachelor’s from Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of the Brian Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum and the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership program. She is a proud native of New Orleans, wife, and mother of two young adults.

Deneen Jackson

Deneen Jackson

Interim Director of Programs
Monica Chanel

Monica Chanel

Human Resources Sr. Manager
Shawne Favre

Shawne Favre

Chief Financial Officer

Senior Program Team

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams

Director of Transitional & Supportive Housing
Ebonee C. Adams

Ebonee C. Adams

Director of Youth Support Services
Sheri Combs

Sheri Combs

Director of Community & Youth Engagement
Greg Fortenberry

Greg Fortenberry

Care Center Manager
JaNét Peters

JaNét Peters

Director of Wellness
Michelle Dailey

Michelle Dailey

Team Leader (Evening)

Board of Directors

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David is the managing partner of Krebs, Farley & Dry and works in the New Orleans office. He entered Tulane Law School after earning an MA in History and Economics at the Karl Eberhards Universität in Tübingen, Germany. While at Tulane, David was a member of Tulane Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1982. After graduation, at point he started as an associate at Phelps Dunbar, where he remained until 1991, having become a partner in the interim. In 1991, he started his own firm and has practiced in that capacity ever since.

David’s practice has focused on commercial litigation with a strong emphasis on trial work. He has tried approximately 100 cases in his career, many of them jury trials, which he prefers. Most of these cases were complex, high-dollar and long, and distributed roughly evenly between state and federal court. David’s trial experience includes proceedings in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and California.

Active in the community, David served as the Chair of the New Orleans Pro Bono project for two years following Hurricane  Katrina. As Chair, he led the Project during a time of a massive effort to address the extraordinary legal needs of the displaced poor of New Orleans. He also personally led the legal team that created the framework for the Qatar Tremé Project to finance the restoration of 100 residences in the historic Tremé neighborhood.

When not working, David likes to travel, read, cook, and spend time with his family and friends.

Deidre Hayes, DSW, BCD, LCSW-BACS is a Professor of Practice in the Tulane University School of Social Work. She has been a licensed clinical social worker in New Orleans for over 30 years. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola University of the South, a master’s in social work from Tulane University, and a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has extensive experience with individuals and families, specializing in mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Her private practice specializes in individual, children and family evidenced based interventions.

Deidre has been an integral part of many start-up initiatives including Covenant House, the New Orleans Drug and Mental Health Courts, and the New Orleans Family Justice Center. She is a clinical consultant for National Child and Family Services Wrap Around Program, providing clinical supervision and guidance for social workers who serve the most vulnerable members of the community. Additionally, she serves as both supervisor and mentor for those seeking licensure. Dr. Hayes currently serves as the Co-chair of the Empowering Change Task Force and Director of the Elk Place Health Spot, a monthly community health fair for the Tulane School of Social Work.

Derrick O. Martin is a marketing, workforce and economic development professional Managing Partner at Sugchairo Moi & Martin Economic Advisory Services. He previously served as the Executive Director for the Algiers Economic Development Foundation, whose priorities are ensuring long-term economic vitality for Algiers and Director of Business Retention & Expansion at the New Orleans Business Alliance. In addition to his board leadership at Covenant House New Orleans, he is a board member at United Way of Southeast Louisiana and has also served on the boards of Crescent City Schools and Café Reconcile. Derrick is a proud father of three and enjoys mentoring, cycling, fishing, working out and playing chess and is an active member of his church.

Eric Alexander headshotEric is an insurance advisor at Marsh & McLennan Companies, specializing in governmental agencies. Originallyfrom Texas, he received his bachelors of interdisciplinary studies and a master’s in business administration at Louisiana State University on a football scholarship, winning a BCS National Championship under head coach Nick Saban. He subsequently played professional football as a member of the New England Patriots for 6 years, winning Super Bowl XXXIX under head coach Bill Belichick.

Eric currently serves as Secretary for the NFLPA Former Players New Orleans Chapter and on the board of Community Works of Louisiana. He also appears regularly as an LSU game-day analyst for Cox Sports Television. Eric enjoys traveling and working out. One of his greatest accomplishments was training for and finishing the Boston Marathon. He and his wife Brandi have one daughter, Ellison.

Gregor Fox headshotGregor was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He came to New Orleans in 1990 to attend Tulane University. After falling in love with New Orleans during college, he decided to dedicate his life to the city.

After Tulane, Gregor started a lifelong career rehabilitating properties in New Orleans. For the first 20 years he concentrated on renovating historic houses uptown, doing most of the work himself. For the last decade he has been developing commercial properties in the historic Marigny neighborhood.

In addition to real estate development, Gregor has experience in financial management and philanthropy. He has a keen understanding of financial markets, asset allocation, and investing with an eye to preserving capital and liquidity. In philanthropy, he has experience working with his family foundation, as well as serving on the boards of YaYa and the New Orleans Ballet Association.

In addition to being a lover of New Orleans cuisine, culture, and history, he is a father of three and a dedicated family man.

Heather is the owner of a local design company that specializes in creating custom-designed headpieces to individuals and groups. This past November, she was honored to co-chair the 9th Annual Covenant House Sleep Out. She is an active member with the Junior League of New Orleans, having previously served as Business Council Director and helped organize monthly birthday celebrations for Covenant House residents.

Originally from Bellaire, Texas, Heather received a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Arizona State University. She has a background in the estate sale business, is an avid seamstress, and loves making elaborate cakes. For several years, she studied Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defense program.

Heather lives in Central Carrollton with her husband Warren and their three boys, Warren, Parke, and Ethan.

Karyn Kearney headshotKaryn serves as the Director of Communications and External Affairs at Intralox, a global manufacturing company headquartered in New Orleans. She was the Global Marketing Manager for Intralox, an Executive Vice President at Audubon Nature Institute and Managing Director of the Audubon Aquarium for 13 years. Her board service includes an eight-year term as a Commissioner for the Downtown Development District and a term with the National Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

After Katrina, Karyn worked tirelessly as a founding member of Citizens for One Greater New Orleans and to rebuild and reopen the Audubon Aquarium. She was president of the Young Leadership Council and is a co-founder of the New Orleans Proud to call it home campaign. She was honored by City Business as a Woman of the Year. Karyn is a two time sleeper for Covenant House. She received her BA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She lives in New Orleans with her husband Bill and has two sons, Jackson and Pierce.

Judge Africk was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana by George W. Bush in 2002. Born in New York, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with his bachelor’s degree in 1973 and from the University of North Carolina Law School with his J.D. in 1975.

Lance began his law career as a clerk for Judge James Gulotta of the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals from 1975 until 1976. In 1976, he worked in private practice before becoming a state prosecutor. In 1977, Lance became the Director of the  criminal bureau for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, where he worked until 1980 as part of a specialty task force dealing in the prosecution of repeat offenders. In 1980, Lance moved back to private practice for two years. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 1982 to 1990, when he was appointed to the federal bench as a federal magistrate judge. Since 1986, Africk has also been a part-time professor at the University of New Orleans.

Lance and his wife Lisa reside Uptown.

For over 10 years, Luis has focused on helping individuals and families manage their financial affairs, focusing on portfolio construction, investment advisor selection and monitoring, cash flow management, and comprehensive financial planning. His diverse background in investment management, financial planning, banking and entrepreneurship allows him to advise his clients on how their cash flow, estate planning, trust, and tax requirements can be integrated to meet their financial goals. Prior to establishing Crescent Capital Consulting, Luis was associated with Equitas Capital Advisors and managed a private family office in New Orleans. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of a Louisiana-based liquor import company and a corporate lending officer at a New Orleans-based regional bank.

Luis earned his MBA from Tulane University along with a MA in Latin American Studies. In addition, he also has a BA in Business Administration from American University in Washington, DC. He is a Certified Financial Planner(TM) (CFP®) and is a member of the New Orleans Estate Planning Council. Luis is a Trustee and Treasurer of the Keller Family Foundation and is a Trustee of the RosaMary Foundation. He is also on the board of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, where he serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee.

Luis and his wife Regina reside in New Orleans with their three children.

As an advanced practice nurse with experience in both critical care ICU and community health, Linda coordinated the transplant program at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. She served on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic and post-Katrina relief efforts. Linda volunteers during local and national disasters, from grassroots to board level positions.

Linda contributes to her family’s business, The Gray Insurance Company, by serving on the family council. She has played an integral role in shaping critical decisions around succession planning, corporate governance, and investment strategies, ensuring the legacy and growth of the organization. Linda is involved in the Chief Executive Organization (CEO) and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), chairing multiple educational programs and cultivating valuable networks that transcend industries and borders.

With a Bachelor’s from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s from Northern Illinois University, Linda is passionate and committed to promoting health and wellness while empowering individuals and communities to thrive. As a single mother for over a decade, her journey epitomizes resilience and compassion. A proud mother of four and grandmother of triplets, Linda cherishes her husband, Michael, a New Orleans native.

Marc moved to New Orleans in 1987 and opened his Algiers office, American Chiropractic Clinic where he continues to practice and serve as director.

Marc has been active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations throughout New Orleans, serving on or chairing many boards over the years, including Forum for Equality, New Orleans Human Relations Commission, Alliance For Good Government, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Pride NOLA, Temple Sinai and Avodah.  He is the developer of Pride Prom NOLA and since 1992 he has been consecutively elected to 8 4-year terms on the Orleans Parish Executive Committee.

Marc resides in New Orleans with his longtime partner, Jeff Sbisa.

Michael graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in Management. Prior to his career in banking, he spent a lot of time working in the hospitality industry and he and his spouse founded and operated a local advertising agency giving him an appreciation for entrepreneurship and fostering his interest in the finance industry. 

After arriving at Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company Michael entered the lender training program and after working in different capacities opened the Lakeview Branch as Banking Officer/ C0 – Branch Manager of the Lakeview Branch in April 2005. In 2011 he was promoted to VP/ Market Manager of the Main Office Branch. Since then, he has risen through the ranks to his current role of SVP/ Market Manager of the bank’s Commercial Lending Division

Michael is currently Chairman of the Board of Business Resource Capital which is Non-Profit Certified Development Corporation benefiting the Greater New Orleans Market where he has served as a board member for over 12 years. He also volunteers time and fundraises for The Covenant House of Greater New Orleans which provides care and support for homeless youth of the region. He was recently appointed to the Development & Communication Committee and over the past 6 years along with his peers has raised over $150,000 for this incredible cause. 

Michael is an alumni of the Graduate School of Banking at LSULouisiana Bankers Association Leadership School, American Bankers Association Commercial Lending School, the Brian Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, NEXT WAVE Leadership Forum, and the Louisiana Bankers Association Commercial Lending School.

When he is not working Michael enjoys camping, boating, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors with his wife Christina and two daughters Faith and Hope.

Michele Fontenot is currently the Assistant Director of Network Performance and Engagement at Peoples Health where she builds and maintains relationships with practice leadership and clinical influencers actively involved in practice transformation to improve quality, efficiency, and utilization. Fontenot is active in our community, having served in leadership roles for several professional, civic and charitable organizations, including the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon Committee, the Louisiana Folic Acid Committee, Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee, and is a long time Sleep Out participant.

Michele comes from a long line of members of the Randolph family who have been members of the Covenant House New Orleans Board of Directors since our 1987 founding, beginning with her grandmother Dorothy Randolph, succeeded by her aunt, Vaughn Randolph Fauria and ending with her cousin Dr. Christian Fauria-Robinson.

Judge Brown was elected to the State of Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit on March 25, 2017, and was re-elected without opposition on July 20, 2018. She was formally a judge at Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, where she served for 7 years. A native of Oceans Springs, Mississippi, Judge Brown attended Tulane University on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management from the A.B. Freeman School of Business. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center.

In 1993, as a young lawyer, Judge Brown began to hone her skills by serving as a judicial law clerk for the former Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Bernette J. Johnson, in Civil District Court and again in the Supreme Court. Her vast experience led her to an appointment as Judge Pro Tempore for Orleans Civil District Court in 2004. A Louisiana Bar Foundation Fellow, Judge Brown’s board service includes the A.P. Tureaud American Inn of Court (President), Louisiana Green Corps (executive board), Louisiana Appleseed, Louisiana Heat Foundation, I.N.S.P.I.R.E., RR, Inc. (Vice President), and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (New Orleans Affiliate). As a breast cancer survivor, and a person living with trigeminal neuralgia and multiple sclerosis, Judge Brown is passionate about promoting awareness for these diseases.

Judge Brown truly believes to whom so ever much is given, much is required.

Peter Wilson headshotPeter is an associate at Roth Law Firm, primarily practicing in the areas of project development, private equity investment, and associated financing, with a special emphasis on historic rehabilitation and community development real estate transactions. Since joining Roth Law Firm in 2017, he has represented developers, lenders, and investors in structuring, negotiating, and documenting a broad range of commercial transactions.

Peter earned a dual MBA and Juris Doctor from Tulane University and a B.A. from Wofford College. He and his wife Rosalind reside Uptown.

Commissioner Tenisha Stevens received her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Southern University at New Orleans and completed her undergraduate studies at Dillard University. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.- New Orleans Alumnae Chapter. She sits on various Boards and Commissions. She is the devoted mother to Maddie. She is deeply invested in bettering her community so that the next generation can reach their full potential.

Thelma French headshotThelma is the President & CEO of Total Community Action, Inc., the city’s federally designated anti-poverty agency, and Head Start grantee. As a champion and advocate for early childhood development, quality and equitable education and employment opportunities, Mrs. French serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), and a member of the Steering Committee of the New Orleans Early Care & Education Network (NOEEN) and a board member of BENOLA.

Her public administrative experience includes serving as Director of Board Operations and Intergovernmental Relations for the Orleans Parish School Board, Executive Assistant for Federal and State Programs for former mayors Marc Morial and Ray Nagin. Ms. French has also served as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Her community and board service includes the National Community Action Partnership, the Alliance for Children and Families, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, the New Orleans Workforce Development Board, the Association of Community Action Partnership of Louisiana, Orleans Parish Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Black Education for New Orleans, Providence Community Housing, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Thelma’s proudest achievements are her children, daughter Nia Danielle Harris French, son, Gerard Norbert French
and grandchildren Cairo Gerard, Reese Bailey, and Reagan Danielle.

Toni Mobley, B.A., M.S.
Executive Vice President and Chief Services Officer Toni Mobley is an Executive Vice President with Audubon Nature Institute. Her varied career includes expertise in guest service; succession planning; employment law; talent development; business development; employee relations; labor relations; and talent acquisition. Toni has noteworthy non-profit leadership experience. In her current role as an EVP-CSO she leads Guest Services, Human Resources, Security, and First Responder departments. Toni also possesses substantive executive retail experience- leading a $2.1 billion market for Target Corporation. At Target she was the Senior Group Human Resources Manager, supporting 65 Target Stores throughout eight states in the Southeast. For approximately 17 years Toni
has guided the careers of many executive leaders assisting them with identifying the best talent to proactively fuel the growth of the companies she works for.

Toni has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida State University in Merchandising and has her Master’s Degree from Webster University in Human Resources Management. In 2017 Toni earned the National Women’s Council Top 15 Women in Business in Louisiana Award. In addition, Toni received the National Diversity Council’s Multicultural Leadership Award for her focus on coaching and developing diverse leaders throughout the state of Louisiana. In 2012 the National Diversity Council also bestowed upon her the Most Powerful and Influential Woman award. Toni is a Committee Chairwoman on the Board of Directors for
Goodwill Industries, she also serves on the Board for the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Delgado Community College Hospitality Management Advisory Board, and she is a member of the Loyola University College of Business Visiting Committee.


Jack Benjamin

Hon. Stanwood Duval

Madeleine Landrieu

Margaret Kelly


Ex Officio

Lori Maloney


How Can You Help?

In the past 10 years, the number of youth in our care has grown from 45 to over 200 per night. Support our youth as they work to reach their incredible potential.