Mayor Scott Announces Ernestina Simmons, LCSW-C, As New Leader of Mayor's Office of Homeless Services

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott


Baltimore City

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Ernestina Simmons in a navy blue blazer and white shirt.

BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, September 28, 2023) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that Ernestina Simmons will be appointed as the new Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services. She will take over the role on October 16, 2023. 

“The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services provides essential support to our city’s most vulnerable residents and I know Ernestina will be incredibly effective in leading the office into a new era,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “With more than two decades of experience, many of those years serving families across our city, Ernestina is uniquely qualified and well-positioned to serve Baltimoreans who have faced housing insecurity or homelessness, many of whom rely on the support of our Office of Homeless Services.” 

Ernestina Simmons, LCSW-C has proven to be a results-driven and dynamic human services leader over her 25-plus year career in child welfare, supportive housing programs, homeless services, and clinical services. Simmons holds an undergraduate degree in Social Work from Adelphi University and a Master’s degree is Social Work from Fordham University, in addition to being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker  (LCSW-C) in Maryland.  For the first 15 years of her career, she worked in various positions in the child welfare sector in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, and has spent the last 10 years in leadership roles in non-profit organizations across Baltimore City.

“Over the past 10 years, I have enjoyed leading organizations through challenging seasons as well as seasons of opportunity and growth,” said Ernestina Simmons. “I am excited to join MOHS and partner with community-based organizations who are committed to breaking the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness. I know first-hand the opportunity each organization has to create meaningful impact in their community by ensuring we are increasing accessibility and designing programs that are responsive to community needs. We will work to ensure our partners have the tools, knowledge, resources, and capacity to create operationalized systems and standards of care that enables them to provide excellent care and services, improve program compliance, and make a measurable impact.”

Irene Augustin, who served as Director of MOHS since 2021, submitted her resignation on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, effective immediately. The City of Baltimore and Mayor Scott thank her for her service to Baltimore’s residents.

For more information about MOHS’s portfolio and agency structure please visit


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