FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2020

CONTACT: Allison Kuhn, Advancement Specialist; (813) 875-2024, Ext. 1022 or

TAMPA, Fla. Dawning Family Services announced its Board of Directors has appointed Mona Duffus as Chief Executive Officer effective Monday, September 28, 2020. Ms. Duffus brings extensive experience building the capacity of social services agencies to better serve their communities.

 “Ms. Duffus has a comprehensive understanding of the interconnections of homelessness, behavioral health, workforce development, and child welfare,” says Debra Palmer, Board Chair.  “We are excited for her to take charge as the CEO of Dawning Family Services as we expand our facilities in West Tampa, grow our housing programs and services, and plan for our 40th anniversary celebrations in 2021.” “I am honored to have been selected as the Chief Executive Officer for Dawning Family Services. It is a privilege to be part of the four decades’ long mission of helping homeless families achieve housing stability and well-being,” says Duffus. “We are a human services agency dedicated to delivering high-quality services for our community’s most vulnerable families . . . those who are homeless or at-risk of becoming so. During these unprecedented times, it is more important to ensure that everyone has stable housing.”

Prior to joining Dawning Family Services, Ms. Duffus served as the Chief Program Officer at the Lord’s Place in West Palm Beach, a $12 million-dollar agency serving nearly 2,000 individuals. She was instrumental in fund development for program expansion of the agency and secured material grants to meet critical community needs.

Ms. Duffus is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), who earned a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Florida State University. She was previously an Adjunct Professor at Florida A & M University. At present, Ms. Duffus is pursuing an MBA from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (USFSP). She is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2020, a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), serves on the Statewide Taskforce on Homelessness, a member of the Executive Committee of Palm Beach’s Housing and Homeless Alliance, as well as serving on a number of community and advisory boards.

Duffus concludes, “I look forward to serving Dawning Family Services’ clients by empowering community stakeholders, donors, volunteers, and staff to fulfill their personal passions of making a positive and impactful difference, while keeping our values of acceptance, commitment, and partnership at the forefront of all we do.”

About Dawning Family Services, Inc.

Dawning Family Services, formerly Alpha House of Tampa, has served homeless families since 1981. Until recently, we offered our shelter and support services to pregnant women and women alone with babies and toddlers. We estimate that we provided shelter to over 3,000 women and thousands of children. In 2018, the board of directors expanded our mission to reflect the agency’s desire to address the growing need we are witnessing to serve families beyond our historic population. Dawning Family Services now serves homeless families with minor children.

For more information about Dawning Family Services, visit