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About: Steve Darman, Director

Steve DarmanSteve Darman

Steve grew up in the Mohawk Valley, attended Bard College and Utica College after graduation from New Hartford High School. Drafted while attending Utica College in 1970, he left the area for several years, living in New York City and Boston. Prior to returning to college when he was 41, he worked as a nurse’s aide at Boston City Hospital and at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, and as a Navy Corpsman at Great Lakes Naval Station and at St. Albans Navy Hospital in Queens.

During his twenties and early thirties Steve worked as factory laborer, a truck driver, a mason’s helper, and an auto mechanic and garage owner. He took off the blue collar at 37 and became Director of Sales and Marketing for Darman Manufacturing Co. from 1987 to 1991 traveling to most major American cities and throughout Europe. In 1994 he graduated from SUNYIT with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, then, while his own children were in college, he did four years of PhD work in sociology at the University at Albany. He has taught a wide variety of sociology courses at University at Albany, Skidmore, Utica College and SUNYIT, most recently teaching a course titled “Returning from War” that he designed and launched in 2008.

Steve also has an extensive background in community research, program design, program evaluation, project management, and coalition and consensus building. His organization- Social Science Associates- has worked closely with local government and community agencies to identify, assess, and address a variety of social problems affecting area youth, adults, and families. While most of his work is with homeless populations and programs, he has also done extensive rework on veteran reentry and reintegration, prisoner reentry and reintegration, and on youth violence and youth gangs.

Steve is the founder of the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition and has been its Chair for the past ten years. This HUD-sanctioned Homeless Coalition – which HUD calls a “Continuum of Care”- is one of the strongest in NY State and has succeeded in attracting over $40 million in federal and state funding for a wide variety of emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive housing programs serving several thousand homeless and formerly homeless persons and families in Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer Counties in New York State.

A Vietnam-Era veteran, Steve has been a leading voice on veteran reentry and reintegration issues in the region. When Iraq and Afghanistan veterans began to show up in area homeless shelters in 2007-2008, he spearheaded a variety of initiatives to focus the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition and other community partners on veteran reentry and reintegration projects. One manifestation of these efforts is that our local Continuum of Care was selected by HUD in 2010 to manage one of only of five Veteran Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Projects in the nation as part of the federal commitment to end veteran homelessness by 2015.