Who We Are

History

As a teenager, Founder and CEO Laurel Hilbert came to this country at a disadvantage—not only visually impaired, but also not speaking a word of English. Worst of all he was alone—bereft of family or friends who might have been able to take him into their care and help him fulfill his dream of attending school here.

It was Laurel’s own experience that moved him to start A Dignified Home.

Instead, after some time of actually living out in the street—sleeping on park benches for months—Laurel found himself part of the homeless care shelter system, boarded and housed at several different locations throughout that tumultuous period, experiencing firsthand the frustration and disillusionment of an unstable living situation.

It was Laurel’s own experience that moved him to start A Dignified Home. Having been asked to leave shelters for bureaucratic reasons, or having chosen to leave others because they weren’t safe places to be, he felt determined to spare other young people this disheartening fate.

Laurel founded A Dignified Home in 2017 with the generous help of several people who feel as strongly as he does that everyone deserves a second chance and a good one … that everyone is entitled to the safety, security and sustainability of a stable place to live, with no fear they will suddenly be ejected …

Laurel believes with all his heart that everyone deserves A Dignified Home.

Meet Our Leadership

We couldn’t do what we do without the fervent dedication and sincere care of our team.

Laurel Hilbert dressed in a suit speaking into a microphone at a panel discussion

Laurel Hilbert

Laurel Allen Hilbert is the Founder and CEO of A Dignified Home Children and Youth Services.

A native of Syria, he came to this country in 2013, where he experienced firsthand the challenges and difficulties of being homeless. He is proud to have risen above his own visual impairment to achieve the creation of A Dignified Home Children and Youth Services.

Before founding A Dignified Home, his professional background included experience as an international outreach and admissions assistant with Rennert International in New York City. Prior to that he also held a position with Vision Services for the Blind as a service representative in New York. In addition, Laurel has held a teaching position as an English teacher and as a private tutor with cafetalk.com.

Laurel is very proud of the valuable experience he gained serving as vice president of membership for Toastmasters International, and of his volunteer work with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

Most recently he has joined the initiative A Way Home America (AWHM), a movement to prevent and end homelessness among youth and young adults.

Bevan Dufty

Bevan Dufty

Bevan currently serves on the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) Board of Directors for District 9 and he is former chair of the S.F. County Transportation Authority.  As a political aide, Bevan’s 23-year career in San Francisco City Hall included serving two terms on the Board of Supervisors representing District 8, the seat once held by Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Bevan has a long history of involvement with homelessness and LGBT Civil Rights.  He served as Director of HOPE Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement for the City of San Francisco, where he led efforts to open the first Navigation Center, house hundreds of formerly homeless veterans and establish the first supportive housing in the Castro District focused on LGBTQ young adults.

Previously, Bevan played a key role in rebuilding rail transit in the Los Angeles area, as well as having worked as a legislative staffer for members of the U.S. Congress in both California and New York.

The godson of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, Bevan is the proud parent of Sid Goldfader-Dufty.

Joseph Quaderer

Joseph Quaderer

Joseph currently serves as First Vice President at Morgan Stanley Private Bank.  Joseph has worked at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management for over fourteen years in a variety of product, sales and managerial roles.  Previously Joseph served as a Consultant at BTS working with senior executives at Fortune 100 companies including Bank of America, Deloitte, Pfizer, AT&T, Tiffany & Co and Newell Rubbermaid.

Joseph is on the Board of Directors for M.C.E. Uganda, a non-profit organization based on Kampala, Uganda that works with at-risk youth.  He also provides advice to The Peoples Concern Children’s Project, a literacy camp in the Ggaba Road slums in Kampala, Uganda.

In addition to his work as a Private Banker, Joseph founded Goose Chronicles – a website that shares the extraordinary stories of ordinary people.  His stories have been viewed over two million times and are regularly featured on The Huffington Post and Medium.com.  Additionally, Joseph negotiated a partnership between The Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Goose Chronicles whereby Joseph uses his platform to tell the stories of soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Joseph graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Notre Dame. He also holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from New York University.

Chad Upham

Chad Upham

Chad leads strategic communications and design projects as founder and principal of Covive. Chad has more than 15 years experience developing print, information design, digital media, and immersive environments that inform and inspire. Clients have included the National Park Service, San Jose Conservation Corps, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Presidio Trust, AT&T, CleanScapes, Hines, Alliance Residential Company, and other businesses, organizations and agencies promoting citizenship and sustainability.

Recently, Chad has managed design and development of a website and communications for Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Solution Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. The website includes research materials and rankings of solutions, as well as fundraising and coalition-building tools to support the growth and reach of organization.

Chad graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Art Center College of Design. He also holds a Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School.

Get Involved

DONATE

Your support makes us what we are! Our goal is to never let grant requirements force us to have to ask a young person to leave our facility. Instead, we strive to keep all of our funding unconditional and not subject to displacements or quotas. At the core of that philosophy is your help. Please donate today!

VOLUNTEER

You can make a major difference in the lives of our youth by getting involved. With your direct help, A Dignified Home can thrive and your immense impact will create positive change for these young people forever after.