Meet our team
Muzz Meyers took a long and winding road to become the Executive Director of the Day One Program. After completing his undergraduate degree and Masters in Teaching at Colgate University, he followed the normal path of all young teachers by going into the restaurant business. He spent the next eighteen years with his partner, Bobby Feldman, operating the Shadyside Balcony and Hotlicks Restaurants. The restaurants were recognized for the great food, service, fun and amazing jazz.
Upon leaving the restaurant business in 1998 he took his experience and talents into the non-profit sector and spent the next 18 years working with underserved youth. He has worked for the East End Cooperative Ministry, Neighborhood Learning Alliance, The University of Pittsburgh Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and primarily for Communities in Schools of Allegheny County. Through Communities in Schools he was placed at Westinghouse High School in various supportive roles with students and staff. His last few years at Westinghouse HS, he was employed by Pittsburgh Public Schools as a Project Manager. During this time, he witnessed the daily trauma of housing insecurity. He recognized that a transient life created hardships and obstacles in the ability for students to succeed.
In 2015, he decided to take his social service and entrepreneurial experience and envision a way to address these problems. With a push from his friend Hope Feldman, he began the groundwork for the Day One Project. This work included research into existing programs, meeting with community organizations and government entities, and talking to families in need. In the fall of 2016 he decided to take the leap and began a private fundraising campaign. By January 2017 he was ready to recruit families and by April, 2017 educational programming had begun. On July 1, 2017 5 single parent families moved into Day One housing.
Since then, support from the Opportunity Fund, the Hillman Family Foundation, and the Heinz Endowments have enabled Muzz to become the first Executive Director of the Day One Project. He has committed himself to creating a program that offers real-life education, connection to resources, and support to empower single parent families to thrive. As the program develops, the dream is to grow and to provide housing stability, opportunities, and hope for all single parent families in the city of Pittsburgh.
Shay Port, Day One’s Financial Coach, is a Financial Coach, Counselor and Educator. After receiving her C.P.A., Shay worked as a corporate accountant for over 10 years before starting her own company, Financial Wellness with Shay Port, in 2010.
While on staff as the financial coach at Joblinks, one of the three Financial Opportunity Centers in Pittsburgh, Shay worked with hundreds of participants on budgeting, saving, credit score improvement, debt management, student loan planning, accessing affordable car loans, and qualifying for home ownership. Shay also led the financial wellness program of the Pittsburgh chapter of Platform to Employment, a nationally recognized employment reintegration program. Shay currently runs the financial wellness program at Southwinds, Inc.
In addition to her regular coaching work, Shay has recently become a certified Financial Counselor trainer through the Cities for Financial Empowerment, and has written several different “train the trainer” seminars, offering them nationwide to community service providers wishing to learn financial management techniques in order to better help those they serve.
Shay is also an experienced tax preparer, and specializes in tax preparation for artists, musicians and other freelancers.
HALIMA TAMMY THOMPSON's personal route from Bluefield, West VA to Pittsburgh was led with obstacles. She overcame them to become being an incredible inspirational speaker, a financial literacy expert and a homebuyer education counselor who has helped hundreds of families save their homes from going into foreclosure, as well as learn how to become “savvy savers”. That journey led her to owning her own company, Thompson Real Estate Consulting. She is currently working as a consultant, facilitating and developing programming for Circles East Liberty and the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Circles.
Thompson’s story has resulted in the creation of “The Psychology of Poverty” a workshop that gives participants an opportunity to see a perspective that can recreate how they’ve been impacted by the psychological implications of poverty—it provides an avenue to re-route their relationship with money. She says “Poverty is not just about NOT HAVING MONEY. “ This is the message that undergirds these powerful sessions, it is this message that is explored within the workshops that allows each individual his/her personal ticket out of the emotional damage, left by what it is we believe poverty says about us.
She says “facing our Truths will be the key to adopting new habits and having new experiences that can guide us to new futures for us and our children.”
New sun rising
New Sun Rising, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, builds vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. New Sun Rising provides strategic support for the development of programming, outcomes, development, and long range planning.