About Us - HSD

Human Services: Making a Difference in People's Lives

The field of Human Services is a broadly defined one, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but by also seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.

Steven Manela, Human Services Division Manager

Steven Manela is the Lane County Human Services Division Manager. He has extensive experience in the management of health and human services. His division is responsible for County energy assistance and conservation, housing, human services, veterans, workforce programs. Mr. Manela actively serves on state-wide Community Action Partnership Board of Directors in Oregon; he currently chairs the Legislative and the Housing and Homeless Committees for this directors association. He has been appointed twice by the governor of Oregon to serve on the Family Review Commission. Mr. Manela received both his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Oregon. Mr. Manela was the recipient of Housing Urban Development Best Practices Award for innovative, collaborative services. He has been recognized for his work with the Robert Wood Johnson Local Initiative Program and the Lane County Healthcare Heroes Award for his leadership as the founder of the Community Health Centers of Lane County.

Mary Ellen Bennet, Energy Programs Supervisor

Mary Ellen Bennet is the Energy Program Supervisor for the Human Services Division.  Her duties include staff supervision and oversight for Lane County’s Energy Services Programs.  In addition, she is the Chair of OECA, Oregon Energy Coordinators Association, a state-wide association of energy assistance, education and weatherization service providers, funders and associates.  Mary Ellen has worked in Energy Services for 20 years and she brings a lot of knowledge to improve energy services for clients.


Mary Ellen is a long time Oregon resident and cares about programs for Oregonians.  She grew up in Hood River, Oregon and earned a B.A in Community Health from the University of Oregon.

Joseph Reiley, Veterans Programs Supervisor

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Joseph grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Lafayette College. In 1992, he moved to Oregon to attend law school. After graduating from the University of Oregon Law School in 1995, he performed a year of service with AmeriCorps through the NorthWest Service Academy in Trout Lake, Washington. Following a clerkship with the Honorable Robert Herndon, Clackamas County Circuit Court, he worked for Multnomah Defenders, Inc., and then in private practice in Lane County. 

He is currently inactive with the bar and has been the Lane County Veterans Services program supervisor since 2003. He has served as the President of the Oregon County Veterans Service Officer Association from 2009 - 2012.

Deanna Strachan-Wilson, Workforce Programs Supervisor

Deanna Strachan-Wilson

Deanna brings 17 years of public service management experience including 12 years designing and implementing Workforce Development Programs for people with mental illness. She held two California State Governor appointed positions providing policy oversight and accountability for the State Department of Rehabilitation and the Mental Health Services Act.  Continuing her service in Lane County, Deanna acted most recently as Employment Specialist & Housing Navigator for the SNAP Training & Employment Partnership.  She also currently serves on the Human Services Division’s Trauma Informed Care Change Team and the Poverty & Homelessness Board Workgroup.  She believes in supporting customers and employees through empathy and trauma awareness while promoting inclusivity, integration, accountability, and overall growth and professional development.

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