Janie Oliphant, MSW 

Program Director, Mobility connection


Since 2016, Janie Oliphant has led Mobility Connection at Ascend STL, Inc., a pilot program in the St. Louis region to help families with Housing Choice Vouchers find housing in high opportunity areas. In that role, she has established awareness of the program within the housing authorities of the city and county of St. Louis, designed and executed administrative and regulatory protocols, sought additional funding, oversaw Mobility Connection staff and interns, and counseled multiple clients in preparation for their moves.

Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Oliphant served from 2015 to 2016 as a project manager at Washington University’s Center for Social Development. There she coordinated and managed the Refund to Savings project, including oversight of the design and implementation of the annual experiment. This required negotiating with multiple partners and team members; communicating and coordinating with partners, funders and key stakeholders; and managing communications efforts, including publications, events, submission of papers to conferences, and presentations.  She also developed grant proposals and reports. 

Before her work as a Center Project Manager, Ms. Oliphant served as a research assistant for various studies, including performing literature reviews, developing survey instruments and conducting data analysis.  She also investigated housing issues related to residential mobility in St. Louis.

Her practicum work in 2012-2013 at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council involved performing reviews on local banks for lending performance based on the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, meeting with banks to discuss performance, and participating in Fair Housing tests.  Her experience also includes a stint in Washington, D.C., where she interned at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, analyzing housing mobility research and performance measurement of social welfare programs, attending congressional hearings, and monitoring Federal Registrar notices and proposed rules.

A recipient of several academic awards, Ms. Oliphant is a listed author on 15 published articles and has presented nationwide on her research. She holds a M.S.W., Social and Economic Development, Policy Specialization, from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, and B.A. degrees in Social Work, Sociology, and Psychology from the University of Portland, magna cum laude.


Peter Grein, BA 

Outreach coordinator, MOBILITY CONNECTION


Peter Grein joined Ascend STL's Mobility Connection team in May of 2018. Before moving to St. Louis, Mr. Grein addressed housing security issues in Texas, first with the Texas Homeless Network and later with Caritas of Austin. With the Texas Homeless Network, Mr. Grein implemented and managed a statewide AmeriCorps VISTA program that expanded avenues to safe, affordable housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. At Caritas of Austin, Mr. Grein led landlord outreach efforts, developing close relationships with local property owners and managers to expand housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Along with his social service experience, Mr. Grein holds a B.A. degree in Religious Studies from Grinnell College.