our team

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Christine Thebarge

Executive Director

Christine enthusiastically accepted the position of Executive Director with SVDP in 2020 and has accomplished groundbreaking work ever since.  Her background includes providing services within various outreach ministries.  Christine and her husband Eugene founded The Agape House a non-profit outreach/day center in Bristol.  It is during her time there that she developed a love for working with our homeless population and people in need.  Christine exemplifies three pillars that lay the foundation for her work Relationships, Dignity and Kindness.  She was honored to accept the prestigious 2020 Rising Star Award from The United Way of West Central Connecticut.  Christine is a graduate of South Catholic High School, Tunxis College and also attended Mitchell College.  Her hobbies have included being a competitive equestrian, riding motorcycles and now enjoys creating stained glass.  Christine looks forward to continuing with a dynamic team approach and advocating for an environment that bridges gaps in needed services for the homeless citizens throughout the greater Bristol area 

Staff member Jessica Caraballo

Jessica Caraballo

Director of Programs

Within only a couple short months of Jessica coming on board as our Shelter Director, she proved her compassion by being a catalyst in making our shelter 24/7 with the inclusion of our dayroom and dining room. Since then, Jessica has become our Director of Programs adding our new Resource Center, Housing Specialists and Diversion Specialists.  Jessica’s background includes being a Residential Supervisor for the Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living, and Overflow Programs at Friendship Service Center in New Britain for nine years.  She also held the position of Social Services Supervisor for the Intake, Diversion and Child Protective Services Investigations units at the Department of Family and Children Services in Augusta, Georgia for a decade.  We are proud to acknowledge that Jessica earned the New Britain Hope Hero Award from Mayor Erin E. Stewart in 2016.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ursuline College and her Associate of Applied Science from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  Jessica believes everyone deserves a place to call home and relates to the ones we serve with a “You Can Do It!” attitude.  Her goal is to continue to assist the unsheltered to get housed and remain housed while removing barriers.  We are overjoyed to have Jessica, with such strong values, as our competent Director of Programs.

Staff member Karen Picard

Karen Picard

Human Resources Manager

Karen began employment with SVDP in the capacity of Human Resources Manager in 2021.  Karen has felt a very strong connection to our mission for several years and has actively volunteered.  Prior to making her transition into the non-profit sector, Karen worked in the HR field for over 20 years in both the healthcare and retail grocery industries.  She has a proven track record of being trustworthy and open-minded.  She prides herself on treating every staff member with respect and a friendly attitude.  Karen has earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Post University and her Dual-Associates Degree in Accounting and Business Management from Naugatuck Valley Community College.  Karen is a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management).  Karen exhibits great fervor in what she describes as playing a small part in supporting the great work accomplished every day by the shelter staff.  Karen and her husband are proud of their two daughters and she enjoys walking, volunteering, and participating in community cleanup activities. 

SVDP Cassandra Banville

Cassandra Banville

Executive Assistant

Cassandra joined our SVDP team in April of 2023. Prior, she has been a sales manager for a rent-to-own company and an administrative assistant most recently. Cassandra’s skills allow her to be personable, build relationships, and help in any which way she can. If she doesn’t know the solution, she will find it! She hopes to become more involved in the Bristol community and help others here with the homeless community as well. Cassandra enjoys her time playing golf, hanging out with her two pups, and traveling to new places.

Staff member Kristina Lewin

Kristina Lewin

Shelter Manager

Kristina has been a Case Manager with SVDP since August 2020. Most recently, she has become our Shelter Manager. She brings to her work a unique sense of zeal when assisting the community. Kristina has six years of experience working with community action agencies in CT. Kristina has a compelling story of personally experiencing homelessness a few decades ago. This fuels her desire to treat people with respect and dignity. She believes having the ability to provide a listening ear and being empathetic, is key! Kristina brings a special level of energy and enthusiasm to what she does, and we are very fortunate to have her as our Shelter Manager.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Plato / Ian Maclaren.

Headshot of Sheryan Cancel.

Sheryan Cancel

Case Manager

Sheryan joined the SVDP team as a case manager in May 2023. She previously worked as a case manager for the past two winters at the Bristol warming center. Prior to SVDP, she worked as a family liaison at a center for children with autism. She also has experience working as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence. Sheryan has a passion for helping others that has always come naturally and that is what brings her to SVDP today. Sheryan hopes that clients feel seen and heard when they walk through her door. She enjoys baking, spending time with her family and friends and loves to travel.

Ewa Grochowska headshot

Ewa Grochowska

Resource Center Manager

Ewa Grochowska joined St. Vincent De Paul Mission of Bristol, Inc. in September of 2022 as the manager of the new SVDP Resource Center. The SVDP Resource Center is a walk-in center for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. She is honored to be working directly with our homeless community in Bristol. Prior to joining our team, Ewa worked in corporate America for 13 years where she gained a lot of administrative skills that help her in succeeding in her new role at SVDP where these skills are necessary for providing our clients with a quality experience when they utilize the SVDP Resource Center. Since 2012, Ewa has dedicated herself to bringing awareness to Domestic Violence as she is a survivor herself. She has shared her story publicly, coordinated children’s art groups in DV shelters, as well as leading campaigns, used her art to heal from abuse and used a portion of the proceeds from her art sales to donate to DV shelters. Ewa quickly realized that her passion and calling were to help others because building community through vulnerability changed lives. She believes that sharing our stories and showing support and compassion to others as well as ourselves helps us heal and allows shame to fall back to the wayside and love to take its place. She believes that showing others that they are worthy is key to helping in the healing process. Ewa is absolutely honored to spend her days at the SVDP Resource Center where she can lead with strength, love, and compassion and have a direct impact on people who need love and support. Ewa looks forward to building stronger relationships with her co-workers, volunteers, and clients so that they can help to remind our homeless community that they are worthy of living in love.

Staff member Marianne Farr

Marianne Farr

Outreach Specialist

We are extremely fortunate to have Marianne as our Outreach Specialist and the first point of contact with the unsheltered.  Marianne holds the crucial role of developing a deep level of trust with these citizens, laying a foundation on which to build growing relationships where she can lead them down a path of many life improvements.  Marianne has held a variety of volunteer and employment positions in the past all within the field of homeless outreachThis included being an intake screener for Connecticut’s 2-1-1 system, CAN Navigator, and a Permanent Supportive Housing Administrator. One of Marianne’s many accomplishments include initiating weekly “Breakfast Mingles” for the homeless and needy at First Lutheran Church and subsequently coordinated the efforts of four other churches citywide to do the same, each taking a day of the week.  This not only helps those in need, but also bonded five churches of different denominations.  Marianne graduated from New Britain High School and Tunxis Community College.   Marianne’s future goals include continuing to assist others and let them know she is there for them always.  She vows to explore untapped resources and connections as further options to help others. Some values Marianne keeps close to her heart is that homelessness does not equal “less than” and family does not necessarily mean a blood relative or “blood”.  She lives her life believing that little things mean A LOT!  Marianne loves nature, especially the forest and more specifically birch trees.  She escapes to the beach whenever she gets the chance and also enjoys entertaining her family and friends.   Marianne has a most generous heart and if it weren’t for her being on the front line, folks would be left without the hope they deserve.

Staff member Jim Morneault

Jim Morneault

Resource Center Specialist

Jim joined our SVDP team as Case Manager in 2021.  We were thrilled to have him come on board as he brings a lot to the table.  Jim has worked as a Social Services Case Manager for over thirteen years and has supported countless individuals by getting them the help they so desperately required.  Jim assists those in need in a myriad of ways such as securing medical insurance coverage, determining eligibility for housing programs and energy assistance, and referring individuals to career training opportunities.  He has also provided much needed guidance in creating cover letters and resumes which has been key in helping people land their much needed jobs.  Jim does all this in his humble way, yet with a great level of passion because he cares so very much.  Jim is proud to have served youth through a community organization during summer months by teaching them life skills in the areas of English and math.  Jim notes one of his greatest accomplishments is watching an individual with whom he has been working achieve their goals. This makes him proud to see what they could not.  Jim states that his life fulfillment comes from helping others around him. Jim has expressed that one of his main goals here at SVDP is to help others get to where they feel they need to be. Within this, he expects punctuality, accountability, participation, understanding, and most of all, patience during their journey. We are thrilled to have Jim as part of our team! 

Stephanie Cancel – Resource Center Housing Specialist

Stephanie Cancel

Resource Center Housing Specialist

Stephanie joined our SVDP Resource Center in June 2023 as a Housing Specialist. She previously worked as an Occupancy Specialist at a Manchester Housing property. She also has experience as a leasing agent and property manager assistant. It brings Stephanie joy that she can use her experience to be part of the process and help navigate her clients to get housing. Stephanie likes to decorate sweets and spend her time with her family and friends.

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