We’re here to help
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.
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. 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 Britian 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 Shelter Director.
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 outreach. This 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.
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!
Kristina has been a Case Manager with SVDP since August of 2020. She brings to her work a unique sense of zeal when assisting the community. Kristina has six years’ 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 in what she does, and we are very fortunate to have her as a Case Manager for our shelter guests.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Plato / Ian Maclaren.
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.