JOURNEY HOME STAFF

We invite you to read below and learn more about each of our staff members. Staff are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

BRENDA CECILIANO

EMERGENCY HOUSING STABILIZATION WORKER
brenda.ceciliano@journeyhomect.org

Brenda is a first-generation graduate of Post University. She has a degree in Human Services and Child Psychology as well as a background in medical, mental health, substance use and housing case management which well suits her to serve the clients of Journey Home. Brenda plans to further her education by completing a master’s in social work. Her passion commitment for her work is born from her lived experience and she hopes to use her knowledge to better the lives of those she serves. When not serving the community, Brenda spends her spare time playing roller derby or spending time on the couch with her family and pets.

ANDREW FREEMAN

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
andrew.freeman@journeyhomect.org

Andrew is a Connecticut native who spent 19 years in Chicago before returning to his home state in early 2020. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and then attended seminary. Andrew has spent his career working in church and nonprofit operations, with a passion for helping collaborative teams find creative solutions to complex challenges. He is excited to join the dynamic team at Journey Home in this vital work. Andrew and his partner Erik live with their yellow lab Magnus in West Hartford, where together they enjoy tackling home improvement projects and entertaining guests.

GERILYN HARRISON

HOMELESS YOUTH & EMPLOYMENT MANAGER
geri.harrison@journeyhomect.org

Geri has worked in the homeless field for 8 years in the Greater Hartford region. Before transitioning to Journey Home, she was the Program Coordinator for The Salvation Army Marshall House, in Hartford CT. Geri enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and playing tennis. Geri can often be found spending time with her family in Southwest Florida.

ABREKA HAWKINS

OUTREACH COORDINATOR
abreka.hawkins@journeyhomect.org

Abreka is a first generation graduate from Southern Connecticut State University. She has a degree in Public Health and has worked in the nonprofit sector for 5 years. She has a background working with housing and medical case managers to better serve the financial needs of those experiencing homelessness. She has experience with program management and supportive services. In addition to her Public Health Career she is very passionate about her makeup business.

JILL HELTON

BOOKKEEPER
jill.helton@journeyhomect.org

After 20+ years in car dealership accounting, Jill joins Journey Home excited to be part of a team that makes a difference.  Jill lives in Plantsville with her husband Dave and their spoiled dog Harper. She enjoys spending time with her twin daughters, car shows in their 67 Chevelle, and watching the Boston Bruins.

NADINE MALONE

CAN HOUSING MANAGER
nadine.malone@journeyhomect.org

Nadine Malone originally joined the Journey Home team as a social work intern from Central Connecticut State University and she moved into her role as the Housing Authority Preference Coordinator in May, 2019. Nadine has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work. She received her associate’s degree and certificate in Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling in 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys quality time with her family, cats and puppy.

MATTHEW MORGAN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
matt.morgan@journeyhomect.org

Matt has almost 20 years of nonprofit experience bringing a tremendous breadth and depth of experience to the leadership of Journey Home—in affordable housing, community organizing, international community development—as well as a strong vision and deep commitment to ending homelessness and creating opportunities for those most vulnerable in our community. 

Matt has served as Journey Home’s Executive Director since 2011, and has grown the organization from a staff of 2 to a staff of 16, leading the Capitol Region to reduce chronic homelessness by 90% and overall homelessness by 60%.  Matt has led Journey Home to receive several awards, including the Diane Randall Leadership Award, the Bank of America Neighborhood Builder Award, the Carol E. Walter Think, Be, Lead Change Award, and he has been recognized by the MetroHartford Alliance for the Hartford Unsung Heroes Award for his service during the Covid-19 pandemic, and by the Hartford Business Journey for the Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Matt is a member of the religious order of Deaconnesses and Home Missioners of the United Methodist Church.  Matt also serves on the boards of directors of the Betty Knox Foundation, based in Hartford, CT, the Cargill Falls Community Development organization, based in Putnam, CT, and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.  Matt and his husband Whitney and their three children live in West Hartford.

KIMBERLY NARDONE

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

kimberly.nardone@journeyhomect.org

Kim joined Journey Home in 2021 as our part-time Director of Finance; after retiring from a national accounting firm. Kim is a CPA with over 35 years of public accounting experience serving nonprofit organizations, quasi-governmental and affordable housing entities focusing in audits of government funded programs.  Kim is a long time volunteer at Saint Patrick Saint Anthony Church in Hartford and currently coordinates meals for area emergency shelters during the winter, coordinates a group of bakers to provide homemade goods to Hartford residents in need and is involved in several other meal programs.  Kim resides in Colchester with her husband Dave, their three adult children and granddaughter also live close by.

MARTHA NEEVEN

WAREHOUSE OPERATIONS AND VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

martha.neeven@journeyhomect.org

Martha is very excited to be part of the Journey Home team and to be involved with A Hand Up.  After living in Pittsburgh, PA. for many years she moved back to the New England area where she is originally from.  In her free time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, gardening, and being near the ocean again.  She resides in East Haddam with her husband and large dog, Riley.    

KANISHA NEWMAN

HOUSING LOCATOR
kanisha.newman@journeyhomect.org

Kanisha is very excited to fill this role for Journey Home and to help end homelessness. She has a background working in nonprofit organizations by helping families in need with support and resources. She graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree and hopes to further her education by attending law school. Kanisha enjoys traveling, cooking, acrylic nail art and reading.

SARAH PAVONE

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY
sarah.pavone@journeyhomect.org

Sarah Pavone has her degree in Social Work and has worked in homeless services for more than 8 years in the capital region. Sarah has worked for numerous agencies and has experience managing the full continuum of care including outreach, prevention, diversion, emergency shelter, and permanent supportive housing. Sarah’s passion and work have been committed to system improvement to ensure individuals and families experiencing homelessness have access to quality services and housing. Sarah lives in Hamden with her son and enjoys running, hiking, and coffee.

JOE RAGO

QUALITY ASSURANCE SPECIALIST
joseph.rago@journeyhomect.org

Joe is passionate about his role on the Journey Home team, utilizing his background in both case management as well as housing quality assurance to best serve his clients. He is a 2020 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Sociology and is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Hartford. A lifelong resident of Connecticut, Joe enjoys spending time with friends and family, learning about new cultures/languages, photography, and rooting for his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers.

TAMIKA RILEY

HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND DATA MANAGER
tamika.riley@journeyhomect.org

Tamika brings her passion to solve social problems to her work at Journey Home. She keeps the staff and office organized and is a great resource for the under-served who call Journey Home for help. Tamika has a BA and an MSW from UConn and she loves to cook and read.

ALISON SJOBERG

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
alison.sjoberg@journeyhomect.org

Alison started off her work at Journey Home as an intern and has since been hired as a full-time employee at Journey Home. She graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2015 where she earned her degree in Social Services and from UConn School of Social Work in 2017 where she earned her Masters of Social Work in Community Organizing. She is honored to have the opportunity to work at Journey Home and serve the Greater Hartford community. When she is not at work you can find her running, doing yoga, spending time with friends and family, reading, and traveling!

ZACH WEINGART

UCONN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK MSW INTERN
zach.weingart@journeyhomect.org

Zach is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work in Policy Practice at the University of Connecticut. He graduated in 2018 from UConn with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is interested in human rights and social justice. Zach lives in New Haven and enjoys playing guitar, hiking and traveling in his spare time.

SARA SALOMONS WILSON

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS
sara.wilson@journeyhomect.org

Since 1995, Sara has committed her life to advocacy and justice within urban communities. Her early work as a VISTA volunteer in Grand Rapids, Michigan shaped her entire life’s calling.  She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ with a BA from Calvin College and an MDiv from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Throughout her career, Sara has served churches in Michigan, Illinois and Connecticut.  She has been working with Journey Home since 2014.  Her passion and commitment to the work of ending homelessness is unwavering.  Throughout her many years at Journey Home she has helped raise millions of dollars of essential funding all in an effort to ensure that people who need a home have a home.  She also conceptualized and developed Journey Home’s volunteer engagement program, A Hand Up.

Sara lives in West Hartford and when she is not working she spends lots of time with her husband and three sons, cooks and bakes, and plays with her two pugs.

ANASTACIA WOOLCOK

DIRECTOR OF HOUSING
anastacia.woolcock@journeyhomect.org

Anastacia holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Pace University. Anastacia has worked in the housing sector for over 10 years in the Northwest region of Connecticut, playing an instrumental role in creating the foundation of the Northwest CAN. Before beginning her work at Journey Homes, she was the Director of Community Services for New Opportunities Inc., a community action agency in Waterbury. Anastacia is recognized in the Northwest Region as a leader in collaboration with other community partners. Anastacia enjoys spending quality time with her son Aidan and often found in Poughkeepsie, New York spending time with her family.

Journey Home Mission: Our mission is to ensure a home for all.

We believe the most powerful way to do this is collectively - by working together with service providers, elected officials, businesses and local communities to end homelessness in the Capital region of Connecticut. We will build partnerships, advance innovative solutions and achieve enduring, systemic change.

Journey Home

255 Main St., 2nd Floor
Hartford, CT 06106

Tel: 860-808-0336
Fax: 860-461-1662