Meet the Staff (listed alphabetically)

SOFINA BEGUM

CAN SUPPORT SPECIALIST
sofina.begum@journeyhomect.org

Sofina moved to Connecticut last year from Brooklyn, NY. It was a big transition for her to move from a big city to the quiet suburbs of Bloomfield, CT. She immediately recognized the disparities of her new city, Hartford. She is passionate about helping others in her new community and started the search to join a nonprofit that would better her new city. She has years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and will be using her expertise to help the homeless community of Connecticut. In her free time, she loves to explore new food, travel, and enjoys spending time with her family.

BRITTANY LAMARR

HOMELESS OUTREACH COORDINATOR
brittany.lamarr@journeyhomect.org

Brittany has her degree in Political Science while pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy. Her background and experience come from outreach and advocacy in criminal legal reform both statewide and nationally. She is passionate about advancing efforts that ensure the basic needs of all individuals are met, beginning with a safe and warm place to sleep. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her children and enjoy the outdoors.

MICHELLE LIPAR

UCONN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK MSW INTERN
michelle.lipar@journeyhomect.org

Michelle is an intern in her second year of UCONN’s MSW program.  She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in English, and after more than 20 years in the publishing industry, she decided she wanted to pivot her life towards more community-centered work.  Her previous internship at the Hartford Public Library introduced her to many of the strengths of the Greater Hartford area, along with illuminating the great need for housing and housing services in the community.  She is excited for the opportunity to work with Journey Home and to learn more about its many programs and partner agencies.  She hopes to contribute to the effort to increase access to safe and stable housing for low-income individuals and families.  Michelle grew up in Connecticut, and she enjoys baking, reading, traveling and hiking with her husband, their two children and their two dogs.  Her favorite place is anywhere she can see and smell the ocean.

ROY MAINELLI

ECONOMIC SECURITY MANAGER
roy.mainelli@journeyhomect.org

Roy came to Journey Home in 2014 as a Fellow from the Encore-Hartford Program. Over the years, Roy has seamlessly transitioned his strategic planning and operations management skills to the nonprofit world. Roy used his leadership skills and business experience to help homeless individuals navigate employment barriers in greater Hartford with the launch of an aerospace employment program for Journey Home. Roy has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in West Hartford with his wife and he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family.

NADINE MALONE

HOUSING AUTHORITY PREFERENCE COORDINATOR
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.

KATE MCHUGH

WAREHOUSE OPERATIONS SPECIALIST
kate.mchugh@journeyhomect.org

Kate was first exposed to Journey Home as an occasional weekend volunteer with her family.  After spending recent years managing her busy household, she was looking for an opportunity outside of the home that would also provide service to her community.  Kate feels fortunate to work with a great team of colleagues and volunteers to help address the needs of the homeless population in the Capital Region.   When not in the warehouse, Kate and her husband are kept active around town with four teenagers, their adored black lab and grouchy, orange cat.

MATTHEW MORGAN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
matt.morgan@journeyhomect.org

Matthew brings both 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.

In his most recent role Matt has led and supported a diverse range of community development projects and initiatives on behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Prior experience with The McAuley Corporation, Providence, RI and Mercy Housing, Inc. in Sacramento, CA, has deepened Matt’s knowledge about housing—both the importance of housing that is affordable, and the resources and strategies required to create and sustain housing and, by extension, viable and healthy communities.

BRIAN MULLEN

ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER
brian.mullen@journeyhomect.org

Brian Mullen holds a BS in Economics from Southern CT State University. He spent over 13 years in commercial branch banking in the greater New Haven area, surviving many mergers. Brian left commercial banking for the non-profit world in 2001.  Working with several non-profits over these years (some in the faith community), Brian has developed and managed budgets, financial cash flows and human resources functions.  Additionally he has worked with Endowment Committees and Boards of Directors as well as managed physical locations and staff.  Brian considers it a privilege to be given the opportunity to work with Journey Home!

Away from work, Brian is a pet lover (he has a dog and two cats), enjoys being in his yard with friends and family, has been a league bowler since childhood (has thrown two perfect games) and does fundraising work for Our Companions, a Connecticut-based animal organization.

KANISHA NEWMAN

HOUSING LOCATOR
kanisha.newman@journeyhomect.org

I am Journey Home’s new Housing Locator. I have a background working in nonprofit organizations by helping families in need with support. I graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor degree and hope to further my education by attending law school.  I am excited to fill this role for Journey Home and help end homelessness. I enjoy traveling, cooking, doing acrylic nails 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.

LISA QUACH

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF HOUSING
lisa.quach@journeyhomect.org

Lisa attended NYIT in NY and plans to continue her studies at Springfield College. Originally from Boston, Lisa now lives in Western Massachusetts but has joined Journey Home in Greater Hartford area to help us in our mission to end homelessness. She genuinely believes in “being the change you want to see.” Her past professional experience includes working at numerous homeless shelters and housing agencies. Lisa loves to travel and explore new places when she is able to but prioritizes spending time with her family as most important.

JOE RAGO

CAN HOUSING QUALITY 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!

CHRIS VENABLE

HOMELESS YOUTH & EMPLOYMENT MANAGER
chris.venable@journeyhomect.org

Chris grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Vermont, then globetrotted from West Africa to Florida to the Pacific Northwest, and most recently Colorado for the last fifteen years, before settling here in the Hartford area (and though he might miss the mountains, he is happy to be living with his fiancé who teaches at UConn and to be driving distance from his family and the ocean). He comes to Journey Home with many years of involvement working with youth experiencing and at-risk of homelessness- the last nine with Urban Peak in Denver providing education, employment, outreach, business development, and social enterprise opportunities for youth in need. Chris is excited to join the team at Journey Home!

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.  Sara lives in West Hartford and in her free time she manages the lives of her three teenage boys, hangs out with her husband as much as possible, cooks and bakes, and plays with her two pugs.

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

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