We offer our deepest thanks and appreciation to three board members who have each served seven years on the Journey Home board.  Each one of them has played a major role in the success of our organization.  They have each contributed so much of their time, energy and talent.  Our deepest appreciation goes out to the three of you — Joseph Black, David Doot, and Sandra Hastings — thank you for all you have done to support our work and to help change lives for so many in our community.

As we said goodbye to these three wonderful board members, we were so happy to welcome a new member to our board.  With great enthusiasm we welcome Marisa Paruta.  Marisa grew up in the South End of Hartford and is a graduate of UConn School of Business.  She is currently the Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting at Eversource.  She and her husband Marco live in Wethersfield are the parents of three children: Peter, Vincenzo, and Isabella and one German short hair Pointer, Ellie.  In her free time, she enjoys spending summer vacations in Rhode Island with extended family, fishing, kayaking, and volunteering at her church.  Marisa shares that she is, “looking forward to providing my services, time, and volunteerism to Journey Home and helping to spread awareness of its mission and goals.  I am excited to work with an organization committed to ending homelessness in our beautiful Greater Hartford area.” We are thrilled you are here, Marisa!

Our staff has grown as well over these last few months.  We extend a warm welcome to Mohd Dar and Eric Oliveras.

Mohd has contributed more than 10 years of leadership and commitment towards national and international development programs, related to public health, poverty reduction and environmental protection, with extensive focus on the policies that involves community-based interventions, planning, coordination, capacity building, communication and operational research.  During this time, he has participated in various national and international workshops, conferences and has published research papers in various international journals mostly related to addiction and substance abuse. He has gained technical skills through various training and certification programs in order to contribute towards non-profit management which includes Global Leaders Fellowship program by John’s Hopkins University and International Management Development Program (IMDP) by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

In his most recent role with a community action agency serving Greater Bridgeport Area, he worked to reduce poverty through the holistic case management approach which provided him with an opportunity to understand community needs and interventions required to obtain the goals.  In his free-time he loves trekking, wilderness, travel to historic places and cooking flavorful food.

Eric is originally from New York City and holds a BS in Criminal Justice Studies and a MS in Criminal Justice Administration. After completing his undergraduate program in 2005, Eric became a high school advisor, then after 6 years he transitioned to social services and became a case manager, then an administrator at a local shelter system in Rhode Island. Eric moved to Connecticut in 2013 and continued his career working with high-risk populations, particularly in the criminal justice sector. Eric is passionate on all topics of social justice and enjoys engaging members in the community to make positive change. Eric specializes in home restoration and project management; he has spent the last 5 years rebuilding historic residential homes in Connecticut for a local tribe. During his down time, Eric enjoys hiking and carpentry!