Director of Resource Connection & Building Bridges Volunteer Program
Sänta joined the team in November of 2017 with a background in Human Services and Mental Health. She holds her MHRT/C and is trained as a Recovery Coach.
In addition to her education, Sänta brings her own lived experience and knows what it means to live on the margins. Her story includes poverty, substance use disorder, homelessness, teen pregnancy & parenting, mental health challenges, domestic violence, and state systems. She is passionate about mentoring individuals as they move toward becoming the healthiest versions of themselves.
Outside of her role at Bridging the Gap, Sänta enjoys being actively engaged in her community, traveling, gym time, art, spending time with her family, and she’s always open to a new adventure.
Addie's Attic Manager
Melissa started with Bridging the Gap as a volunteer in the fall of 2018 and quickly found her place in Addie’s Attic. She became known for her style and sense of fashion—customers would go crazy over the outfits she put on the mannequins. Being part of the Volunteer Program gave her a sense of purpose and inclusion that was lacking in her life and supported her in taking necessary steps toward becoming the healthiest version of herself.
Melissa has walked the reality of chronic physical illness, mental illness, sexual assault and substance use disorder. Her family did not give up on her and she did not give up on herself, recognizing that the only person who could save her was herself.
Melissa joined the BTG staff at the end of 2019 as the Floor and Service Manager. She is responsible for the daily operations of Addie’s and Basics and oversees 8-10 volunteers on any given day.
Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her son and her family, tending to her gardens, reading, painting, walking in nature or hanging out by the water.
Sarah has a background in sociology, organizational development, the healing arts and sustainable communities. She has worked for over 18 years in capacities related to community building including local food and agriculture, human wellbeing and social justice.
Sarah's interests, passions and skills all lend themselves to her current role at Bridging the Gap which she has held since spring of 2017. She relies heavily on systems thinking and the strong belief that the best solutions arise out of the distillation of many voices. Sarah works to incorporate the same values that guide BTG into her personal life: respect, dignity, empowerment and community engagement.
When she is not at work, you might find her writing poetry, eating Indian food, taking a hike or spending time with her family in Massachusetts.
Operations & Volunteer Manager
Robin has been with Bridging the Gap since December 2021. She has been working in the non-profit world for the last 15 years. Her background includes managing volunteers, food pantries, clothing banks, Meals on Wheels sites and assisting older Mainers with food insecurity.
In her spare time Robin enjoys paddleboarding, hiking, swimming, snowshoeing and skiing. She also loves getting out west to visit her two sons and grandkids!
Resource & Outreach Assistant
Sam became part of the team at Bridging the Gap in January of 2022 Sam joins us bringing her own lived experiences such as childhood traumas, substance use disorder, domestic violence, and incarceration. She has a passion for helping people and accepting people just as they are. Sam is eager to leave a positive impact on her community in the same areas that others have helped her.
She is currently enrolled at the University of Maine at Augusta where she is seeking a major in Mental Health and Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Counseling and a Minor in Behavioral Science.
Outside of her busy schedule Sam likes to spend time with her growing family and their dog Abby. She enjoys being outside seeking adventures and loves discovering new walking trails. She also likes kayaking out to camp and is an avid disc golfer.
Thelma started as a dedicated volunteer in 2017, contributing over 1200 hours that year. She enjoys being part of something and giving back to the community.
When she first arrived at the Warming Center, Thelma was homeless and sleeping in her Jeep. Through hard work and determination she slowly changed her circumstances. She moved into her own apartment, bought a new vehicle and became the first graduate of the Building Bridges Volunteer Program at BTG.
In 2020, Thelma was invited to join the BTG staff. She works behind the scenes on all the details that help keep the place running smoothly from sorting, stocking and filling and labeling bottles in the hygiene pantry, to keeping the staff kitchen in good working order. Thelma also cooks and brings in portioned-out food for the staff, volunteers and guests to enjoy so that no-one goes hungry. She also is a seamstress and replaces zippers on donated winter coats.
When Thelma is not at Bridging the Gap, you might find her volunteering at Project Fresh Start, tending to her houseplants or rocking out to music with the windows down in her vehicle.
Community Warming Center Monitor/Check-In Desk
Stephannie started with Bridging the Gap as a volunteer in 2018 through Fed Cap program. Down on her luck and unsure where to go in her life, she accepted a position as a Warming Center Monitor.
After finding her place within the BTG family, Stephannie decided to stay on as a volunteer once the Warming Center closed for the season. She stayed in that rhythm for 3 years until she took a staff position at BTG’s Check-In desk and as a data entry expert. So now you will see her all year long in her two roles!
Stephannie greets all customers and guests with a smile, working hard to know everyone’s name. In her own words: “Life can hit us hard. We all need to feel we are valued and worth it. I like to make sure that happens.”
When not at Bridging the Gap, Stephannie is working towards a Criminal Justice degree, striving to be the voice for those who don’t have one. In this way she is continuing the tradition of advocacy that she learned through her mom and hopes to pass down to her three daughters and handsome grandson.
Community Warming Center & Drop-In Center Monitor/Hygiene Pantry Support
Gayle began her journey at Bridging the Gap in the winter of 2019 as a Community Warming Center Monitor. After taking a break, she rejoined the Warming Center team in 2021 and also serves as the Drop-In Center Monitor during the off-season. Additionally, Gayle plays a supporting role on the days Addie’s Attic & Basic Essentials are open.
Gayle brings her own life experience as a survivor of spousal abuse and alcoholism. She has learned to deal with the challenges that life has presented. Gayle is MHRT-C certified and stays busy serving the community as a PSS.
When not at Bridging the Gap, Gayle enjoys her grandchildren and going to camp downeast.