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.
Director of Operations, Volunteering & Resource Connection
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.
Thelma was one of Bridging the Gap’s most dedicated volunteers, contributing over 1200 hours during her three-year stint. She enjoyed being part of something and giving back to the community. But it wasn’t always like that.
Thelma arrived at the Warming Center in 2016. She was homeless and spent nights in her old jeep or on someone’s couch. When Thelma became part of the Building Bridges Volunteer Program in 2017, she was still couch-surfing. Tentative at first, she soon jumped in with both feet and quickly became a regular and knowledgeable volunteer.
Step by step, Thelma changed her circumstances. She now has her own apartment, a cat named Precious and a newer jeep. She was invited to join the staff in 2020.
Thelma enjoys cooking (and sharing!) meals and is a skilled seamstress. She is no-nonsense and is always willing to learn new things. When she is not at Bridging the Gap, you might find her volunteering at Fresh Starts, trying a new recipe or watering her many plants.
Community Warming Center/Drop-In Center Monitor
Stephannie has been with Bridging the Gap for almost three years. She came to BTG as a volunteer through the FedCap program, coming in one day a week helping to keep our facility clean. Her bubbly personality was quickly noticed and she was re-assigned to a customer service role. Stephannie thrived in this position, working with our customers and other volunteers, and helping with a variety of responsibilities.
When a position for a Warming Center Monitor opened up in 2018, Stephannie's personality and generous nature made her a terrific candidate for the job. She was hired in short order. Guests at the Warming Center will always be greeted with a smile and a fresh cup of coffee (or cocoa or tea) and will never leave hungry.
After the Warming Center closes and the weather warms, Stephannie returns to her role as a volunteer in Addie's Attic. If you ask her, it's a great place to be-- surrounded by wonderful and amazing people. She feels lucky to be part of this community.
When Stephannie is not at Bridging the Gap, she is being mom to her kids or enjoying some music or a good murder mystery.