Trish Romano, MS
As Chief Program Officer, I engage with staff, participants, funders, and the community to ensure we are providing high quality services throughout our programs that match our mission and values each and every day.
Why do I show up each day? The answer is pretty simple. I care about people. I was lead into social work because of a close friend from high school. She was a teenager who was in an abusive relationship and pregnant. I remember driving down a back road and seeing her walking alone. As I got closer to her, I saw she was sobbing, her clothes were torn and bloody. I stopped, and we sat in my parent’s car talking for hours about all of the things that occurred that day. It’s funny how your memory holds certain events so closely that you remember for a lifetime. I tried desperately to get her to leave her boyfriend. I was young and thought that I had all the answers. We graduated high school, and I went off to college. She went off to marry him. From the moment I realized she was going to stay in that relationship, I felt defeated and helpless. I wanted to save her because, after all, she was my friend and deserved so much better. From that experience, I decided that I was going to volunteer at a domestic violence agency to see if I could do anything to change the world around me. I volunteered while obtaining my bachelor’s degree and decided that helping people was going to be my life’s work. Today, I see the world in a similar way, but I also have realized that people can only save themselves. I enjoy CHS because we meet people where they are at, we try to be as non-judgmental as possible, we offer services to anyone who reaches out to us, and we strive to help those who need services the most. I have had many people touch my life and teach me wonderful lessons. Most of those people have been a part of a homeless or domestic violence program I have worked in over the years. As one resident’s father told me, “Thank you for not giving up on my son, because I gave up on him a long time ago.” CHS is the agency that never gives up and that is why I am proud to be a part of such an amazing and dedicated organization.
Colin McWhertor, LCSW
I oversee all of the Health, Food, Youth and Family programs at CHS. I work with staff from each area to support high quality service delivery to those we serve as well as resource coordination with other agency programs.
What makes me show up each day? I show up because the work we do has the daily potential to be transformative. We never know what moment may be life-changing for someone. We don’t know when someone will need help or be ready to take the next step. If we don’t show up we may miss the opportunity to make a positive impact.
Michelle Jamison, MS
I oversee Oakland Residential Programs, In-Home Services and Specialty Shelters. I work closely with staff and providers to ensure that we are providing and supporting quality care while maintaining safe therapeutic environments to all CHS’s residential programs.
What makes me show up each day? Each day I show up, my goal is to make a positive impact and to transform a better quality of life for each person served that I encounter. There are times in individual’s lives where they experience hardships that may result in Homelessness, Mental Illness, Health Issues, Aging/ Elderly and Unemployment that warrant assistance from CHS programs. We all have the potential to face challenges that may negatively affect our lives, but everyone has value at CHS.