Jon Hoffmann, MSW
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Joined CHS in 2011
I play a leadership role in strategic planning, real estate, information technology, resource development, evaluation and process improvement. I also work closely with our Customer Service and Intake Department, Food Pantry, and Health Programs to meet the needs of the people we serve.
What makes me show up? I am surrounded by a team of incredible people who do their very best to provide care and support to the people we serve. I entered this field because I have had people close to me face some of the very same challenges the people we serve encounter. Their experiences getting help have not always been positive. The team here is different: always focused on how we do right by the people we serve. When things are difficult, and work in social services is often difficult, the amazing people here at CHS are my motivation to not only keep going, but to grow and learn to be even more effective in my work to serve our neighbors.
Chief Housing Officer
Joined CHS in 2014
I oversee all of the Housing Assistance Programs including budgets, contracts, data management, external partnerships and department policies and procedures. I also provide the direction and goals for the team to ensure we are always using best practices and creating innovative solutions to best help people maintain housing stability and connect them to community resources.
What makes me show up? I strongly believe that everyone in our country deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. We know that isn't the reality right now, but I believe this is the generation that can truly put an end to homelessness, create a responsive system when someone does become homeless, and reach a point where affordable housing is a right, not an economic side effect. I have experienced and heard from hundreds of people in this work who are just trying to make it by. But I don't think people need help just making it by–I think people need help to see their potential and strengths to help themselves get to where they want to be. CHS is paving the way in innovative strategies to help people connect to the community and overcome their housing and life challenges. We think outside the box to push the boundaries and try things that may sound unconventional. This is hard work. Our staff pour endless hours into their work and never give up. They're always willing to try something new and ask questions that keep us centered and grounded to the work we do and the people we serve. This is why I come to work.
Trish Romano, MS
Chief Residential Officer
Joined CHS in 2016
As Chief Residential Officer, I engage with staff, participants, funders, and the community to ensure we are providing high quality residential and shelter services 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.
Chief Financial Officer
Joined CHS in 2014
I am responsible for the daily operations and overall governance and direction of the CHS Fiscal department. I provide education and support to program directors on budget and financial matters and work with key members of our officers team and board of directors to provide updated financial information in a friendly and readable manner.
Why do I show up each day? Each day on my drive to work, I pass by a man standing in the street with a cardboard sign. I often wonder what his life might be like or what he does to pass the time, and in my brief interactions with him, I’ve heard some of the struggles he encounters, such as the weather affecting where he finds a safe place to sleep and how he finds food each day. He is a person just like you and me, but his additional challenges, such as where his next meal is coming from or will he get wet tonight, motivates me to show up to my job daily. Even if I don’t help people directly, I feel like I’m helping behind the scenes. Our front end employees are doing amazing work helping empower people in Allegheny County, one person at a time. To be able to listen to the stories of those we have helped and hear how CHS has made a difference in their lives is heartfelt. Each person that is helped is a blessing because we are all one.
Colin McWhertor, MSW
Chief Service Officer
Joined CHS in 2018
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.
Chief Technology Officer
After 15 years of pursuing the punk rock dream and waiting tables, I swallowed my pride and got a real job working with Mental Health consumers in the non-profit arena. With a few years running group homes under my belt, I was recommended to Phil Pappas as a potential computer guy with Mental Health and non-profit experience. I met Phil shortly after the birth of my only kid, Max, in 1997 and started at CHS. CHS takes pride in being a technology leader among Pittsburgh non-profits. We do everything (and I mean everything) in-house. I was the IT department until 2011 when Scott came to help.