Joined us in 2017 to share her dedication to the community. Welcome Mel!
We are proud to have you join the team as the Executive Director in 2018.
She brings more than 15 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector; specifically in the areas of community economic development, poverty reduction and trauma informed support services for women.
Working with over 20,000 youth and women in her career, as well as holding several certificates and diplomas in the area of Social Justice, she is passionate about education and women’s equity and equality.
She has been part of launching the sexual assault response team, is a lead agency representative for street outreach, created a women’s CED program, and implemented a housing first support model for women as well as re-establishing the YWCA locally in Saint John.
A firm believer in providing leadership opportunities for women, she seizes opportunities to mentor and work with those looking to create change for women and girls.
Kristen joined us in February 2018 and brings a BA in Criminology and Psychology from St. Thomas University. She holds several years of experience in working with special needs children and youth at risk. She invested 5 years working with the Centre for Youth Care with roles including team lead with the observation and emergency crisis unit.
She was a lead agency representative for street outreach, volunteer support with Elizabeth Fry Society and Katimavik program.
Welcome Kristen! We are proud to have you as a valuable member of the outreach team
In Loving Memory of Lois Merritt
May 31 1969 - Dec 28 2018
Lois worked with the homeless since 2002, and held the position of Senior Outreach Worker at a Saint John shelter from 2002 to 2009.
She received extensive training in addictions, the physically and mentally challenged as well as attended the Toronto Hostel Training Center.
Lois gained much of her expertise from personal experience. Growing up alone since the age of 13 in Cabbagetown, Ontario, most of her youth was spent transitioning in and out of shelters. She struggled with various family and personal addiction issues which provided her with a unique appreciation for her clients needs. She learned that reaching out can be difficult and is often unsuccessful.
Her personal experiences empowered her to speak up for those whose voices go unheard and to reach out to those in need. Through her work with Fresh Start Services, Lois has done much to break the poverty cycle in the Saint John area. She has made the city stronger by empowering and improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.
In May of 2011, Fresh Start began a partnership with the Salvation Army Community Hope Church and Family Services. The increasing demand for community support and expanded funding enabled the wonderful opportunity to add a Community Outreach Assistant to the team and expand to a new office!.