As National Social Work Month comes to an end, we want to recognize a few more of our amazing staff members. While we appreciate their contributions year round, March is always a great time to check in and share the amazing work our social workers do every day. It’s also a reminder of the broad range of ways we are working to support families of all kinds to build a stronger San Diego.
Ebony Brown: Behavioral Health Therapist
My name is Ebony Brown and I am a Therapist in the Behavioral Health Department at Home Start. I currently serve children ages 4-17 who have experienced trauma. Covid-19 was a challenging time for my families so I made an exception to provide in-person session for families who are at risk. I enjoy making a difference in lives of the youth by working hard to see families thrive in unpredicted circumstances.
Karina Hernandez: Care Coordination Team Lead
My name is Karina Hernandez, and I am the Care Coordination Team Lead. My job allows me to be a supervisor while continuing to engage with those who are experiencing homelessness. I oversee our Housing Our Youth program that focuses on Transitional Age Youth (18-24) who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness by providing specialized assistance and wrap-around services to help the youth become stably housed.
I also oversee our Homeless Outreach Team and participate in outreach efforts with different law enforcement agencies in the East County. Our goal is to engage and build rapport with our unsheltered neighbors. We provide basic needs such as hygiene kits, food, and services and resources to improve their health and end their homelessness.
I have been working with the unsheltered population in the East County for over 5 years. What continues to drive me is the need for services in this region, being an advocate, helping break the stigma of homelessness and being part of the need to find permanent solutions to end the homelessness crisis.
Rosalias Read: Clinical Outreach Specialist
My name is Rosalias Read and I serve as the Clinical Outreach Specialist at Home Start. I am currently serving the homeless population within East County in San Diego. The main areas where I am serving individuals experiencing homelessness are El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and Santee.
My role can best be described as that which provides homeless outreach services as well as clinical engagement and intervention to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This means I consistently provide individuals with resources to meet their everyday needs such as food, water, and hygiene products, as well as connect individuals to resources for temporary and long-term permanent housing opportunities.
I also engage with individuals regarding the implications of homelessness on their mental health and connect them to resources that can help them process some of the trauma and emotional effects. The services I provide make a difference in the lives of the individuals and families I am working with on a daily basis. I am able to serve as an outlet for physical and emotional support through the crisis they are experiencing being homeless. It is a privilege to be able to serve such a vulnerable population and provide a sense of hope by tending to some of their most severe needs.
Laura Tancredi-Baese: LCSW and CEO
After earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work at San Diego State University, she became a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Her extensive experience includes managing child and youth development and transitional living programs for underserved youth, plus executive leadership.
Through her efforts, Home Start has opened the doors to our Maternity Housing Program providing support to pregnant or parenting young women and their children facing homelessness, and founded our Thrift Boutique and Bright Futures Candles social enterprises to support these families.
As our CEO, Laura is in an administrative role which looks at social work on a macro level with a focus on the future. She is a decision maker and looks at the well-being of the whole system and our organization. Her focus is on the big picture, and her social work knowledge of social policy helps her ensure delivery of services on a bigger level. She concentrates on strategic planning and working with the Board of Directors to steer the direction of our agency.