Leadership in Shelter: It’s a Team Sport

Meet Christian, FCC’s Shelter and Housing Director

Christian has an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health from Trinity Washington University. She oversees the programmatic growth of FCC’s housing and emergency shelter programs, which includes intensive case management services and ongoing support for all shelter and housing clients during and after emergency shelter and collaboration with program partners. She also oversees the shelter children’s program, working with Executive/Clinical Director Amie Post to further support the social and emotional development of children in the shelter while engaging their parents as active participants in their child’s growth.

“I love knowing that while I do not work directly with clients, I make a difference, both immediately and down the line as folks harness their strength and move toward safety and stability. My favorite part is that I can see how the teams I support make a difference to every person they interact with each day. They are the real heroes.”  – Christian

How does FCC’s shelter help families fleeing domestic violence?

The emergency safe shelter provides immediate refuge to individuals and families fleeing violent relationships. Coming to shelter is traumatic. Uprooting your family is traumatic. We work to support the goals of our clients in achieving safety and moving toward long-term stability. My hope is that when someone enters the emergency shelter, they feel secure in their physical safety so they can take the steps to work on their emotional safety and mental health, which further supports their ability to focus on things like employment, housing, and building a foundation of stability for their future. One thing that stands out is how we see survivors supporting each other in shelter. They share their challenges, share their successes, and the village comes alive. During weekly house meeting it’s cool to see how survivors will lift each other up and hold each other accountable as they navigate challenging situations and continue pushing for their families’ success.

How long have you been at FCC?

I began at FCC as shelter manager just before the pandemic, in February 2020, and led the COVID19 response research, planning, protocols, and implementation that allowed us to remain open with no interruption of services. We are one of the few domestic violence shelters who were able to continue providing refuge to families fleeing violence. I later supported the development and implementation of the Domestic Violence Coordinated Entry (DVCE) program and rapid rehousing. Since then, I have worked to transform shelter operations and streamline how we work with families seeking emergency shelter. When the Shelter/Housing Director position opened, I was honored to have been asked to apply – and to be named Director.

Favorite color: purple

Favorite sports team: Miami Heat

How do you spend your free time? Writing or walking my dog, Chuckie, and spending time with the people I care about.

Loves: Meghan Markle & Prince Harry