CARING FOR OTHERS IS OUR FULL TIME JOB
A tremendous amount of work goes on behind the scenes here at the Harry Tompson Center to make sure our guests needs are met – be it a shower, a hygiene kit, medical care or case management services. Luckily, for us and the guests that visit our Center, we’ve got a dedicated and committed staff to make sure things run smoothly and that each person is treated with dignity, respect and compassion.
Vicki Judice joined the team of the HTC as the new Executive Director in May 2013. Vicki has over 30 years of experience working with non-profits addressing poverty and homelessness issues throughout New Orleans including 20 years with UNITY of Greater New Orleans and 9 years as its Deputy Director. Prior to her work with UNITY, she worked as a consultant to area non-profits; as a case manager supervisor with Quality Independent Service Coordinators, and as Parish Social Ministry Director and Special Projects Director for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. She holds a Licensed Master of Social Work license and graduated from the School of Social Work at LSU in 1981.
Emily, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, graduated from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. She was a Jesuit Volunteer at HTC in 2004-2005, after which she returned to St. Louis. As plans were made to reopen HTC after Katrina, Emily moved back to New Orleans to work once again at HTC. She has been the Assistant Director since our reopening in September 2007. Emily’s responsibilities include facility operations and volunteer coordination.
Kip, a New Orleans native, joined the HTC team in August of 2013. He has worked in various social service agencies in the New Orleans area helping the homeless and other underserved populations for the past 12 years including Odyssey House and ARC, the Association for Retarded Citizens. Prior to this, he was a Respiratory Specialist at Charity Hospital. Kip provides case management services to vulnerable guests frequenting the Harry Tompson Center and helps them secure permanent housing.
Jessica started at the Harry Tompson Center in January of 2015 as an intern working towards her Master’s in Social Work. She quickly fell in love with the overwhelming presence of compassion, selflessness, and resilience she felt among and between the guests, volunteers and staff at the Rebuild Center. A New Orleans local, she graduated from Tulane University with her Master’s degree in December 2015 and became a Licensed Master Social Worker in April. She is very happy to be staying at the HTC as a case manager because she loves helping people with the diverse and varying aspects of navigating homelessness. Everyday that she spends at the Center she is “reminded that the simple acts of love and kindness, and maybe a little patience, can mean the world to another person.”
Each year, the Harry Tompson Center “employs” Jesuit Volunteers (“JV’s”) to work with our program. JV’s are members of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a volunteer organization which, in collaboration with the Society of Jesus, enhances the capacity of local organizations to serve their communities by providing these volunteers an opportunity to directly serve poor and marginalized persons in the U.S. and developing countries. For a year or more, the JV’s live simply, in community, immersed in Ignatian Spirituality. The experience opens them to be conscious of the poor, attuned to the causes of social injustice, and dedicated to service – informed by faith. In New Orleans, a group of 10-11 Jesuit Volunteers live in an intentional community supporting each other in their various work placements in the city such as the Harry Tompson Center, Project Lazarus and Café Reconcile. We want to welcome our new Jesuit Volunteer, Katey Lantto!
Kahlise came to the Crescent City 8 years ago for school. A transplant from California, Kahlise graduated this past May from SUNO with her degree in social work. Her internship at the Ozanam inn affirmed her love of working with homeless individuals. Taking over for Brandon won’t be easy, but Kahlise is up for the challenge! She has always known that she wanted to help others, and was scolded more than once as a kid for giving her things away to others in need or offering a place to stay to friends with troubled home lives. Kahlise says that one day she hopes to open her own facility that offers services to the disadvantaged, particularly for young women and girls.
Dyana Gueavara-Estrada, Center Assistant
Dyana is from Honduras, and only moved to New Orleans in June. She started her work in the CRRC in August of 2015. Her favorite part about working at the CRRC is that she gets to see different faces, learn about the different places from which they come, and she gets to see the guests smiling every day.
Regi Reyes, Assistant Public Relations Coordinator
Regi is a recent graduate from Loyola University New Orleans and is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a former volunteer, and started working with the Harry Tompson Center in September of 2015. Her favorite part about working at the Harry Tompson Center is knowing that her profession allows her to help the New Orleans community.