MISSION

Coming Home is the non-profit corporation formed by Middlesex County and the United Way of Central Jersey to create a true system to end homelessness in the County. We build coalitions and foster collaborative strategies and public-private partnerships among local government, affordable housing developers and social service providers. Collectively, our mission is to rehouse individuals and families as quickly as possible and to provide connections to community resources to enable them to sustain their new homes.

OUR BOARD

  • Blanquita Valenti Middlesex County Freeholder, Deputy Director

  • Gloria Aftanski United Way of Central Jersey President

  • Melissa Bellamy Middlesex County Housing Services Director

  • Brad Caruso Chair WithumSmith + Brown Partner

  • James Cahill, Esq. City of New Brunswick Mayor

  • Sharon Grice Consultant

  • Wilda Diaz City of Perth Amboy Mayor

  • Bridget Kennedy Middlesex County Social Services Director

  • Patricia McKenna Transparent Title & Settlements, Owner

  • Sarah Clarke Vice Chair DEVCO Executive Vice President

  • Don Parisi, Esq. Secretary Rider Insurance Company General Counsel

  • Ronald G. Rios Middlesex County Freeholder Director

  • Joseph DuFour Providence Corporation Principle

  • James M. Zullo Elijah’s Promise Executive Director

  • Brian Matula Treasurer TD Bank Small Business Relations Manager

  • Arp D. Trivedi ORNL Federal Credit Union VP Enterprise P. Management

OUR STAFF

  • Eileen O'Donnell

    Executive Director

    Eileen is the Executive Director of Coming Home of Middlesex County, Inc. She assumed this role in April 2011 and brings to it 20 years of professional experience as a health care attorney and business woman, providing legal, business and policy analysis services to public, as well as private, entities. She also designed and taught a course in Health & Public Policy at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy for four semesters. She holds a B.A. in Psychology; a Masters in Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics; a J.D. from Rutgers’ School of Law and a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University.

    Eileen is married with 3 children and lives in Highland Park, NJ.

  • Ruth Cruz

    Case Manager for the Homeless Hotline

    Ruth Cruz joined Coming Home of Middlesex County in August 2012 as the Case Manager for the Homeless Hotline, which receives referrals from NJ 211 Partnership.

    Prior to her current position Ruth served as a Family Resource Specialist with Catholic Charities’ Differential Response Program, a State funded initiative seeking to strengthen and stabilize families in crisis in Middlesex County.

    Ruth earned a BA in Sociology from Rutgers University and is currently working towards her MSW.

  • Bobbin Paskell

    Assistant Director of Systems

    Bobbin Paskell joined Coming Home in August 2012. Her primary role is to implement the County’s new Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and track and analyze data surrounding homelessness in Middlesex County. Bobbin also is an active member of the Middlesex County’s Performance & Evaluation Subcommittee.

    Bobbin brings 17 years of social service experience in Middlesex County to her position, most recently serving as the Program Director of the Middlesex County Differential Response Initiative, which provided comprehensive case management to at risk families throughout the County. Bobbin’s career has focused on working with vulnerable populations in the area of housing and homelessness, child welfare, domestic violence, and disabilities. Bobbin holds a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers and is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of NJ.

    Bobbin resides in Monroe Township with her two children and is an active volunteer in her community as a youth sports coach. Bobbin also spearheaded the volunteer efforts in her town in response to the flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011.

  • Meriam Shenoda

    Executive Assistant/Fundraising Manager

    Meriam Shenouda joined Coming Home in October 2012 after having spent approximately one month volunteering at the organization. Meriam will assist both the Executive Director and the Assistant Director of Programs on an as- needed basis and will also direct the fundraising initiatives of Coming Home. Meriam has over 14 years of employment experience, working for international organizations, providing public relations and general office management services in multi-cultural environments. Most recently, Meriam worked on a volunteer basis for Middlesex County’s Office of Human Services. She is also engaged in several ministries sponsored by, and affiliated with, the Coptic Orthodox Church, serving poor families and assisting young couples with financial needs. Meriam has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce & Accounting from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

  • Frances O'Toole

    Assistant Director of Programs

    Frances joined Coming Home in July 2016 as Assistant Director of Programs. She brings over 20 years of professional experience in the affordable housing industry, between non-profit housing providers and large mortgage finance and banking institutions. She primarily worked to assist low-income families become first generation homeowners, and financially-troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure. She graduated from Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences with a B.A. in English and History, and from Rutgers Graduate School with a M.A. in Political Science, United Nations and Global Policy, with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law.

    Frances has 3 children, and is a long-time resident of New Brunswick, NJ.

     

  • Alex Santiago

    Case Manager/Coordinated Assessment

    Alex Santiago joined Coming Home in November 2015 as a  Case Manager. Alex is responsible for the provision of case management services to individuals referred to Coming Home from NJ211 as a result of the new Coordinated Assessment initiative.  Alex conducts community-based case management to connect those newly-housed, formerly homeless persons with needed services to assist them in reaching their particular self-sufficiency potential and to ensure the sustainability and stability of the person’s new housing status.

    Prior to his current position Alex served as a Case Manager for the last 10 years with various agencies, assisting youth and other populations in New York and in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

    Alex earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Boricua College in Brooklyn, NY and currently resides in Monmouth County with his wife and 3 children.

  • Cassandra Jones

    Coordinated Assessment/Case Manager

    Cassandra joined Coming Home in May 2016 as the administrator of the County Coordinated Assessment system for serving those who are homeless in the County and ending their homelessness. She works with all County service agencies in the review of their standardized assessments of persons experiencing homelessness for placement in a permanent housing provider or on a housing provider’s prioritization list. Cassandra has spent several years working in the community with homeless clients and others in need. Prior to her current position, she served as Client Liaison for PRAB’s Housing Coalition and provided case management for homeless clients.

    Cassandra is originally from New Brunswick and now resides in Edison with her daughter.

PARTNERSHIPS & FUNDERS

Coming Home works closely with Middlesex County’s Continuum of Care and its member agencies. The Continuum was established in 1995 in response to a request by the Federal Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for a coordinated planning body to help manage locally, the services provided through HUD funded programs. Coming Home also fosters collaboration and partnerships with the leadership of each of the County’s 25 municipalities, affordable housing developers and financiers, specifically for participation in its Homes for Homeless Program.

Coming Home was recently founded and fully funded in 2012 with support from Middlesex County, NJ, the United Way of Central Jersey and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It also received funding for 3 years from the J. Seward Johnson, Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust.