Our Employees

Our dedicated full- and part-time staff intervenes, educates, and empowers families while informing our community of our work and seeking the support of generous contributors.

Our client staff, with educational backgrounds in social work, guides our clients throughout their stay at the house, assists them with their transition, and continues to offer support for one year following their departure.

A nutritionist provides the necessary guidance and education for women and their children to maintain a healthy lifestyle while they are in residence. Our maintenance and overnight staff keeps a clean and safe environment for the families during their stay.

Part-time staff work together soliciting donations, coordinating volunteers, planning fundraisers, writing grants and publicizing our success.




Tracy  J. Pitcher, MSW
Executive Director

Tracy has called the Capital Region home over 25 years. After a successful career in credit unions, Tracy returned to school to earn her Masters in Social Work from SUNY Albany. She worked for 10 years in community mental health at ClearView Center where she worked with a dedicated team to develop a highly-regarded family treatment program, vocational services, outpatient treatment program, and she coordinated the development and marketing efforts for the agency. Tracy dedicated 8 years to the American Cancer Society overseeing patient programs in 13 counties and managed the merger between Gilda’s Club of the Capital Region and  ACS. She is very happy to be at St. Paul’s Center with passionate staff and volunteers as they work hard to assist homeless moms and their children. Tracy lives in Westerlo, enjoying life on a lake along with her therapy dog, Samantha Jones.

Shauntay Website

Shauntay Brandon

Administrative Assistant

Shauntay Brandon is originally from Schenectady, New York. She is beyond excited about being a part of St. Paul’s Center Team where she gets to put her organizational and creative abilities to work. Shauntay has received a  B.A. Performance and Communication Arts from St. Lawrence University. She studied Theatre and Cultural studies in London, UK where she also worked as a fundraising assistant for a children’s charity. Shauntay has a passion for giving back to her community and helping others overcome hardships.  She believes that “obstacles are disguised opportunities to help us grow and change our lives the way we want.”  When Shauntay isn’t at work she is tending to her cat, Jaguar, boxing, acting for local theatres, or enjoying nature.


Jon Premo
Coordinator of Volunteers and Donations

Jon resides in Troy, NY but originally hails from Rome, NY.  He received an honorable discharged from the US Navy;  is a past NY state employee; and, recently retired from a career as worker advocate, contract negotiator and mediator for the Civil Service Employee’s Association, Inc.  Jon obtained his Associate’s Degree in Human Services at the Mohawk Valley Community College.  Jon served on the Executive Committee of the Capital District Labor-Religion Coalition in the capacity of Member at the Large.  In the past Jon served on the Board of Directors of the United Way in the  City of Rome for a number of years.  His hobbies include Christian art, guitar and singing.  Jon’s wife’s name is Elizabeth and the two have family in various corners of the United States.  He and his wife attend Grace Fellowship Church in Watervliet, NY.


Shavina Richardson
Client Advocate

“Shay” is a Master’s level social worker proud of her solution-focused outlook on life. She believes in empowering individuals, in line with a “hand up, not a hand out” philosophy. She has really forged a strong, positive relationships with our mothers and children. Her strengths are in building and maintaining relationships and working with disenfranchised persons in need  of assistance. Shay is the proud mother of 3 bright “little people” as she often calls her kids and enjoys expressing her creative side in many forms of art.

Kate Website Pic

Kate Kowalski, MSW
Transitional Client Advocate

Kate runs the Bridges Program, which is a 12-month after-care program for families that successfully move from the shelter into housing within the community. Kate also facilitates the Enhanced Bridges Program, a rapid-rehousing program with the goal of housing families within 30 days or less. Through both programs, Kate engages in client-centered, strengths-based case management and advocacy related to housing stability. Kate received a Master’s in Social Work degree from the University at Albany. Her professional interests include working with children and families, and looking at the possibility of integrating her social work practice with holistic, research-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies such as yoga and Reiki. Outside of her professional role at St. Paul’s Center, Kate enjoys hiking, yoga, live music, and supporting small businesses and organizations throughout the Capital Region.

Morgan Cseh
Senior Programming Aide


Benjamin Zautner
Visioning Coordinator / AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellow

Hailing from Lansingburgh, Ben grew up in the Capital Region. While attending Siena College, he gained a multitude of skills that he plans on implementing throughout his year of service at St. Paul’s Center. He wants to give back to the community that he was raised in, using the creative skills cultivated in college. When Ben is not running St. Paul’s social media accounts or making marketing materials, he can usually be found either tinkering with technology or attempting to play guitar.

Michael Matza
Nutrition Supervisor

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Samantha Jones
Therapy Dog

Ruff! I’m Samantha Jones, a therapy dog with a very important job at the Center – I keep the kids occupied so the mothers can take care of business. I sit on the couch with the children as they watch TV, I roll over on the floor so they can scratch my belly, or they come to visit me while I sit in the chair in my mom’s (Tracy) office. Some of the moms in shelter like to sit with me too. Another reason why I like coming to work: so I don’t have to be home with those darn kitties!



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P.O. Box 589
Rensselaer, NY 12144
P 518-434-2910
F 518-689-2083