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.



Shauntay Brandon
Administrative Assistant

Elinor pic Elinor Engster
Nutrition Supervisor

Elinor works hard to make sure our meals are “delish and nutrish” as Rachel Ray would say. This RPI management graduate is dedicated to making a difference and during her time here, she sure has! Elinor is now working on developing a fun kids cooking class that teaches nutrition, portion control and exposes her students to foods that are good for them and affordable. She has quite the task a head of her but knowing Elinor, it will be fabulous!



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.


Sarah Feeney
Transitional Client Advocate
Sarah works with the women after they leave the shelter and helps them maintain stable housing. She loves her job at St. Paul’s because she is able to be out in the community and develop trusting relationships with the women she serves. Sarah originally went to Fredonia for Music Education and plays the clarinet, violin and ukulele. She didn’t like the competitive nature of music school, and decided that Human Services was a better fit. She transferred and graduated from Oswego with a degree in Psychology. Sarah is an avid hiker, and has hiked many of the high peaks in the Adirondacks. She volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s hike team and has hiked the Grand Canyon. Sarah also loves cooking and baking and has completed two half marathons (that’s 13.1 miles!).


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.

tracyTracy  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.



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

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