Staff

Staff

 

lynn_thomasLynn Thomas, Executive Director

An accomplished manager with over 29 years of experience in the areas of grant administration, and supportive housing management. Lynn became our executive director in January of 2012. She is a certified housing counselor and holds a Master’s of Human Services from Lincoln University, PA, and is an active member of the Governing Board of the Alexandria Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness. In what free time she has, Lynn prepares and serves dinner to low-income seniors, takes care of her teenaged nephew and her many friends, and occasionally indulges in handbag and shoe shopping while rooting for Washington sports teams.

Karina and coffeeKarina Wiggs, Director of Operations

Karina has been with us for 17 years and is the glue that holds Community Lodgings together. Her main responsibilities are financial management, overseeing data entry, payroll and HR function, she develops and manages the organizational budget in conjunction with the executive director, helps development and implement organizational strategies, policies and practices and monitors and maintains the computer systems and network.  Karina is a certified housing counselor, bookkeeper and translator between our staff and our clients.  She holds a BA in computer networking from Strayer University. In her spare time she loves spending time with her eight years old son. 

charlyne_braxtonCharlyne Braxton, Case Manager

Charlyne is our tough-love case manager for our Transitional Housing Program clients, coming to us from a transitional shelter that served women and their children. Charlyne’s work with various organizations has allowed her to motivate and assist needy clientele through job placement, social service referrals, substance abuse services, court advocacy, reunifying mothers and their children and community outreach and collaboration. She has also helped to educate the DC metropolitan community of the plight of people in need. She holds Associates Degrees in Human Services, Criminal Justice and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. When she is not working, Charlyne can be found at the nearest spa.

erika_orozkoErika Orozco, Property and Office Manager

Erika Orozco is a bilingual professional with over 17 years of experience in office operations. Erika is the face of Community Lodgings to our affordable housing and transitional housing clients, and ensures their apartments are safe and well-maintained. She maintains contact with all homeless and low-income families in our programs, handles leases, move ins/outs, eviction proceedings, client program fees and rent. She also manages the office calendar, administers all data entry, initiates IT maintenance, directs mail correspondence and maintains records of all maintenance and repairs.  Erika holds a BA in Computer Networking from Strayer University.

IMG_2122Jane Collins, Communications/Volunteer Coordinator

Jane Collins retired from the United States Air Force in 2009 and has worked in and around the nonprofit sector ever since. She co-created, produced and hosted the monthly television show “Get Out and Give Back” for Fairfax Public Access television in 2002-02, which promoted volunteering in Fairfax County, and hosted other shows for them up until 2012. In 2005 she began writing about volunteering and community engagement for local newspapers, magazines and AARP’s nonprofit organization, Create the Good, to encourage boomers across the country to get involved in their communities. In her down time Jane goes to the gym and plans her next vacation.

Cristina HernandezCristina O’Brien, Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator, Cristina oversees programming at Community Lodgings’ Fifer Learning Center Annex (New Brookside). She leads the center’s daily after-school program which serves elementary students, grades 3-5, as well as middle and high school students. Additionally, Cristina monitors the academic performance and behavior of students and maintains regular contact with parents and teachers in order to ensure academic and personal achievement. She previously served as an AmeriCorps member at Community Lodgings’ Brent Place Learning Center. Cristina holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Area Studies from American University.

melanie_fickeMelanie Ficke, Program Director

As Community Lodging’s Program Director she oversees the daily operations of the agency’s three learning centers, Fifer, New Brookside, and Brent Place, three staff members and five Americorps volunteers. She establishes the curriculum for the after school and summer enrichment youth programs and ensures the team is in compliance with program goals. Melanie joined the Peace Corps after graduating from the University of Virginia, spending two years in Honduras, working health and wellness programs for schools and community groups. Afterwards she earned her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania then worked in several leadership positions in Philadelphia and the District of Columbia. Melanie also loves Ted Talks, her family, yoga, the color red, and her volunteer position at King Street Cats. 

cindy_lopezCindy Lopez, Family Support Worker

Cindy grew up near Community Lodgings and attended their youth programs when she was a kid. She came back to help us out as an AmeriCorps member for two years and was hired by us in 2015 as the family engagement director. In that capacity she uses her bilingual skills to liaise among the students, teachers  and parents, who often do not speak English. A graduate of TC Williams High School in 2012, Cindy is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Engineering from Northern Virginia Community College. Cindy also enjoys playing soccer.

gwen_spitzhoffGwen Spitzhoff, Site Coordinator

As site coordinator at Fifer Learning Center, Gwen oversees the planning and implementation of learning center activities and collaborates with school personnel and community partners. She plans and develops after school curriculum to meet the individual needs of participating students and monitors and assesses student progress. Gwen also heads up our girls’ and boys’ mentoring program. Gwen is a former classroom teacher and has over seven years of experience working in non-profit educational programming. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University.

rebecca_fettersRebecca Fetters, AmeriCorps Service Member and Program Assistant

Rebecca is currently serving as an AmeriCorps Service Member and Program Assistant at Brookside Learning Center.  As Program Assistant, Rebecca works to provide daily academic support to elementary students, grades 3-5, as well as middle and high school students.  Additionally, Rebecca attends parent/teacher conferences, monitors students’ academic progress, maintains frequent contact with parents and teachers, and manages the weekly Capital Area Food Bank Report.  Rebecca holds a B.A. in Spanish and International Affairs from Gettysburg College.

elizabeth_garabyElizabeth Garibay, AmeriCorps Service Member and Program Assistant

Elizabeth is currently serving as an AmeriCorps Service Member and Program Assistant for the Brent Place Learning Center through Community Lodgings. Elizabeth provides academic support for elementary, middle and high school students by attending parent/teacher conferences, maintaining a relationship with their parents and working with students to complete school assignments. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from New Mexico State University and will be pursuing a master’s degree in the near future. She likes to read during her free time.

Jasmin for webJasmin Witcher, Director of Development

Jasmin brings over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in housing and homelessness issues. In her role at Community Lodgings, Jasmin oversees all aspects of a comprehensive development program to provide long-term funding stability for the organization. Jasmin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Frostburg State University. She completed the Executive Certificate program in Nonprofit Management at George Washington University and the Nonprofit Roundtable’s 2010-2011 Future Executive Director Fellowship Program. This busy mom of three enjoys hitting the rail trail, reading a good book and spending time with family.

[/ezcol_1half_end]

Administrative Office

3912 Elbert Ave. Suite 108

Alexandria, VA 22305

703-549-4407

The New Brookside
Fifer Learning Center Annex

601 Four Mile Road

Alexandria, VA 22305

703-566-9464

Brent Place Learning Center

375 S. Reynolds St.

Alexandria, VA 22304

703-567-6374

Fifer Learning Center

607 Notabene Drive

Alexandria, VA 22305

703-739-5856

What is the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)?

This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully, click here.

(Viewing this document requires a PDF file viewer such as Adobe Reader®.)

MENU