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 2014. She is a certified housing counselor and holds a Master’s of Human Services from Lincoln University, PA. In addition, she 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 18 years and is the glue that holds Community Lodgings together. Her main responsibilities include financial management, overseeing data entry, payroll and HR functions. She also develops and manages the organizational budget in conjunction with the executive director; helps develop 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. When she’s not at work, she loves spending time with her eight-year-old son. 

charlyne_braxtonCharlyne Braxton, Transitional Housing 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 educate the DC metropolitan community of the plight of people in need. She holds Associate’s Degrees in Human Services and 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 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 and handles leases, move ins/outs, eviction proceedings, client program fees, and rent. She also manages the office calendar, administers 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.

melanie_fickeMelanie Ficke, Director of Programs

As Community Lodging’s Program Director, Melanie oversees the daily operations of our learning centers, a staff member, and an Americorps volunteer. 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 on 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 loves Ted Talks, her family, yoga, the color red, and her volunteer position at King Street Cats. 

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 who has over seven years of experience working in non-profit educational programming. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University.

Volunteer and Development Coordinator – VACAN
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 four enjoys hitting the rail trail, reading a good book and spending time with family.

Joseph Muniz, Family Support Liaison

Joseph is originally from New Mexico, where he previously worked at a mental health hospital. He has been working with youth for the past 4 years and before joining us full-time, he served Community Lodgings as an Americorps service member with Public Allies. He works directly with our youth and their families as part of the Youth Education Program, and also leads the Boys’ Mentoring program. Joseph enjoys playing guitar in his free time and jamming with his brother when he gets the chance.

Carol Padilla, Program Coordinator

Carol recently joined the Community Lodgings staff as the Program Coordinator for our third afterschool site at Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church. She works with 15 third and fourth graders, focusing on literacy skills and math acquisition with our students as they prepare for the Standard of Learning (SOL) tests. Carol’s background is in teaching and program evaluation as well as health education, and she is a seasoned statistician. Carol is an avid animal lover, and in her free time, she enjoys training dogs and taking care of dogs and cats.



Administrative Office

3912 Elbert Ave. Suite 108

Alexandria, VA 22305


The New Brookside Learning Center

601 Four Mile Road

Alexandria, VA 22305


Fifer Family Learning Center

607 Notabene Drive

Alexandria, VA 22305


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