The Reach for Home Team. Providing services for the homeless in Northern Sonoma County.
Colleen Carmichael is Executive Director of Reach for Home, where she is dedicated to partnering with people who are struggling with or at risk of losing housing. Since joining in 2015, Colleen has been known for her hands-on leadership, and has led the organization through its rebranding and refocusing on its mission of ending homelessness in North Sonoma County.
Colleen leads the organization in its programming vision and fundraising efforts, where she teams with our local community partners to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients. In her role, Colleen works diligently with other agencies to provide housing for all, including RENT Sonoma County and the Housing Placement Community for Sonoma County.
Prior to her role at Reach for Home, Colleen held several executive-level positions, including CEO of a $34M credit union in the North Bay. She has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, and has served on several boards and committees, including the California Department of Business Oversight, and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. Over the past thirty years, she has also played a role in several non-profits and held a variety of Board positions within those organizations, including Chairman. Colleen has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the College of Notre Dame.
Ana joined the Reach for Home team through her position at Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) in Petaluma. She has worked at various nonprofits for the past 10 years. Her experience includes subsidized child care and advocacy for underrepresented communities through art and theatre.
In her role as case manager for the Family Transitional Housing program, she provides resources and tools that families can use to overcome obstacles and ultimately find stable housing.
One of Ana’s most meaningful experiences was with a client who came in very scared because she had never been “independent.” What the client learned throughout the length of the program is that she just did not know how to set healthy boundaries and advocate for herself. Ana loves when her clients find strength in themselves, which is what they need to push through whatever problems they face and be successful.
Ana holds a BA in History from Sonoma State University and an AA in Social Behavioral Sciences from Santa Rosa Junior College.
Homeless Outreach Coordinator
Rick came to Reach for Home with over 4 years of case management experience.
As Outreach Coordinator, Rick is responsible for finding chronically homeless individuals who are falling through the cracks. He helps these clients seek medical services and guides them towards taking the steps necessary to acquire jobs, housing, medical and mental health, and other benefits. Rick wears many hats with his clients: case manager, advocate, therapist, friend, and more. His goal is to build strong relationships with his clients so that he can better help them.
As a former addict who also spent many years homeless, Rick often tells his clients “If I can do it, you can do it.” He is proud to be a positive example for clients and is gratified to see them realize that they too can return to stable housing. One of his greatest successes was with a man who has been homeless for 39 years. At first, he didn’t want any help from Rick. However, in the last few months, Rick has been able to take him to a doctor, help him obtain social security, and assist him in opening his first bank account ever. This client finally believes he is going to get off the street and find housing.
Rick will receive his Community Health Worker Certificate from the Santa Rosa Junior College in May 2017.
Interpreter and Case Manager
Orbe is the case manager for the Reach for Home Short-Term Subsidy program. This program provides shared housing and enables our clients to rent from Reach for Home at a subsidized price for 9 months during a 12-month lease. Orbe’s primary focus is to work with her clients to ensure they can increase their income. She supports each and every client in identifying individual needs like mental health and wellness care, conflict resolution, stress management, and other life skills that will help them continue gain stability and sustain market-rate rents.
Orbe comes to Reach for Home with many years of experience at other nonprofits. She first came to the organization as an interpreter for Spanish speaking clients. At the time, she was working at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church as the administrator and witnessed firsthand the needs and housing crisis in our community.
One of her greatest successes at Reach for Home was assisting a young man who she met while he was homeless and seeking employment. With her support, he was able to secure housing and start his own business.
Orbe will receive her Community Health Worker Certificate from the Santa Rosa Junior College in May 2017.
In his position as Outreach Assistant at Reach for Home, Richard supports the Outreach Coordinator. He assists with the distribution of supplies to clients, drives clients to various appointments, and helps sort donations at the office.
Richard has volunteered for various nonprofit organizations, including the Samaritan House and an animal shelter.
One of the most meaningful experiences he has had with a client is when a woman who had been homeless for many years talked to him about how she was finally ready to start over, get clean, and make a new life for herself. Richard truly enjoys seeing clients make the decision to start fresh and find stable, long-term housing.
Board of Directors
Tom Hartfield, Board Chair
Roger Dormire, Vice Chair
Andrew Biehl, Treasurer
Doralice Handal, Secretary
Colleen Carmichael, Executive Director
Ed St. John