Tia Aery has more than 10 years of nonprofit management experience working with homeless and at-risk families. Prior to re-joining Family Promise of Essex County, Ms. Aery was the Executive Director of Family Promise of Greater Orlando, where she has led the effort to implement a “best practices” approach to ending family homelessness. Called “Housing First,” this approach has seen great success in both rural and urban areas across the country. Under her leadership, Family Promise Orlando has tripled the number of families served annually. Prior to that, Ms. Aery was the Florida Regional Development Director for the national office of Family Promise. Determined that “every child should have a safe home,” Tia has dedicated 20 years of her life to helping homeless families recover from the crisis of homelessness. Ms. Aery, served on the Board of Trustees and then as Executive Director in Essex County from 2001 to 2013.
Ms. Aery attended Colgate University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. She received a Certificate in Business Management for Nonprofit from the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business in Orlando, Florida.
Director of Social Services
Kelly Curry is a Licensed Social Worker with more than 12 years of experience working in various social services settings. Prior to joining the FPE team in September 2020, Kelly managed a subsidized housing program specialized for individuals transitioning out of State Psychiatric Hospitals or homeless shelters. Kelly has worked with individuals and families who experience a serious and persistent mental health diagnosis, chronic homelessness, or cyclical poverty. Additionally, Kelly worked as a Mental Health Counselor providing individual and group therapy to adults, adolescents, and children in an Intensive Outpatient Program. Kelly is a lifelong resident of Essex County and studied at Seton Hall University before achieving a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England in Maine.
Brianna Williams joined the FPE team in December 2020 as the Housing Stabilization Case Manager. Brianna has over 5 years of experience in housing and social services. She was an Intensive Case Manager for the SAIF Program at New Community Corporation in Newark. The SAIF program provides services to welfare recipients that have been unable to become economically self-sufficient due to serious individual or family barriers. She utilized intensive case management practices to address issues of homelessness, substance abuse, mental health, childcare needs, job readiness etc. Brianna also worked as a Case Aide with the SSVF program at Catholic Charities which served veterans and their families who were homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless obtain permanent housing or maintain their current housing. Brianna was born and raised in New Jersey. She hopes to continue helping individuals and families of disadvantaged populations achieve and maintain personal growth and livelihood.
Manager of Community Engagement
Melissa Perales joined the FPE team in April 2020. Prior to working for FPE, she worked as Lead Trainer and Advocate Supervisor for CASA of Essex County coaching volunteer advocates as they worked with children in foster care and their families. Melissa has over 15 years of supervisory experience and 12 years of non-profit experience. Melissa worked as the Program Director at The Bowery Mission Women’s Center in New York City and as the Executive Director of a long-term, residential women’s recovery program in Pennsylvania. Melissa has a long history of volunteering, primarily working with women and children experiencing homelessness. She currently leads an activity group at her church in Montclair.
Associate Director of Development
Danee Sarman joined FPE in 2019 with over eight years of experience in a non-profit development setting specializing in planning and executing fundraising events and building donor relations. She wants every day to be an opportunity to make a positive change in the world. Prior to joining FPE, Danee was the Foundation Coordinator at the Princeton Medical Center Foundation and a Development Assistant at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, which has given her a diverse knowledge of fundraising initiatives. Danee holds a Master of Arts Degree in Museum Studies from University of Oklahoma. She was born in New Jersey and has spent most of her life living and working between New York and New Jersey.
Administrative Assistant / Van Driver
Belinda Bryant joined FPE as our van driver in 2019. She plays the essential role of transporting our FPE families to congregational shelters, work, school, and FPE workshops and programs. Belinda also currently holds the Administrative Assistant position.
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