Nishauna Ball joined the Sojourner House board in June 2019 and joined the Sojourner House MOMS board in November 2019; however, her relationship with Sojourner House is a lifelong one and one that has played a pivotal role in the course she has taken in life. Nishauna is Program Development Manager at Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery (POWER). In addition, the Penn Hills resident earned her Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on Social Work, and in January 2020 she passed the Social Work Boards examination earning her licensure in social work. How did you first learn about Sojourner House? I am a former employee. I'm a former volunteer. And I am a former child that lived there. I've been a part of Sojourner House my entire … [Read more...] about Meet Nishauna
Our staff are full of amazing talent and skill and we want to share their stories with you. And no better person to start with than our new Executive Director, De’netta Benjamin-Miller. Introduction Name De’netta Benjamin-Miller, Executive Director What interested you about this position? The leadership position interests me because it was aligned with my passions. I'm a licensed clinical social worker. I still practice as a therapist outside the Sojourner House. I've been doing this for 18 years. I have a passion and interest in dual diagnosis, but particularly helping individuals heal from trauma. The agency's vision and mission is very attractive. I like the fact that it's a small hard-working organization, which gives me the opportunity to really get to know all the … [Read more...] about Meet De’netta
Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS recently announced the appointment of De’netta Benjamin-Miller as Executive Director. Ms. Benjamin-Miller steps into the role on Oct. 14, 2019. The boards of both Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS recognize Susan Orr, Interim Executive Director and current Director of Development, for her service during the transition. The hiring of Ms. Benjamin-Miller is a result of a recruitment and hiring effort led by Nonprofit Talent. Ms. Benjamin-Miller most recently served as Familylinks, Director of Behavioral Health. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a Masters of Social Work from University of Pittsburgh and Bachelor of Arts from Central State University. “De’netta’s clinical experience and … [Read more...] about Please Welcome Our New Leader, De’netta Benjamin-Miller!
Liz Wasel is Sojourner House’s Childcare Development Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator. When she came to the organization nearly 11 years ago, her first project was to bring structured programming like story and circle time to the children’s services. She soon added “Volunteer Coordinator” to her job duties. In these positions, she witnesses changes in people every day. She marvels at the changes that she sees in families during their time in the program. “Over 6 months, there is a huge change in the child’s growth, personality, cognitive abilities and even their size! But even more impressive is the change in their mothers. You see a mother leave after 6 months with self-esteem and pride.” She not only sees changes in the families she works with, but also the … [Read more...] about Liz Wasel has a front row seat to changes in families and volunteers
After nearly 12 years as the Executive Director of Sojourner House, Joann Cyganovich is retiring and moving onto the next adventure. But during her time with the organization, she has helped to usher in some dramatic changes and major steps forward for the organization and their goals of helping mothers struggling with addiction to get the help that they need without having to worry about losing their kids. All of this experience has given tremendous perspective to Cyganovich, and we asked her to share some words of wisdom, both from her time at Sojourner House, and looking forward to the future of the organization. What makes our organization so important both today and for the future of our city and region? “There is no such thing as recovery housing or halfway housing for … [Read more...] about Parting Words of Wisdom from Outgoing Executive Director Joann Cyganovich
After nearly 12 years at the helm of Sojourner House, Executive Director Joann Cyganovich will retire on June 30. Sojourner House has experienced a stellar past decade-plus of growth, and an increasingly well-regarded reputation. Much of that can be attributed to Joann. Highlights of her tenure at Sojourner House include, but certainly aren't limited to: Spearheading the creation of MOMS Green. MOMS Green -- located between Hays and Black streets in East Liberty -- a play park and garden for the MOMS neighborhood created in 2010. The 18-month project transformed two blighted vacant lots into a safe, landscaped play space and garden area for Sojourner House MOMS families and the entire neighborhood to enjoy. Overseeing Sojourner House's 2012 acquisition and rehabilitation of … [Read more...] about Sojourner House Executive Director to Retire