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Meet the Staff: Carissa Theis - Survivor CAS Program Analyst


What will you be doing at SSF?

I will be coordinating and managing resources by providing analysis and recommendations for improvement to the Survivor Coordinated Access System (S-CAS). My role involves developing processes and procedures to improve the S-CAS for individuals fleeing domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, and other life-threatening conditions, enabling quicker and more efficient access to safe housing.


What motivated you to join SSF?

Two reasons: First, I’ve always been passionate about helping survivors obtain safety, both internally and externally. I have a lot of experience working directly with survivors and wanted to explore systemic changes that can help them as well. Second, some friends who work for SSF have always talked positively about the culture of the work environment and the people they serve.


Homelessness is scary, lonely, exhausting, and stressful. Having basic needs met and a safe place to come home to is something that is often taken for granted, and people don’t realize that not having these can drastically impact a person’s well-being. Those experiencing homelessness need our empathy, compassion, and kindness more than ever.


What are you excited to do in your new role?

I am excited to create a more streamlined and accessible system for survivors to find safety both internally and externally. This role allows me to contribute to improving the lives of survivors and making a positive impact on their journey to recovery.


Anything else you’d like the homelessness response community to know?

I am also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical supervisor. I’ve been working in direct care with survivors of complex trauma for over 10 years. It’s my passion to help those experiencing trauma find internal and external safety. I prioritize self-care and enjoy spending time outside and with my pets to maintain my passion for this work.


Is there anything from your department you’d like to promote?

SSF is hosting a training on September 6, 2023, covering an overview of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. We are continuously improving the system to better assist individuals fleeing domestic violence in accessing housing services in our community.