Victoria Helberg, Chief Executive Officer
Selected by the Board of Directors in 2022, Victoria Helberg (she/her/hers) brings over 25 years of experience helping families navigate complicated challenges including poverty, housing insecurity, and family violence. Her career has focused on program design and implementation and has been motivated by a commitment to engaging the greater community in the work to end domestic violence. Victoria joined RESPOND in 2007 as the Children’s Services Coordinator after running programming for children and families at the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee.
Victoria’s commitment to Somerville families – especially those experiencing homelessness and violence – predates her career and is deeply ingrained. Inspired by her mother, the former director of Community Action Agency of Somerville’s Head Start program, and from a very young age, Victoria has always felt deeply that everyone deserves to feel safe at home.
During her tenure at RESPOND, Victoria oversaw the operation of the shelter as it doubled in capacity, now serving eight families fleeing from domestic violence. Inspired in part by her then high school aged daughter, Victoria developed RESPOND’s teen dating violence curriculum and broadened its school outreach programming. Under Victoria’s leadership, RESPOND expanded the area served through its law enforcement partnerships, now reaching survivors in Wilmington, Woburn, and Reading (in addition to those in Malden, Melrose, and Wakefield) with civilian advocacy and case management services.
Rachel Angerhofer, Director of Programs & Services
Rachel Angerhofer (she/her/hers) oversees all of RESPOND’s programs and services for survivors of domestic violence. Throughout her career, Rachel’s trauma-response work has been guided by a commitment to support individuals and families with compassion, care, and tangible resources and as they navigate complicated and sometimes harmful systems, including the criminal justice, medical and healthcare, and child welfare systems. She is dedicated to cultivating hope and resilience, and to using her privilege to be an ally.
As a supervisor, Rachel focuses on team-building and takes an asset-based approach to program management that highlights her colleagues’ talents and gifts, and that fosters learning and professional development. She believes in showing up authentically for each other – and bringing a sense of humor to the work.
What brings her to RESPOND is its focus on community engagement. Survivors are the experts in what keeps them safe and in what justice looks like for them, and we all have a role to play in ending domestic violence.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duquesne University, as Master of Social Work from Boston University, and a post-graduate certificate in the Relational and Multi-Contextual Treatment of Trauma from Simmons University.
Yohanna Angomas, Residential Services Coordinator
Yohanna Angomas (she/her/ella) brings nearly a decade of experience working in the field of human services to her role as RESPOND’s Residential Services Coordinator, overseeing the congregate and scattered shelter sites, as well as its inaugural Young Parents Program.
Throughout her career, Yohanna has worked with elders, individuals with disabilities, English Language Learners, new Americans, and individuals and families facing housing insecurity and homelessness. Yohanna has seen first-hand the barriers members of our community face when accessing services; many of her clients did not even known services were available to them. In her work, Yohanna is motivated by a desire to close those gaps for the survivors she works with and is proud to be trusted by her clients as they navigate these complicated systems.
Yohanna and her team strive to ensure RESPOND’s residential facilities are beautiful and welcoming and its programs focused on fostering clients’ joy and resilience. She works to create an environment where healing is as likely to come from a community art project or time in the garden as it is from a scheduled support group or case management appointment.
Yohanna is fluent in Spanish and English, and proficient in Portuguese. She holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Keiser College and is obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.
Tanina Dawidowicz, Law Enforcement Partnership Program Coordinator
First joining RESPOND as a Domestic Violence Counselor and Civilian Advocate, Tanina Dawidowicz (she/her/hers) brings her domestic violence and prevention expertise and leadership to the Law Enforcement Partnership Program where she serves as its Coordinator.
Tanina has dedicated her career to supporting survivors of both domestic and sexual violence. Her work in this area began through an internship with the New Bedford Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit, which was an eye-opening experience for her. It helped her realize that domestic and sexual violence prevention work was her calling. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Crime and Justice Studies, she secured a position as a DV/SA Counselor & Outreach Specialist with YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts. In this role, Tanina was tasked with teaching youth in her community how to identify unhealthy relationships.
While working full-time in this role, she completed her master’s degree followed by a graduate certificate in Domestic Violence Prevention.
Darcie DeLuca, Director of Finance & Administration
Darcie DeLuca (she/her/hers) is responsible for overseeing RESPOND’s finance, human resources and information technology functions. She brings over 20 years of financial experience in both for profit and nonprofit industries. Darcie has expertise in financial control and reporting, audit, budget creation/monitoring and deposit and loan operations. Her experience includes risk management, budgeting and asset/liability management.
With 15 years managing RESPOND’s government contracts, Darcie is also frequently called upon as an expert on domestic violence, especially as it is exacerbated by survivors’ experience with housing insecurity and homelessness. Internally, Darcie is RESPOND’s expert on the intersection of sports – both professional and youth/scholastic – and domestic violence.
Darcie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Suffolk University and a Master of Business Administration from Endicott College.
Greta Hagen, Director of Philanthropy & Engagement
Greta Hagen (she/her/hers) is honored to engage our community in its support of RESPOND’s critical housing, shelter, outreach and advocacy services. While she began her fundraising career in a large nonprofit development office, she caught her stride in small shops, and brings nearly a decade of experience leveraging this more holistic, community-based approach to resource generation to bear in her role at RESPOND.
Through her work and board service, Greta has been involved in municipal housing advocacy, racial justice work, and support for women birthing behind bars, but she is especially passionate about empowering survivors and advocates alike – and ensuring they have what they need as they work together to end domestic violence. Greta’s social justice work is inspired by young people’s activism and the desire to leave the world better for the next generation, including her own child.
Greta holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish Literature from McGill University, and a Master of Political Theory, with a concentration in Diaspora and Transnational Studies, from the University of Toronto. She serves on the board of the Malden Chamber of Commerce.
Desiree Headley, Manager of Talent & Systems
Desiree Headley (she/her/hers) manages human resources initiatives at RESPOND. She has more than 15 years of experience working at human service agencies across Greater Boston that focus on a range of issues from youth development and homelessness prevention, to incarceration and domestic violence survivor advocacy.
Desiree’s approach to human resources relies on the principles of trauma-informed care and active listening skills she honed through her years of peer counseling and program management. She is truly an advocate’s advocate! She brings this rich experience and a profound passion for working with underserved populations to bear in her role supporting staff in their professional development and leading the advancement of RESPOND’s goals surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
A native Bostonian, Desiree holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Johnson & Wales University.
Jennifer Wolter, SAFER Program Coordinator
Jennifer Wolter (she/her/hers) oversees Survivors of Abuse Feeling Empowered for Re-entry (SAFER), RESPOND’s program for survivors who are detained or incarcerated at the Suffolk County House of Correction. She came to RESPOND with over 15 years experience in education, both as a teacher and school administrator, where she worked closely with young adults who had experienced trauma. Through this work, she developed health and wellness programming, youth leadership opportunities, residential services, and built community. Since joining RESPOND, she has created systems and services to support our Community Intervention and Education program, including the development of more teen dating violence and outreach curricula. She continues to find new ways to expand SAFER’s services to reach justice-involved survivors throughout eastern Massachusetts.
At RESPOND, Jennifer is committed to empowering others to follow their passions and live happy, healthy lives. Jennifer recognizes the complex relationship between victimization and criminalization. She works hard to provide maximum support for survivors who are incarcerated or detained and to set them up with skills and resources for success after their release from custody. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and is a Certified Teacher in Massachusetts.