Roberta's House employs administrative staff, and a volunteer coordinator, Family Services Case Manager, Youth Services Coordinator, Survivor Program Supervisor, and contracts professional licensed social workers to manage programs for children and their families and specific focus groups around loss. The President has conducted more than twenty-six years of bereavement support groups and has a natural calling for serving and meeting the needs of the bereaved in Baltimore. Staff members hold memberships with professional associations that support their training, development and utilization of best practices. Professional staff are members of the National Association of Death Education of Counselors and the National Alliance of Grieving Children.
Annette R. March-Grier, R.N., President
As the President of Roberta’s House, she works tirelessly to increase the community’s knowledge of children’s grief and establishes relationships with foundations, social service agencies and other mental health providers. She networks to expand their services to families in need. Annette received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware in 1982 and worked for Johns Hopkins Hospital until 1985 when she joined her family business, March Funeral Homes. She attended Catonsville Community College and obtained an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science. In 2001, she was certified as a funeral service practitioner through the Academy of Professional Funeral Services.
Annette founded the Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center and is a bereavement counselor. She has facilitated bereavement programs for 26 years. She has presented numerous workshops on grief, stress, and holistic healing in various churches, schools, community centers as well as hospitals. She presents and organizes annual holiday bereavement seminars and training workshops. Currently, Annette along with the March Family, is the leading force to build a dedicated family grief support center in Baltimore City.
Roberta’s House will provide a confidential setting to facilitate the emotional, physical and spiritual healing for grieving children and their families where grief can be expressed and experienced safely. She is member of the Association of Death Educators and Counselors, Trustee of Sheppard Pratt Hospital, a member of the Harbor City Chapter of Links Inc. and many other professional associations. In 2014, Annette was selected as CNN Top 10 Hero. www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2014/04/24/cnnheroes-annette-march-grier.cnn.html
Veronica Land-Davis, LCSW-C, Executive Director
As the Executive Director, Veronica Land-Davis, is responsible for the overall health, safety and operations of the program and services. She is responsible for establishing and fostering positive working relationships with community service providers and constituents in order to educate the community on grief and loss and offering programs at Roberta’s House that promote a safe place for recovery and healing from the loss of a loved one.
Veronica, a licensed certified social worker-clinical, comes to Roberta House with thirty years of experience working with children, adults and families in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Educated in the Baltimore City Public School system and a graduate of Western High School, she received her Bachelor’ s of Science Degree in Sociology/Social Work from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1983. Veronica attained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning in 1989. In 2001, she completed The Head Start-Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program at the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Veronica has served families in roles of both a clinician and a manager in many settings such as residential treatment centers, child prevention agencies, treatment foster care, Head Start and home health care. Advocating for children and families is essential for her and this is evident as she has served on several Statewide committees such as Maryland State Interagency Advisory Council and Maryland Universal Pre-K Task Force.
Kelli R. Tucker, Volunteer Coordinator
Kelli R. Tucker is the Volunteer Coordinator for Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center. Roberta's House currently has over 300 volunteers of which 100 are very active in programs. As Volunteer Coordinator for Roberta's House she recruits and assist with the training of volunteers. Her most important role is to staff all of the programs at Roberta's House with dedicated volunteers. Her jovial personality and warm spirit encourages the wonderful support that Roberta's House receives from its volunteers. She also develops appreciation activities and awards for outstanding volunteers annually. Kelli also organizes community exhibits and outreach programs to increase the community awareness of grieving children.
Kelli has over seven years of Human Services experience. She has worked primarily with Families and Children providing a variety of services from Childcare to Case Management Services to homeless families.
Tracy Harris, LGSW, Family Service Case Manager
Tracy Harris is currently helping children, teens, and adults cope with their grief due to significant and traumatic losses as the Family Service Case Manager at Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center.
Ms. Harris is a Licensed Social Worker obtaining her undergraduate degree in Social Work (BSW) from Coppin State University and her Master degree in Social Work (MSW) from Morgan State University. She currently holds a license as a LGSW (Licensed Graduate Social Worker). Tracy has worked in the profession of social work for 11 years. She first started her career at Anne Arundel County Department of a Social Services as a Child Protective Service Investigator. Since leaving DSS, she has worked with many different populations, individuals with co-occurring disorder, individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and mental health issues, domestic violence and trauma victims, in home care and hospice, children with autism and individuals that are currently in the criminal justice system.
Deirdre Gardner, LGSW, Survivor Programs Supervisor
Deirdre R. Gardner, also known as Dee, is the Supervisor of the Survivor Advocacy Program, a new supportive program for survivors of homicide victims that utilizes advocates to provide services in the immediate aftermath of a homicidal victimization. She supervises the part-time survivor advocates who conduct home visits, follow-ups, as well as, provide referral to community resources to survivors of homicide victims in Baltimore City to address their identified needs following the homicide. She also oversees all of the programs offered to survivors, which includes the Homicide Transformation Project (HTP) in Baltimore City, and the Strengthening Family Coping Resources (SFCR) family support group for those who have experienced a homicidal loss in Baltimore County and Prince George’s County. Ms. Gardner facilitates an SFCR group for children and adult survivors in Baltimore County, targeted to start in March 2015.
Ms. Gardner received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University Of Maryland Baltimore County in Social Work and African American Studies. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work. Ms. Gardner is scheduled to receive an Advance Certificate in Forensic Social Work in December 2014. She has been a licensed graduate social worker since 2005.
Ms. Gardner has over 20 years of experience working in the victim services field. Previously, she has served as a Social Worker with the Cardinal Sheehan Center/Stella Maris Hospice, as a Child Protective Services Intake Worker with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, as a case manager with the former Child Advocacy Network now known as the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, as a case manager with the Felony Family Violence Division of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, and as a victim advocate and later as a clinician with the Family Bereavement Center, a program under the auspices of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Prior to joining Roberta’s House in August 2014, Ms. Gardner served as the Director of Victim Services with the Maryland Crime Victim’s Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC).
Dorenzer Thomas, Youth Service Coordinator
Dorenzer Thomas, MSW, is the Youth Programs Coordinator for Roberta’s House. She is responsible for the implementation of “Growing through Grief,” which is a 10 week school-based program. She is the coordinator of “National Children’s Grief Awareness Day” campaign which is held the 4th Thursday of November, and Changing The Game which is a teen support group. Mrs. Thomas also works close with grant monitoring and implementation.
Mrs. Thomas is a graduate of Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her B.S. degree from The University of Notre Dame, Maryland and received her MSW from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work, where her area concentration was Communities and Organizations.
Dorenzer comes to us with an extensive back ground in the areas of children’s mental health, human services, and contract and program management. She served 10 years on the Child Facility Team and Operation Safe Kids for Baltimore City. She also severed as Juvenile Court Specialist for DHMH and Contract Manager for Baltimore Mental Health Systems, Inc., in addition to severing on the (LCC) Local Coordinating Council for Baltimore City. Mrs. Thomas has an extensive history of working with emotionally disturbed children, teens and their families throughout Maryland. She is currently serving on the Board of Residential Childcare Administrators for the state of Maryland.
Donna Rice, LGSW, Project Manager, Family Programs
Donna Jean Rice, LGSW , has been working as an advocate providing professional treatment and counseling services in the human service area for children and their families for over 20 yrs. She attended Tuskegee University and obtained her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in the field of Social Work at Morgan State University. Donna received her Master’s of Social Work Degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work specializing in Administration with the concentration of Children and Families Theory. Donna is Certified as an Advanced Theories Social Worker with Licensure by the State of Maryland and has received approval to sit for Licensure to practice Certified Clinical Social Work (LCSW-C).
Donna is presently the Family Project Manager at the Roberta’s House providing oversight, developing lesson plans, family assessments, referrals and evaluations. Donna has donated over 400 hours to the Roberta’s House as a Team Leader/Volunteer prior to becoming Project Manager.
In addition, Donna has been employed for over 15 years by the Baltimore City Public School System as a School Social Worker providing counseling services to children diagnosed as being academically or emotionally challenged as defined under the Maryland Disabilities Act, IDEA and Comar Laws and to their families.
Donna has created specialized programs for the regular school environment which include; Bereavement workshops/sessions, Relaxation/Meditation workshops, Corrections Facility Impact Programs for At-Risk Boys and Girls, Girls Etiquette and Social Skills Program and The Arts Appreciation Program with The Baltimore Opera Program as a sponsor. Donna also chaired the 504 Plan and Student Support Teams at The Polytechnic High School. She has presented on Child Abuse and Neglect, Violence Prevention and Bullying for Baltimore City Public Schools and Grief and Loss for the Maryland Baptist State Convention.
Kim V. Holmes, LCSW-C, Program Manager, Homicide Survivors Transformation Project
Kim has more than 20 years of experience as a social worker and is currently employed full time as the Director of the Baltimore City States Attorney's Office , Family Bereavement Center. She provides therapy/crisis counseling to both children an adults who have lost a loved one to homicide. Aside from her full time position, Ms. Holmes is the Program Manager for Roberta's House Homicide Transformation Project and coordinates and facilitates group and family counseling sessions.
Darnell C. Baylor, MS Ed, Rehabilitation, Program Manager, "Changing The Game"
Darnell has been a Mental Health Counselor for more than ten years and has years experience with individuals who have been incarcerated, convicted substance abusers, individuals in recovery and juvenile delinquents. He has experience with supervising mentor programs, developing and facilitating prevention groups and job placement programs. Darnell facilitates and assist in the development of the DJS programs for youth 14-17 years of age with Roberta's House.
Michael Jemmott, M. Div., Q.M.H.P., B.S. Ed Spiritual Consultant
Rev. Jemmott is a seminary graduate, has Advanced Clinical Pastoral Education and Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management training as a minister. He has pastoral experience with various congregations and has served as Senior Staff Chaplain at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, he has had a plethora of ministerial experiences which includes working in Prison Ministry, working with the HIV/AIDS and homeless populations. Rev. Jemmott is also a Grief Consultant with Mental Health Therapists and Substance Abuse Counselors providing grief support for adult clients with co-occurring disorders as well as being a local and nationally known speaker and workshop presenter. Rev. Jemmott is also a member of the National Association of Death Educators and Counselors.
Rev. Jemmott began with the March Family in 1984 providing Spiritual Support for the Program called A Time of Sharing. This program is the oldest of the four programs currently provided by Roberta’s House. In addition to A Time of Sharing, Rev. Jemmott works with the Homicide Transformation Project and the Families with Children Programs. Rev. Jemmott offers Pastoral Support, Biblical and Theological Insights and Belief System clarification to support the families at Roberta’s House. During the course of Rev. Jemmott’s tenure with March Funeral Homes and Roberta’s House, he has co-facilitated grief support groups, mentored and supervised seminarians and provided bereavement and grief training for professionals and volunteers. Rev. Jemmott’s contribution to the work at Roberta’s House brings the Spiritual component to the healing process.