Advocacy + Outreach · October 6, 2022

New Staff to Address the Growing Need for Ecumenical Outreach Services

This week the Ecumenical Outreach Partnership expanded its staff to meet a rising demand for shelter, food, clothing and social services among our client population.

The Ecumenical Outreach Partnership is a collaborative ministry of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Presbyterian Church, Saint Thomas Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral that serves homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers. The partnership was created in 2018. John Sheehan served as the director of the program from its early days until his retirement in July.

Two new directors will now assume leadership of the program. Sherria Hanberry is the new director of client interventions and services, and Julia Shaw serves as director of client program and outreach.

“We have expanded our social work outreach to help address ongoing demands due to Covid, the recent influx of migrants and asylum seekers, and the overall increase in homelessness in the city,” says Christine Boyle, Fifth Avenue’s director of outreach and missions.

Sherria joins the Ecumenical Outreach Partnership from Housing Plus, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that serves women in crisis. She was the senior social worker in its Criminal Justice Transitional Housing program. Sherria brings to her role more than 18 years’ experience as a social worker in the field of human services. She received her master’s of social work degree from Fordham University and her bachelor of arts degree from the College of New Rochelle.

Julia previously served as co-director of the criminalized survivors program and director of STEPS to End Family Violence at Rising Ground, a nonprofit human services organization serving children, adults and families in the greater New York City area. Julia discovered her vocation as a social worker after an earlier career in academia. She earned a master of science in social work from Columbia University, a master of arts in literatures and cultures from Brown University, and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama.

“Having a team of social workers makes sense, given the level of support and care our clients need,” Christine says. “With the experience of both Sherria and Julia as social workers, we will be able to extend the support we provide as we continue to bring Christ to the streets.”

In addition to the new directors of the Ecumenical Outreach Partnership, Fifth Avenue also announced a new member of its administrative staff.

Lisauri Marizan is an administrative assistant working with Outreach Ministries and the Communications & Development staff. Lisauri is a sound healing practitioner at Heights Meditation & Yoga, where she designs and leads trauma-sensitive somatic meditations using sound therapy. She previously served as executive assistant to the director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from City College.

From left: Sherria Hanberry, Julia Shaw and Lisauri Marizan