Asaf Baruh –

Title:  Sustainability Coordinator

Education:  Masters of Arts in Global Sustainability

Background:  Asaf has volunteered a number of years at community gardens in St. Petersburg. After gaining this experience and taking advantage of his teaching skills, he recently decided to join Vincent House. He is excited to help the organization develop a number of sustainability projects, with a focus on edible and ornamental gardening.

Quote: “I find Vincent House to be a model of a healthy community that does wonders. I am excited now to be part of it, learn how Vincent House operates, and contribute my own skills to help it grow even bigger.”



Jacki Betz

Jacki Betz –

Title: Program Coordinator 

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

Background:  Jacki has always had a passion for helping others, and pursued a degree in Psychology to be able to do just that. After volunteering with the National Alliance of Mental Illness, she developed the desire to support individuals living with mental illness in their journey to develop their full potential.

Quote: “At Vincent House, members work to improve their self-esteem, seek employment and get their lives back. I truly wake up every day with a smile on my face knowing I get to be a part of this process. As Vincent House founder Elliott Steele always says, ‘Work somewhere you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ I believe I have found that here at Vincent House.



Kerstin Cook –

Title: Rehabilitation Specialist, Arts and Communication 

Education:  Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Stetson University, Deland, FL

Background:  Throughout her life, Kerstin has been a compassionate, noble-minded individual. From organizing recyclable arts classes for summer youth camps to volunteering with Army veterans’ events, her desire to help underprivileged groups is unlimited. With a strong background in digital marketing, graphic design, and visual arts, Kerstin brings a creative and kindhearted personality to our Vincent House community.

Quote: “I’ve never known how to articulate the career I wanted to have, other than involving art and helping people in a meaningful way. I feel lucky to have come across Vincent House and its amazing goals. Now I work alongside our incredible members every day as we grow our skills together!


Samantha Hauser –

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education:  Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology with a Minor in Education, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Background:  From a young age, Samantha was certain that her career would be in a field where she was making a positive impact each day. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Samantha gained experience in the field of education as a substitute teacher. She also completed an internship at the Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry as a research assistant. Samantha is thrilled that she is able to utilize her educational and vocational skills each day at Vincent House.

Quote “I feel privileged to come to Vincent House each day and work alongside so many amazing people. There is a consistent, positive atmosphere throughout the organization creating an environment free of judgment and stigma. The sky’s truly the limit here.”  


Corydon Martin –

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Arts and Communication

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Design, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

Background:  Corydon brings a diverse set of skills to his position at Vincent House. As art director for Schubert Media Group, he designed publications, outdoor advertising, and trained interns. He later became interested in the Montessori Education and spent 8 years as a classroom assistant and art teacher in Wisconsin.

Quote: “Everytime I walk through the Vincent House doors, I experience a welcoming, positive energy. I look forward to becoming part of the Vincent House team and growing with the community.


Annette Novak –

Title:  Administrative Coordinator

Education: Masters of Arts in the Humanities from University of Chicago, Masters of Arts in Secondary Education in English from Adelphi University, and Bachelors of Arts in English from New York University.

Background: Annette has taught writing and literature as an Adjunct Professor for ten years at Suffolk County Community College, Adelphi University, and other institutions. She also has worked as an editor and volunteers at the St. Pete Shambhala Meditation Center.

Quote: “Vincent House is such an innovative model for healing, learning, and recovery. To work on helping members find self-reliance is an incredible process.”

Janine Santillo –

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Culinary Arts

Education: The Culinary Institute Of America – Hyde Park, N.Y. Associates Degree of Culinary Arts, Dutchess Community College – Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Associates Degree in Liberal Arts And Humanities, Cornell University – Ithaca, N.Y. Certification Better Process Control

Background: I’ve been an executive chef and owner of a five star restaurant in upstate New York. I then transitioned into food styling, catering and delved into the world of food Television. I never want to stop exploring our relationship with food. From the need to keep our lives sustained by healthy choices to the pleasure a simple bite of food can bring. Food to me equals happiness.

Quote: “Vincent House is another shining example of how food can unite a community. From the education it can gives us to the sense of comradery working side by side can bring. Developing your skills in the kitchen can become the ultimate vehicle of expression. Let your taste buds tell a story and then share that story.”


Alex Stocks

Alex Stocks –

Title:  Outreach Coordinator, Community Relations

Education:  Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Background:  I have always had a passion for helping others. While in search for volunteer opportunities I came across the Vincent House. I was a volunteer for over two years, during my time in school.  I wanted to use my compassion for helping others in an unconventional way and here at Vincent House they do just that. I enjoy that every day I am able to use my creativity, customer service skills and love for helping others in a way that will make a difference.

Quote: Vincent House is a place with no limitations. Everyday I am inspired by the people here. The Vincent House is a place of inspiration, compassion and positivity.  Working with such a profound organization is a true privilege.



Lindsay Taylor –

Title:  Vocational Counselor, Career and Learning Center

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, University Park, PA

Background:  Lindsay has a passion for working with people and enjoys being a part of other’s path to self-improvement. Her experience in mental health spans across various positions throughout her career.

Quote: “There is no place like Vincent House.  Our program is the missing link in the rehabilitation process of one recovering from mental illness.  It is an honor to be a part of such a wonderfully positive community where each and every day one can witness progress and success made by our determined members and staff.”



Joy Waechter –

Title: Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education: Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Indiana University Northwest, Gary, Indiana; Bachelors of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Child and Family Services, Hammond, Indiana

Background: I have always had a desire to serve others and encourage those to  reach their full potential. She has had 7 years’ experience working in an adolescent mental health facility, helping to enrich and better the lives of youth struggling with psychological and behavior struggles.

Quote: “I am truly blessed to be  part of an organization such as Vincent House that  delivers such a sense of belonging and fosters self-discovery.  To be able to work alongside members, seeing individuals gain independence, empowerment, and self-determination to achieve wellness and success is extremely rewarding.  Vincent House restores lives and ultimately brings a sense hope which is a remarkable accomplishment.



Stacy Freskos

Title: Staff Emeritus

Stacy was one of the first staff to be hired at Vincent House. Stacy served Vincent House tirelessly for over six years, as well as being a member of NAMI. Stacy retired from Vincent House in 2008 , but remains actively supporting our community