Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM
As a new Franciscan student, Fr. Stephen starting working at St. Francis in 2002. His job as an intern focused mostly on direct tenant interaction such as laundry group, the clothing room, and accompanying tenants to medical or benefit related appointments. At the same time, Stephen was completing a master’s degree in urban economics and social policy. The St. Francis Residence connected theory to practice. Prior to joining the Franciscan, Stephen worked in commercial banking and finance. He became a member of the Board of Directors in 2006 and was appointed Executive Director in 2016.
Stephen came to see that the St. Francis Residences truly embody the values he shares with all Franciscans. Put simply, “This work allows us to truly act according to our values. More importantly, our staff represent other religious traditions. What we share is a common commitment to human dignity and our work safeguard our tenants’ dignity every day”.
Gyasi Bramos – Hantman, MSW
Director of Operations
Gyasi joined The St. Francis Residences in 2010. He holds a B.A in Psychology from Manhattan College and a MSW from The Silberman School of Social Work. Gyasi started serving as a money manager, providing financial support to residents before taking over the role of Program Director from Fr. John McVean. In 2015 he received his Master’s in Social Work and transitioned into the role of Director of Operations. Gyasi maintains The St. Francis Residences is a true representation of a living community. Unique in its formulation and incredibly focused on preserving space for the needs of its members. It is a model which he believes allows for growth and development for all who desire to live, serve, or simply be. While the work is often challenging, he finds it rewarding beyond measure. Despite growing up in the urban metropolis that is New York City, Gyasi is most drawn to nature and the quiet solitude of mountains.
Christopher Frlic is the Program Director for the St. Francis Residences. Before taking over this role in July of 2016, he was the Entitlement’s coordinator at Residence I for three years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from SUNY Geneseo and will complete his MSW at Hunter College in May 2018. St. Francis Friends of the Poor caught his attention very quickly after hearing the story of how the organization started as well as the importance placed on building a community so that the tenants could feel at home. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and is unashamed for his love of fantasy baseball and fantasy football.
Asst. Program Director
Handling the intake aspect of the program as well as other administrative responsibilities, Mickey likes to call himself, “The Dean of Admissions”. Coming from a diverse experiential background, including wilderness living in Canada, commercial fishing on Cape Cod and as a touring actor and musician, he admits he found his passion and career in 1980 when he entered the social work field.
Joining the St. Francis team in 1986, he has never looked back. “We learn what true philanthropy is by example of the Franciscans. I am moved and inspired by our tenants almost daily. Feeling that perhaps I might have been a positive on this earth on any given day is worth more than anything.”
Jose P. Marrufo
Office Manager & Development Coordinator
Jose has been with St. Francis Friends of the Poor since the very beginning, 1982. Starting out in the yearly years, managing development and working alongside the founders Fr. John Felice, and Fr. John McVean and other influential Franciscan Friars. Jose currently manages Office Operations in addition to Development for the corporation. He enjoys working in an environment where he is challenged to learn new skills and apply them to his work. A little known fact about Jose is prior to moving to New York City, he was studying to become and architect.
Ali Yousaf has been with The St. Francis residence since July 2015. He started as a bookkeeper and was later promoted to Contract Manager. He joined St. Francis after working as a budget coordinator with Wildlife Conservation Society in Bronx. After completing high school, he moved to Canada to obtain his BBA accounting degree from Acadia University and then later completed his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York. Ali enjoys working with The Residences, he believes the organization is doing a great job in providing quality life to formerly homeless individuals.
Andrea M. Hessel, MD
Andrea is an NYU Langone Medical Center psychiatrist who has been working with St. Francis Residence tenants since July of 1999. Prior to coming to St. Francis Friends of the Poor, she worked at Bellevue Hospital on inpatient units for 17 years. She has also been in part-time private practice since 1982.
Andrea loves working with the tenants and staff and is passionate about nature. She spends much of her weekends exploring it.
Entitlements Coordinator Residence III
Jonathan is the Entitlements coordinator for the St. Francis Residences III since March of 2016. He has many years of experience in the field and has worked in Michigan, California, Oregon and Colorado. Jonathan received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University. He has always had a concern for the Mental Health and Homeless population and enjoys his work for St. Francis. Jonathan also plays the drums and composes music in his in his home studio.
Benefits and Entitlements Coordinator, Residence II
Ashlan started with The St. Francis Residences in the summer of 2015 and holds the position of Entitlements Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University in Child, Adult and Family Services. Putting these skills to good use, she started her career as a case manager for adults with chronic mental illness in her home state of Iowa, and for families of children with developmental disabilities in New York City.
For Ashlan the tenants and the wonderful community the Franciscans created keep her coming back day after day. “This is my dream job!” Ashlan is extremely proud of her terrier-mix named Beans who also brings her immense joy.
Sheila Manion Artz
Art & Activities Therapist, Residence III
Sheila began working at St Francis Residence III as its Art and Activities Therapist in 2013. She came from Academia, teaching art to young adults at Fashion Institute of Technology and other institutions. Sheila is passionate about facilitating others in artmaking as a tool to heal. Also offering it as a natural process, encouraging self-awareness without forcing or grading their art. While in graduate school at CUNY she learned to use art to process her own experiences and emotions. It became especially helpful during difficult times, her mothers’ illness and death being one of them. Sheila maintains art has become a way to move through many of life’s challenges and still uses it as an ever-evolving tool.
For Sheila working with The St. Francis community is a real gift. She loves the tenants, each with their own stories, needs and paths. She especially appreciates being part of a team working to help give each of them a multitude of tools to live joyful lives, helping them take care of themselves and each other. It is through this service she is able to celebrate her own life and to share her joy and love with others.
Maria Anatolyevna Kot
Money Manager Residence III
Maria been with St. Francis for since 2009. Starting out as an Entitlements coordinator at Residence II before moving to Residence III to service as a money manager where she has held the position for the past year and a half. She has worked in the field of social work/mental health services for 12 years and majored in Teaching World History / English as a Second Language in Russia.
Maria always wanted to have a job that had meaning. Helping people that need support is IT. She considers her job at St. Francis as a gift from God. Loving her coworkers and what they collectively do. St. Francis has the “family feel” to it. No more dreading Mondays as she used to at her other jobs. Maria loves St. Francis for “letting me be myself – an individual, a compassionate human being, not a cog in a machine of social services”. Every day here she learns compassion, patience, gratitude, humility and love from tenants and co-workers alike.