Meet the staff of Intown Collaborative Ministries
Brad Schweers is the Executive Director of Intown Collaborative Ministries. He has worked with nonprofits in Atlanta for 19 years. Originally from the Chicago area, Brad graduated from DePauw University, studying religion and psychology. He moved to Atlanta as a full-time United Methodist US-2 volunteer missionary. He lived for three years at the Community of Hospitality, a simple-living, social justice community in Decatur, GA. Brad worked as a Case Manager at Café 458 in Atlanta, the first restaurant in the country exclusively for homeless people. Brad also worked as a Senior Program Manager at Community Friendship, Inc. in Atlanta, where he helped adults with mental illnesses to achieve living, working, social, and educational goals in their lives.
Always drawn by the intersection of faith and work toward social justice, Brad attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University, graduating with a Master of Theological Studies degree, focusing on comparative religion, religious experience, and social change. Brad is a lay member of New Church United Methodist Church, where he served for three years as co-chair of the Outreach Committee. Working at Intown is Brad’s dream job, bringing together his passions, skills, education, and creative mind to bring about what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “The Beloved Community.”
Jay Thomas is our Development Associate. Over the last few years Jay has consulted with many churches and non-profits about strategy, leadership, marketing, and fund raising. He previously served as a local church pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Jay grew up in Kentucky but moved to Atlanta to get his undergraduate degree at Emory University. He has a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and is finishing a PhD in Religion at Emory. Jay’s work and study have always centered on encouraging individuals and communities to become more actively engaged in social justice.
Director of Outreach
Maria Carr is the Co-Director of Intown’s Outreach Program. She worked on staff for three years previously as our Heading Home Case Manager. Maria has been working in social services for 11 years, including four years of working with chronically homeless and disabled individuals at PATH Ventures in Los Angeles.
The daughter of a military family, Maria was born in Germany and has lived in six states. She graduated from Asbury University in Kentucky, where she studied social work and Christian ministries. Maria is passionate about advocating and empowering people who are homeless, while encouraging others in the community to be involved in this effort as well. She feels being Case Manager for Heading Home is a unique opportunity to make an impact in her community while being enriched by the stories, struggles, and triumphs of those she is privileged to walk alongside. Maria lives in Candler Park with her husband, David, and their sons, 8-year-old Isaiah and 4-year-old Joshua. She is a member of East Side Church and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, learning about different cultures, and watching Kentucky basketball.
Director of Outreach
Stan Sullivan is the Co-Director of Intown’s Outreach Program. Stan worked for 25 years on staff as a Senior Mental Health Specialist and director of the CHOP (Community Homeless Outreach Program) team of Mercy Care Services. He has worked in the fields of mental health and a addiction recovery for homeless people in Atlanta for three decades. The CHOP team worked with people who are traditionally difficult to serve–chronically homeless people living on the streets (They were covered by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2011). Stan is a Licensed Counselor and has degrees in counseling and theology.
Outreach Case Manager
Franco Bejarano is one of Intown’s Outreach program Case Managers. He is a licensed social worker and a graduate of the University of Georgia where he focused in community psychotherapy. Having previously worked on staff as a case manager and a therapist for different agencies around in the city of Atlanta, Franco is interested in the intersection of mental health, social justice, and urban life. He is passionate about connecting and enriching people’s lives, community development, restructuring urban places into inclusive and welcoming centers for all people, and the power of solidarity at the neighborhood level. Outside of work he enjoys painting, drawing, writing, and experiencing city culture.
Outreach Case Manager
Tracie Harps is one of the Case Managers for the Intown Outreach program. She was on staff previously for Crossroads Ministries and Mercy Care and has been working active in Atlanta for the past 9 years serving the chronically homeless population. She specializes in outreach services, linking individuals to various community resources for permanent supportive housing and overcoming obstacles and barriers.
Tracie is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. She has experienced many of the trials and tribulations as of those Intown serves as a result of her being homeless. Since then she has received two degrees majoring in addiction recovery and psychology from Liberty University. Most of all Tracie really passionate about the work she does. Her life would not be incomplete if she were to do anything other than serving God and others.
Rev. Sally Oakes
Director of Food Ministries
Sally Oakes serves on staff at the Director of Intown’s food pantry and food co-ops. is an ordained pastor of the United Methodist Church. She received a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. After serving for 16 years as a local church pastor, she refocused her ministry toward missions and outreach. She began working at the Food Pantry as a volunteer and eventually took leadership of the Food Pantry and the Food Co-ops programs. Sally really likes the excitement and creative challenges it brings, but she loves the different people she gets to meet – from guests to volunteers – and all their different talents.
Rev. Allen Jones
Clothes Closet Coordinator
Allen Jones is the Clothes Closet Coordinator. He is also a community chaplain with FCS Urban Ministries, serving the neighborhoods around The Church @ Ponce & Highland. Allen has worked in homeless ministries with The Church @ Ponce & Highland since 2008. In 2011, Allen graduated from McAfee School of Theology with a Master of Divinity degree with an urban mission concentration. Allen is passionate about helping people overcome poverty and homelessness and become part of a healthy and vibrant community.