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Our accomplished team  represents diverse experiences, with 60% of our staff having successfully undergone the Recovery Process themselves and subsequently joined our organization. Their invaluable input shapes our mission and guides our growth.

Our Organization

Our History

Fast forward two years later, Ms. Davis, affectionately known as Ms. Johnny, rented a spacious house in close proximity to the community center to provide secure housing for women participating in the recovery program. It remains the only residential recovery program in the region that accepts women regardless of their financial situation, including those experiencing homelessness.

When Ms. Davis unexpectedly passed away in 2017, a handful of resilient women who had graduated from the recovery program stepped forward with a shared commitment to sustain the program and honor her legacy. Despite facing numerous obstacles, the women persevered, dedicating countless hours of unpaid work to keep the program alive until funding became available.

Through their sheer determination and belief in Serenity House’s mission, these resilient volunteers not only prevented the near closure of their doors in 2019, but also succeeded in opening another transitional house by 2021.

Today, as our outreach efforts continue to secure increased funding, we continually seek to expand our support in the community. In addition to our addiction recovery program, Serenity House provides wraparound services for at least 100 domestic violence victims annually, assisting women with children in relocating to safety. Our programs include re-entry services for formerly incarcerated women, housing assistance, and community health events, among other initiatives. As a small, but mighty nonprofit, Serenity House consistently strives to deliver significant impact across the local community.

Ms. Johnnia Davis, the founder of Serenity House, was a brilliant woman who aspired to serve marginalized communities beyond the confines of the legal field. In practicing law, she discovered an unwavering passion for helping heal and empower women struggling with addiction and trauma. She firmly believed that recovery was not only possible but could be strengthened through a united sisterhood. In 1997, she had opened the original Sisters Program with this vision.

By 2009, her initiative had evolved into a combined residential and daytime program, known throughout the community as Serenity House. The small San Pablo office continues to stand as a beacon of hope in a neighborhood that faces ongoing hardship and generational poverty.

From crafting strategic initiatives to setting goals, overseeing programs, and managing risks, our team is committed to steering the course of our mission with expertise and dedication. Get to know the driving force behind our success.

Officers of the Board

Board President and Treasurer

Miguel A. Garibay

Miguel Garibay serves as a Board Member and Treasurer at Serenity House Oakland, a vibrant community dedicated to fostering love, healing, and empowerment. Miguel brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in social service, non-profit management, fundraising, and development. His profound commitment to fostering positive change is at the heart of his work.

Board Secretary

Pamela V. Emerson

I'm a native Californian and I have lived in the Bay Area my entire life. I love the Bay Area and the people. I raised three children here and now I have two grandchildren being raised here. Our family has deep roots here.

Melissa Hellums

Executive Director

Sherrol Gray

Associate Executive Director

Diane White, D. Min.

Program Director

Paula Cook

Program Service Coordinator

Nicole Gardner

Community Outreach Coordinator

Erika Benitez

Finance & Operations Director

Nicole Holmes

Wellness and Business Manager

LeShante Boyd

Executive Administrator


Meet the people behind Serenity House Oakland

Board of Directors

Our Funders


Discover the individuals at the helm, guiding the organization's day-to-day activities and steering the nonprofit towards the realization of its mission and vision. Learn about the passionate minds driving the operational excellence that fuels our commitment to making a positive impact.

Board Member

Jeanette Bartholomew

Embarking on my journey in the music industry feels like it was ages ago – well, a couple of suns ago, to be precise! But jest aside, my passion for music ignited early on, culminating in the birth of my persona, "The Queen Informer," during the days of 1-2, 1-2 Let's Do This. As the voice bringing the latest news and vibrant energy to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, I found my calling.

Board Member

Beverly Chenier

I am Beverly Anne Chenier, I am 69 years young and retired. I was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana but I grew up in, Texas, Southern California and the East Coast.

Board Member

Satia Frazier-North

With over two decades of culinary expertise, Satia is a gastronomy visionary and a philanthropic creative. At the core of her endeavors is FiftySevenNorth, a unique fusion of culinary art, music, and philanthropy, embodying the principle that true fulfillment comes from feeding the soul as well as the body. As the Marketing and Communications Manager for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), Satia has been instrumental in initiatives like the BOSS' Food Run and BOSS' Black August Block Party, tackling the underlying issues of poverty, racialized injustices, and homelessness. SousSHE, a project dear to Satia's heart, aims to empower young Black girls and women through entrepreneurship and culinary arts, fostering wellness and creativity. As a fervent champion of community service and women's empowerment, Satia passionately dedicates her work at FiftySevenNorth, BOSS and SousSHE to these causes. Her commitment to sustainability and social responsibility shines through every aspect of her culinary ventures. In her pursuit, Satia focuses on amplifying the voices of the often unheard and overlooked, particularly women. SousSHE stands as a testament to this commitment, empowering young Black girls and women through entrepreneurship in culinary arts and beyond. These initiatives are more than mere business endeavors; they are platforms for advocacy and change. Satia's mission transcends traditional culinary boundaries. Her dedication spans over 30 years, focusing on civic engagement and the political education of marginalized communities. Her work is a celebration of community spirit and the unyielding power of women. She aims to leave an indelible mark that goes beyond the confines of the kitchen, touching lives and inspiring transformation.

Board Member

Melissa Hellums

I am the Executive Director at Sister to Sister 2, Inc. dba Serenity House a non-profit organization serving women who have experienced violence, addiction, homelessness, and incarceration (often all of these).

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