The Second Step family includes our dedicated staff, generous supporters, tireless volunteers, and the many brave families who make their way out of violence to build new lives.
We are a team of advocates, educators, and youth workers. We are clinicians, development professionals, and administrators. We are attorneys, paraprofessionals, and academics. But above all else, we are dedicated to providing survivors of DV with the supports and concrete services necessary to achieve lasting safety, stability, and well-being.
Our Residential Programs ensure safe and secure housing and comprehensive services for the adult and child survivors living in our two residences. Staff include residential advocates, a housing specialist, facilities managers, and program director Meghan Buckley.
Our Community Programs work with survivors throughout our community, regardless of whether they are currently in danger or are removed from the abuse. We serve approximately 300 adults and 500 children each year through these programs, whose team includes community advocates, a housing specialist, volunteers and interns, led by Director Raquel Raynor.
Our Outreach and Prevention efforts focus on education as part of a larger emphasis on violence prevention. We work with key partners to provide awareness and education about domestic violence and teen dating violence. The Second Step also offers support groups for young men and women who have been exposed to DV and are at heightened risk of repeating violent and controlling behaviors.
Steps to Justice provides free legal services to survivors of domestic violence, regardless of the complexity of their needs. When we are not able to provide specific services in-house, we collaborate closely with a strong network of legal service agencies and private pro-bono attorneys. Our staff include full-time attorneys as well as volunteer pro-bono attorneys, led by program director Susan Ross.
Sue brings a wealth of leadership experience to The Second Step’s dynamic team of survivors, advocates, volunteers, and supporters.
With over 15 years of experience as a lawyer, counselor, and advocate, Sue oversees the Steps to Justice legal services program. Along with our talented and dedicated team of staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys, she provides direct representation and consultation to our clients facing a wide range of legal issues, including restraining orders, divorce, custody, immigration, and housing matters.
Marisa Rowe is a seasoned nonprofit development and communications executive in sectors ranging from arts, humanities and human services. Her expertise includes individual giving, special events, foundation relations, communications, marketing and public relations. At The Second Step, Marisa leads a talented team in advancing the mission of the organization through philanthropy, volunteerism, and community awareness.
Raquel Raynor has served The Second Step community for over 10 years as a Community and Residential Advocate, providing support around families’ safety, emotional, financial, and housing needs. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Raquel utilized her time as an Advocate to create stronger pathways for servicing multilingual and multicultural survivors. Now, in her role as Director of Community Programs, Raquel is excited to usher in new approaches to community-based advocacy. A jack of all trades, Raquel enjoys leveraging her skillsets to build supportive networks across survivor services.
Nikia Bodden joins The Second Step with over 10 years’ experience serving homeless survivors of domestic and sexual violence. A survivor, life coach, and advocate for change, Nikia finds joy in uplifting others and helping them overcome life’s challenges. As the Manager of Housing & Stabilization, Nikia works collaboratively across The Second Step’s programs to oversee The Second Step’s homelessness prevention, Rapid Rehousing, and housing search services.
Meghan began her career at The Second Step following her internship with the Lasell College Internship Program in 2010. She has extensive experience working with traumatized populations including adult and adolescent survivors of domestic violence. During her years as a Residential Advocate, Meghan worked collaboratively with youth and adult survivors to address the trauma that impacted their lives. Today, as Director of Residential Programs, Meghan oversees the Residential Program staff as they provide comprehensive trauma-informed advocacy with families in our Transitional Housing program.