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Frederika Jones

Interim Executive Director

Evangelist Frederika Jones is an ordained minister of the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah who has volunteered with the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of the Peninsula since 2006 serving in different roles during her fourteen years. 

She retired from full time employment in Human Resources and now offers services as a Human Resources Consultant. Frederika works diligently in her roles as Associate Minister, Church Leadership Team Member, Pastor’s Care Team Member, Members Care Team Leader and Coordinator of Unity in the Community Project at her church, Temple Of Peace Church in Newport News, Virginia.  In addition, she serves as Prayer Coordinator and Project Leader for Serve The City, Peninsula.    


Having been in recovery for thirty-seven years, she is an extremely passionate advocate for people affected by the disease of addiction and works tirelessly to assist SAARA in achieving its mission of supporting people in finding their pathway to recovery and keeping it.


Contact Kathy at for questions related to administration, advocacy, and statewide affiliates. 


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Kelsi Sober

Communications & Development Specialist

Kelsi Sober joined SAARA in February 2019 after interning at SAARA for a year. Today, Kelsi is SAARA’s Communications & Development Specialist. Kelsi is a native of Chester Virginia and a proud mother. She holds certifications in Addiction and is in the home stretch of obtaining her Bachelors of Social Sciences degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. Kelsi is a REVIVE! Trainer and has completed the Voices of Recovery Training.


Substance Use Disorder is near and dear to Kelsi’s heart. As an adolescent, Kelsi began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and admits that this experimentation quickly led her down a destructive path. Kelsi is now living in long-term recovery. She is dedicated to helping and advocating for individuals with substance abuse use and their families.

Contact Kelsi at for information on special events, the website, social media and communications.

Carrie Parnell, CPRS

Lead Peer Coordinator

Carrie Parnell is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Carrie works as the lead coordinator for the Alive RVA Warm-line at the SAARA Center in Richmond, VA. Carrie is a REVIVE Trainer and Voices of Recovery Trainer and Presenter. Carrie completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) in August, 2019. Carrie presents at conferences, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training in Henrico County, Crisis Stabilization Unit, leads workgroups, and advocates for substance use disorder treatment and recovery to help those affected by addiction in the Commonwealth.  


As someone in long term recovery, Carrie uses the lessons she has learned to help others who are struggling with substance use disorder and addiction. Carrie enjoys working on the Alive RVA Warm-line because it provides her the opportunity to offer hope for recovery to the peers she works with. 

Contact Carrie at for information on the Alive RVA program.

Jason Cox, CPRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jason Cox is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with Alive RVA and SAARA of Virginia. He has completed the Voices of Recovery Training, Resilience Action Planning Workshop for Peers, and the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences Authentic Recovery Advocacy Training.


Jason is living in long-term recovery and plans to continue gaining knowledge to become the most effective Peer Recovery Specialist possible. Jason is truly grateful for the opportunity to give this knowledge to those who need help and seek recovery from substance use disorder and addiction.

Contact Jason at for information on the Alive RVA program.

Jeff McGhee, CPRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jeff McGhee is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that works on the Alive RVA Warm Line. Jeff has completed the REVIVE Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST), Medically Assisted Recovery Support Training (MARS), and the Voices of Recovery Training. He presents at Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for Henrico County, local high schools, and Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU).

Jeff is a person in long term recovery who uses his experience to support others who are struggling with substance use disorder. He loves working as a Peer Recovery Specialist because it gives him a greater sense of purpose within the community and the potential to offer hope to the peers he interacts with on a daily basis. Advocating is high on Jeff's priority list because it is important to him to help break the stigma for those who suffer from substance use disorder. 

Contact Jeff at for information on the Alive RVA program.

Richard Howard, PRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Richard Howard is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. Prior to his journey with SAARA, Richard was a Peer Mentor Supervisor at The Healing Place for 7 years where he supervised 14 employees and oversaw roughly 140 program participants. Richard currently coordinates group schedules, facilitators and oversees volunteers and program participants at the SAARA Center.

Richard is in long-term recovery and strives to provide support for individuals impacted by substance use disorder.

Contact Richard at for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Lynda Clarke, PRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Lynda Clarke is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. She began volunteering with SAARA of Virginia in 2011. In 2012, Lynda opened On Purpose Transitional Recovery/Re-entry, LLC providing women with recovery support and assisting them in gaining employment, computer skills, dressing for success, parenting skills and preparing meals. She has completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST) and is a Certified Recovery Coach, Certified WRAP Peer, and Lay Health Promoter. Lynda is currently the Drug Court Coordinator at the SAARA Center where she provides on-on one peer support using her experience with Substance Use Disorder, Trauma Informed Care, and Mental Health Challenges. She facilitates a women's recovery group every Tuesday from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

Lynda is in long-term recovery and strives to be an example for others to see that recovery is possible. "Trust the Process".

Contact Lynda at for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Mary Chamberlain

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Mary at for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Chris Pittman

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Chris at for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Olivia Claytor

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Olivia at for information on the Alive RVA program.

Contact Us

SAARA of Virginia
2000 Mecklenburg Street

Richmond, VA 23223
Phone: (804) 762-4445 | Fax: (804) 762-4333

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© 2020 SAARA of Virginia.