Team

Meet the people working behind the scenes

We practice a feminist co-director model. We value shared leadership, community collaboration, and partnership with people advancing racial, economic, and social justice in New Jersey.
Meet our staff, community harm reduction ambassadors, and board below (in alphabetical order by first name).

Staff

Anthony Gray, Jr (he/him) Headshot

Anthony Gray Jr. (he/him)

Direct Services Coordinator
Anthony leads NJHRC’s mail-based naloxone program and is integral to the New Brunswick street outreach team. Anthony is a dreamer who loves expressing himself with words, music, and the action of organizing groups to serve his community. He tries his best to be down-to-earth, being thankful for the current present moment which he thinks is the greatest gift.
I believe in harm reduction because we stand for supporting people who use drugs. To show by actions that we care for others just as much as we care for ourselves, harm reduction practices help make our community a better place.
My favorite tools to help distribute on outreach is our wound care kit. It comes with a bunch of supplies including gauze, bandaids, ibuprofen and gloves just to name a few. In a situation where you need access to immediate supplies the wound care kit is the most helpful.
Something I like to do to relax is spending time with my close ones to appreciate life and love.
Caitlin O'Neill (they/them) Headshot (1)

Caitlin O'Neill (they/them)

Drug User Health & Liberation Strategist

Caitlin is a survivor, a healer, and a harm reductionist. They were introduced to Harm Reduction in the 00’s through utilizing a local syringe service program, and spent a dozen years or so informally serving as the harm reductionist of their social circle while working full-time as a massage therapist & bodyworker.

Caitlin believes it is the birthright of every human being to experience joy, dignity, and bodily autonomy. Co-founder of New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition, they work to build a world in which people who use drugs have access to resources for healing and self-determined care, regardless of background or choices.

I believe in harm reduction because I have seen and experienced firsthand the gruesome things that happen without it. No one deserves to suffer for what we put into our bodies and how we put it there. I have also seen and experienced firsthand the magic of someone simply reminding you that your life has value and that you are not dirty or bad, and that magic can make a huge impact on our spirit and sense of self-worth.
Safer use gear: new syringes, straws, or pipes. offering something to honor where that person is at this moment, and acknowledging that they deserve to not be harmed while using — no matter what they’re using — that’s huge. Trust and dignity begin with honoring a person for their whole existence, not just the parts that fit into some coercive model of “success.”
I enjoy spending my time off with my partner and my family—especially time hanging with our two cats or with my three nephews. To unwind, I’m a big fan of a long herbal bath and my drugs of choice.
Eddie Frierson (he/him) Headshot

Eddie Frierson (he/him)

Director of Statewide Harm Reduction Services
Eddie Frierson has a BA in Business Management. Although Eddie studied business, he could not escape the willing need to help those who are in need of basic social services. Instead of using his background for profit, he felt that it would be beneficial to take those same skills and immerse it in community health and education. Prior to joining NJHRC, Eddie was the Statewide Harm Reduction Manager for the Hyacinth Foundation and has been in social services for over 10 years. At Hyacinth,  Eddie  managed the Syringe Access Programs in Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton. He is an advocate for Harm Reduction and is a true believer in meeting individuals where they are, by any means necessary. Be a part of the help and not a part of the continued neglect!
I believe that every life is worth saving. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the risks with drug use. I help people do what they do — with dignity!
Education: spreading the knowledge needed to prevent overdoses in our community with tools like Narcan! The more you know, the better you can help people stay safe!    
I love to hang out with my best friend, the NJHRC team, and crochet!
Jenna Mellor

Jenna Mellor (she/her)

Executive Director

Jenna has over ten years of experience at the intersection of direct service and public policy. She previously served as the first Associate Director at Point Source Youth, aide to Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Outreach Manager at HIPS, and has advised the New Jersey Department of Health on harm reduction best practices.

Jenna holds a BA from Harvard College and completed her Master’s in Public Affairs at Princeton in 2020, focusing on drug and housing policies that promote public health and human dignity. Jenna is a co-founder of NJHRC, and previously served on the boards of New Leaders Council — New Jersey and the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund. Jenna is also a proud product of Atlantic County and lover of the Pine Barrens.

I love harm reduction because it works — it values deep relationships and longterm investment in people’s wellbeing. The power and change that comes when people are respected and treated as the experts in our own lives is truly remarkable. 

I have three: consistency, syringes, and policy change!

Consistency is so key to building trust. And while harm reduction is about much more than syringes, injection is also the most stigmatized form of drug use. If we embrace safer injection (“building from the margins” style), we’re probably moving toward more equitable drug policy for everyone.

Finally, on policy change: we always try to look at systems and structures and see if we can get at the underlying causes of harms that our team bears witness to during outreach.

Take baths, hang with my sweetheart and cat, watch the Eagles (I’m a big fan of Jalen Hurts!), and (if the weather is sunny!) go tubing with loved ones. Being near water, whether a bathtub or ocean or river, makes me happy.

Justin (he/him) Headshot

Justin (he/him)

Harm Reduction Supply Assistant
Justin makes supply kits that are distributed through the mailing program and on community outreach. He got connected with NJHRC through the mutual aid work he was doing in New Brunswick. Justin values all the connections he’s made in this work and being able to support the community by helping provide some much needed supplies. It is absolutely necessary that we nurture our own systems of support and help in any way we’re able to.
I believe in harm reduction because harm reduction is about creating a support system for people who use drugs specifically but for all people in general. 
The mailing program. There are many people that aren’t able to go get supplies from a harm reduction center, so mailing supplies out to them is a great and effective way to meet people where they’re at.
I love being with my friends. I love being out in nature. I love spending time with my cat too. Sometimes though I just need to meditate or lay down and do nothing to relax.
Lea Rumbolo (she/her) Headshot

Lea Rumbolo (she/her)

Interim Operations Manager
Coming soon!
Sheilah Powell (she/her) Headshot

Sheilah Powell (she/her)

Manager of Mail-Based Services & Community Distribution

Sheilah Powell is a woman in recovery from Substance Use Disorder, mental health challenges, and domestic violence. She entered recovery in 2015 and sustains her wellness through various pathways including Recovery Dharma, medication, Harm Reduction, and advocacy. A lifelong native of New Jersey, she believes that all individuals inherently deserve services that promote health and reduce risk, and she is dedicated to increasing access to evidence-based strategies to promote harm reduction within the system of care.

A tireless advocate, she serves on various grassroots committees throughout New Jersey and is the Board secretary of Ruby’s Vision, Inc. in Paterson. Sheilah is a mother of three children, and loves the beach, yoga, and her dog, Starla. She is an active volunteer for The Phoenix and Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement camp for children. 

Because everyone deserves to be treated with respect and compassion, and harm reduction increases public health. 
Take a hot bath and during the summer – going to the beach. 
Tina Martinez (she/her) Headshot

Tina Martinez (she/her)

Harm Reduction Supply Assistant

Tina is a Harm Reduction Supply Assistant at NJHRC, and she started on the team as a compassionate Community Ambassador with a big heart! Tina has always been a helpful member in her community.

Equipped with substantial interpersonal experience, Tina is a survivor and a vital member on our outreach team. Insightful and driven, Tina is a fighter who leads both staff and volunteers to make a difference in the lives of others. Most importantly, she believes that every life deserves saving no matter who it is.

I believe that every life is worth saving. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the risks with drug use. I help people do what they do — with dignity!
Education: spreading the knowledge needed to prevent overdoses in our community with tools like Narcan! The more you know, the better you can help people stay safe!    
I love to hang out with my best friend, the NJHRC team, and crochet!
Wanda Simmons (she/her) Headshot

Wanda Simmons (she/her)

Inventory Lead
Coming soon!
Milton (Keith) Pittman (he/him) Headshot

Milton "Keith" Pittman (he/him)

Community Ambassador

Milton K. Pittman aka Keith (he/him) entered recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in 2012 and is a person in long-term recovery. Keith was previously the Residential Supervisor for the Salvation Army residential living facility in Philadelphia where he oversaw over 120 program participants. From there, he went on to develop his facilitation skills by training participants to earn their Serv Safe certification, helping them excel in the workforce.

Keith began volunteering with NJHRC in 2023 and is now the newest Community Ambassador with New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition, where his duties include preparing overdose prevention and public health supplies and ensuring they get distributed throughout New Brunswick. When he isn’t saving lives, he enjoys cooking and his favorite cuisine to prepare is barbeque.

Community Ambassadors

Harm reduction ambassadors increase awareness about harm reduction, naloxone availability, and the impacts of the drug war in their communities.

Roxy Walker

Roxy Walker (she/her)

Community Ambassador
Roxy is a survivor — she wants people to know that she’s been out here for a while and she’s making it and surviving. She has faith that a better world is possible and enjoys doing her part with the outreach team.
I believe in harm reduction because it’s something good for the community and I’m using my understanding of the community to give back
Everything! Everything we do is awesome shit, excuse my language.
I take deep breaths and count to ten. It works. And the rest of the team has started doing it.

Board

Dr. Amesika Nyaku

Dr. Amesika Nyaku, MD, MS (she/her/hers)

Board Secretary
Assistant Professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases;
Co-Director of the Northern New Jersey Medication-Assisted Treatment Center of Excellence
Dr. Amesika Nyaku, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and work as a physician-scientist. Dr. Nyaku provides clinical care for people living with HIV or other infectious diseases and substance use disorders. Dr. Nyaku also serves as the co-director of the Northern New Jersey Medication-Assisted Treatment Center of Excellence that is tasked with assisting the state in expanding access to medications for opioid use disorder. Dr. Nyaku research focuses on evaluating long-acting therapeutics for HIV and opioid use disorder, the implementation of integrated care models for HIV and substance use disorders to improve health outcomes, and increasing the inclusion and participation of racial/ethnic minorities in clinical trials research.
Because the evidence is unequivocal; harm reduction saves lives.

An open mind and being ready to listen to people’s stories

I love music, gardening, and watching my pets do silly things!
Ami Kachalia

Ami Kachalia (she/her)

Board Chair
Campaign Strategist, ACLU-NJ

Ami Kachalia is a Campaign Strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, where she develops and leads policy advocacy campaigns with a focus on criminal legal reform, drug policy reform, and immigrants’ rights.

Leslie Harrison

Reverand Dr. Leslie Harrison

Board Treasurer
Pastor at Mt. Zion AME Church & Founder of Let It Flow Enterprises (LIFE)
Rev. Dr. Leslie Robin Harrison can be described as a listener, a friend, and a voice for the voiceless (until they find their voice). She is the pastor of Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church and earned a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University. She is passionate about helping people live into their dreams and purpose. She has served over 20 years as a chaplain and pastoral counselor specializing in addiction.

I believe in harm reduction because harm reduction saves lives. Also as a member of the human race and a faith leader it is my duty to help individuals live life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible.

My most effective outreach tool is my presence and my voice.

To relax I try to get myself, a thick blanket and salty snacks in the presence of some moving water (i.e. river, ocean, fountain) and when that is not possible I turn on some water soundscapes audio or video and eat some chips while resting with my eyes closed and breathing deeply while laying on a soft blanket.

Michael Enich

Michael Enich (he/him)

Board Secretary
Graduate Assistant, Center for Prevention Science
Michael Enich is a MD/PhD Student at Rutgers University interested in health, homelessness, housing, and harm reduction. His research focuses on the intersections of these issues, such as substance use disorder treatment, health disparities for people experiencing chronic homelessness, Street Medicine, and evaluation of health policy and health service delivery. As of writing this he thinks he’s going to be a family medicine doctor, but recognizes a lot can happen during a PhD before he applies to residency! He’s proudly from Chicago, IL and graduated with a BA in Religion from St. Olaf College in 2014.

Not to be too academic, but I believe in harm reduction because the evidence is there that it works! I also deeply value bodily autonomy and admire how firmly rooted in that value harm reductionists are.

I have a profound appreciation for the Squat and Listen, i.e., kneeling down when people sitting on the ground are talking to you– and then letting them speak!
I climb rocks (usually plastic ones indoors) and am currently (slowly) baking my way through the whole Tartine cookbook.

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Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.

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