Safe Harbor is very fortunate to be able to work with highly motivated students from multiple colleges and universities around and outside of Richmond. All of our interns complete the six-week volunteer training before they’re put to work in the shelter house and the community counseling office, and we’re so grateful for the hours of hard work they provide! Our interns not only lighten our staff members’ caseloads by working directly with clients, they bring fresh energy and enthusiasm into the office every day. Our staff is very appreciative of their assistance, and we’re also happy to share our knowledge and experience with these bright students to prepare them take on the world!

Meet our Fall 2015 interns below: 

The House Team

Intern Pic

Khadijah (left) and McKayla (right)

Khadijah Eldridge is a student of social work at John Tyler Community College who is lending a hand at the shelter house. In her words:

“I am keeping up with the house job board and updating job opportunities and employment. I also provide a house newsletter with upcoming events inside the house and in the community with house memos and reminders. The letter also includes fun activities both inexpensive and free, that will boost the morale of our residents. I have recently completed (and thoroughly enjoyed) volunteer training. I am now looking forward to individual case management and putting my skills to use in the house.”

Marjorie “McKayla” Burnett is a senior in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. While studying to be a social worker, she also takes courses in psychology and women’s studies. McKayla began interning at Safe Harbor’s emergency shelter in early September. Her first project was recreating the house guest handbook. She has also been aiding supervisor Cheryl Hunt with other administrative and housekeeping tasks. Now that McKayla has completed training, she will begin working more directly with clients by assisting with case management. She is currently working with intern Khadijah Eldridge to plan an event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Because McKayla is interested in working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the future, she is very excited to gain experience with this client population during her time with Safe Harbor. Outside of her academic life McKayla is a Resident Assistant at VCU and is involved in other campus organizations. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors and trying out new restaurants in Richmond with friends from school.

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Kimberly Dailey

Kimberly Dailey is a student at the University of Phoenix studying Human Services with a concentration in Child and Family Services. She also has an Associate Degree in Psychology, and her goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

“My duties at the emergency shelter are case management, goal setting, maintaining records and financial empowerment sessions on a weekly basis. I teach the shelter and transitional clients skills to manage their money when they live independently. We cover rebuilding credit, paying bills, and maintaining a budget. This training will help them be successful as they follow the goal they have created.  I am excited to be here and assisting the clients as they embark on a new life journey.”

The Counseling Team

Victoria Tillman
Victoria Tillman

Victoria Tillman is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a certificate in Gender Violence Intervention. Her responsibilities at Safe Harbor are wide-ranging, and she gets to help with a little bit of everything around the community office:

“I answer the referral line, do the shelter hotline, RHART, administrative work, group therapy, case management, and I will soon begin participating in court advocacy.”



Mary Margaret Petersen

Mary Margaret Petersen attends Prescott College and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Equine Assisted Mental Health.

“I am currently helping counselors with two [support] groups, seeing my own three clients, attending to the referral line, and helping with anything that needs doing around the office. I have also started being on call with the Regional Hotline and I will start RHART work this month.”



Cora Matthews

Cora Matthews attends VCU’s School of Social Work and is pursuing a Master’s degree in social work on a licensure tract, as well as a certificate in Gender Violence Intervention. She’s due to graduate in May 2016, and currently she’s busy attending classes, completing her internship and enjoying her new baby. She will be providing counseling for both adults and children impacted by sexual and/or domestic violence, and she’s already working with one client so far. Cora said she chose to intern at Safe harbor because of the friendly environment and various types of interventions the counseling staff uses with clients.