Carisa Hatfield, Esq.
Carisa joined the team at the Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center as a staff attorney in March of 2022. Prior to her work at ROAR, Carisa was a housing staff attorney at the Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland starting in July of 2019. At HPRP, Carisa worked in both landlord-tenant litigation and both state and local legislative advocacy for tenants' rights. Previously, Carisa worked at the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) in Rockville, Maryland. There, she provided representation to survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in both civil protection orders and crime victims’ rights work. She was also a Venable Fellow with the House of Ruth Maryland from 2016-2017. Carisa graduated magna cum laude with her J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law in 2016.
Ella Histand, RN-BSN
Ella provides medical care management services to the ROAR Center’s clients, helping them to manage their medical care and engage with health care resources. After interning for Save the Children, Ella decided she wanted to work directly with individuals to improve their health and earned her nursing degree at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. As a nurse, she has worked for various community health organizations that serve vulnerable populations, including Chase Brexton Health Care, Absolute Care, and Project PLASE.
Monifa Jeffrey-Riggins, LCSW-C
Monifa has dedicated her career to working with individuals who were born into or found themselves in vulnerable circumstances. As such, Monifa has provided therapy to youth and adults in schools and community-based settings and held leadership positions in community-based agencies that served children and youth in foster care, and youth and young adults who were unstably housed and homeless. With a strong belief in supporting individuals who have become vulnerable, Monifa has dedicated her career to providing accessible, strengths-based and culturally-relevant mental health and supportive services in communities that need it. Monifa feels fortunate to have been given the opportunities to work with the incredibly resilient group of youth and adults she has served throughout the years. She is excited about working at ROAR and considers it an honor to support our clients at ROAR. Monifa is a graduate of Morgan State University (B.S.) and Howard University (MSW).
Jerome Linkins, ESQ
Lydia C. Watts, Esq.
Lydia has spent the past 30 years working with survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence. While in her third year of law school, Lydia — along with three fellow clinical students — founded Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), where she served as Executive Director from 1995-2005. WEAVE was a multi-disciplinary agency that provided teen and adult victims of domestic violence in Washington, D.C., including an innovative range of services including legal, counseling, clinical case management, economic literacy and empowerment, outreach and education. Lydia is also the founding board chair of the Network for Victim Recovery (NVRDC) in D.C., which serves survivors of all types of crime with a strong emphasis on serving survivors of rape and sexual assault. Lydia served on the board of NVRDC from March 2012 to August 2015. Other leadership positions she has held include: CEO of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN); Deputy Director of the DC Access to Justice Commission; Director of Quality and Program Enhancement of the Civil Programs of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA); Executive Director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and the Victim Rights Law Center, both based in Boston. Lydia earned her J.D. summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, and her BA in English from Boston University.