Meet the CaringWorks Team

Professionals with a passion

CaringWorks’ staff is composed of highly qualified professionals with a heart that’s truly invested in this demanding work. Our people are both well qualified and deeply passionate about what they do, because we have seen that caring really does work. A large percentage of our team members have life experience in addition to their professional training and certifications.


Carol Collard, PhD, LMSW

President and Chief Executive Officer

With a background in marketing and residential real estate, Carol Collard became a passionate participant in the fight to reduce homelessness while working for Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. In 1998, Carol returned to school to study social work and ultimately earned a PhD in the field. Dr. Collard has worked for more than 20 years in supportive housing and in grappling with the complex issues that can result in homelessness. Her combined expertise has given her the ability to operate a nonprofit agency with a caring heart and a mind for business. At CaringWorks, which she co-founded, she oversees a team of more than 90 people who operate supportive housing programs and services across Metro Atlanta. Carol earned an undergraduate degree in Communications from Loyola University in New Orleans, and both a master’s degree and PhD in social work from the University of Georgia. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and she has also served as an associate professor of Social Work at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Carol works daily to ensure that those in CaringWorks' programs are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.


Ashlee Starr

Chief Operating Officer

Ashlee is charged with directing daily operations as well as steering the strategic direction of all CaringWorks programs to ensure clients receive the full spectrum of programs available to assist them in exiting homelessness. Ashlee has a proven record of delivering results for over 15 years across nonprofit management, program design and implementation, and partnership building. Specifically, she has deep experience in developing and managing programs to end homelessness in the metro-Atlanta area. As a leader, Ashlee has a history of building a work culture where team members feel supported and empowered to live out the organization’s mission every day. Ashlee received a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Huntington University.


Sophia Franklin, LCSW

Clinical Director - Behavioral Health

Sophia has extensive experience developing and implementing programs for individuals with SMI, SED, and COD, with a particular specialty in working with low-income and/or homeless adults. As Clinical Director of CaringWorks, her responsibilities include hiring, training and management of staff and contractors, policy and procedure development, adherence to regulations, fidelity to evidence-based practices, grant compliance, documentation and reporting, strategic partnership development, and outcome measurement. Prior to joining CaringWorks, she developed strong management skills by working for a CMO for three years, with primary responsibility for supervision, adherence to regulations, and budget management. Sophia gained her experience working with the target population working at Mercy Care and Grady Healthcare System. She was the Behavioral Health Manager at Mercy Care, a community-based health clinic. She supervised 12 staff members, including six LCSWs, two substance abuse counselors, two LPCs, one LMSW, and one CARES Specialist. She was responsible for hiring, training, payroll, grant management, and direct provision of both individual and group therapy. At Grady, Sophia led the Assertive Community Treatment Team and worked directly with consumers, providing outreach, engagement, assessment, treatment, and case management. Sophia holds a master’s degree in social work from University of Southern Mississippi. She has over 10 years of experience in direct care and program management.


Stephanie Burkes

Director of Residential Service

Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of clinical social work experience. She graduated from Marshall University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2009, she graduated from Barry University with a master’s degree in Social Work. Stephanie has spent 15 years as a social worker in various settings, including outpatient behavioral health; inpatient psychiatric care; hospital-based medical social work; policy and administration; medical home health; psychiatric home health; and hospice/end-of-life care. In her efforts to become a more well-rounded and efficient advocate, Stephanie entered law school in 2014, graduating with a focus in family law, healthcare law, and criminal law. Following graduation, she began a dual career in law and social work, applying legal skills and knowledge to the practice of social work.



Dornisha Freeman

Program Manager

Sharolyn Griffin

Program Manager

Kasheena Griner

Associate Clinical Director

Ailene Gordon

Program Manager

Kevin Henderson

Program Manager

Dominic Johnson

Hope House Program Director

Stephanie Johnson

Program Manager

Marshall Marrotte

Program Manager
Mary Catherine-CW headshot

Mary Catherine Pelham

Associate Director of Residential Services

Karma Russell

Program Director

Michael Weatherspoon

Program Director

April Woods

Operations Manager



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Vice Chair

Turco McCarthy Design and Architecture, LLC


Aisha Tucker-Brown PhD, MSW


Center for Disease Control
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Board Member

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Michael Coughlin

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The Fair Housing Institute


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City of Atlanta Public
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