Our Organization

Our mission is building safe, healthy, caring communities and inspiring people to reach their full potential as productive and valued citizens.

The agency was formed in Middletown in 1972 by social advocates Kätchen Coley and Nancy Flanner, as a community response to the need for continued safe housing for people after exiting treatment programs. Even in 1972, our founders recognized that long term recovery requires on-going, multi-faceted support.

At The Connection, we understand the complexity of community problems such as homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and community justice rehabilitation. Our programs aim to solve these problems with care and compassion. We recognize we must help individuals and their families by developing a quality system of care that allows people to seamlessly access a full complement of clinical and community-based service options to meet their unique needs. With a trauma-informed, culturally competent, gender-responsive, and solution-focused approach, we use evidence-based practices to guide individuals and families through the personal changes necessary to re-establish stability in their lives.


Helping our neighbors in need with dignity, respect, and compassion for more than 40 years has made a difference in many lives, one person at a time. The long tenure of our community-based services has resulted in assisting thousands of people each year. Call our toll-free Helpline at (855) Help (955) — (855) 435-7955 during regular business hours. We look forward to helping you.

The Connection, Inc. Board of Directors
  • Karen Buckley Chair
  • Margaret Jordan Addo, Esq. Vice Chair
  • John Ivimey Treasurer
  • Christine Cappiello Secretary
  • Raymond Bovich
  • Bill Carbone
  • Beverley Henry
  • John LaRosa
  • Eileen O’Neil
The Connection Fund, Inc. Board of Directors
  • Stephen Angle, Ph.D. Chair
  • Robert Cohn, Esq. Vice Chair
  • Gary Wallace Treasurer
  • Elizabeth Bobrick Secretary
  • Lawrence Davis
  • Joann Zamparo

Our Executive Team

Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore Chief Executive Officer
Stephen K. Abshire, MPA, MBA Chief Financial Officer
Beth Connor, MBA Chief Business Development Officer
Kathleen Savino, PSY.D. Chief Operating Officer
Jessica Smith, LMFT Deputy Chief of Business Development
Raquel Lugo, MD Medical Director
Teresa Ferraro, LPC Senior Vice President of Programs
Rachel Doody, MS, LPC Vice President of Community Justice Services
Alison Friar, LMFT Vice President of Family Support Services
John Lawlor Vice President of Homeless Services
Susan Phillips, JD, Ph.D Vice President of Quality, Information, and Risk
Ritika Tripathi, MBA Vice President of Human Resources