Office of Community Health and Safety Expands Team to Enhance Efforts on Social Work, Community Engagement and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion

Pittsburgh, PA (October 7, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh’s new Office of Community Health and Safety (OCH&S) has expanded their team to help provide the Continuum of Support Program to address longstanding health, safety and justice issues in our communities. The four newly hired staff will focus on community engagement, diversion, co-response and post-engagement care.

Photo: Ilan Berkman

Alexandra Abboud, MSW, LSW, joins the OCH&S team as the Social Work Manager. Abboud previously served as the Victim Assistance Coordinator in the City’s Department of Public Safety, where she provided trauma-informed care, advocacy and resources for victims of crime. Her expertise includes crisis intervention, harm reduction practices, survivor supports and youth engagement. In her prior role, she assisted OCH&S in developing the Continuum of Support Program. As Social Work Manager, she will supervise social work staff who will support individuals with needs outside of the traditional public safety response, work with survivors of crime and assist in the development of public safety/social worker co-response programs.  

Eric Williams, MURP, serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator for OCH&S following two years as a Community Liaison for the City’s Office of Community Affairs, where he presented citywide services and events to community organizations. Prior to joining the City, Williams was a Community Development Consultant for Peace Corps in Albania, where he established a food bank to address food insecurity for one thousand residents. Williams will bring his community engagement expertise to work closely with community members, groups and faith-based organizations in Pittsburgh to ensure that community members are partners in the development of OCH&S programs and services.  

Camila Alarcon-Chelecki, MSPPM, comes to OCH&S as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Project Coordinator. Alarcon-Chelecki has worked as a political consultant and project design manager. She also served as Director of Development for Guatemala Visible, working with youth throughout South America to support thriving communities and prevent cartel-related violence through educational and economic opportunities. As LEAD Project Coordinator, Alarcon-Chelecki will design, implement and manage LEAD throughout the City of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT), community-based providers, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County leadership and community members.  

Photo: Ilan Berkman

Malaysia Smith is the LEAD Community Engagement Coordinator. Smith comes to OCH&S from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, where she was a portability specialist providing case management, client interaction and advocacy for residents. Smith previously worked as a communications coordinator for all projects at Just Harvest, where she established and hosted educational programs, stakeholder and public meetings and developed community outreach plans. As the LEAD Community Engagement Coordinator, Smith will work closely with CONNECT, residents, officers and community organizations to integrate feedback into program planning and will promote partnerships between the community and OCH&S.  

The four new staff members join the existing team which includes OCH&S Manager Laura Drogowski; Continuum of Support Program Manager Dr. Sheila Roth, PhD, MSW, LCSW, EMT; Overdose Prevention Coordinator Joshua Schneider, EMT; Operations Administrator Brennan Coleman; and master-level social work interns and Coro Pittsburgh fellows. More information about the OCH&S team is available here.  

The Office of Community Health & Safety is continuing to expand its workforce to better address the gaps in public safety, translational public health and mental and behavioral health services across the City of Pittsburgh. See new opportunities, like Community Social Worker openings, here


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Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office