Staff

Martha Stein

Executive Director

Martha served on the Board of Hope Acts for 18 months prior to taking over leadership of the organization in January 2018.   Previously, she served as Director of Communications for Maine Equal Justice Partners, Development Director for Tedford Housing, and Development Director for the Maine Council of Churches. Prior to working for non-profits, Martha held various management positions at AT&T and Prudential. She received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Connecticut and MBA from the University of Chicago. Martha is a Master Gardener and a cellist in the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. She lives in Brunswick with her husband Mitchell.

Julie Harrison

Program Manager

Julie moved to Portland in 1991 and, after receiving her MSW in Organizational and Community Practice, began her career working in non-profit program development and management.  She has worked to affect positive change at both the individual and community level within populations experiencing food insecurity, homelessness, trauma, and physical disabilities.  Julie has served on the Board of Youth and Family Outreach, the Allen Avenue UU Board, and is active in social justice advocacy locally and in connection with the UUA national organization.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Music and Recording Engineering at Hunter College in NYC and her MSW at the University of New England.  Julie lives in Scarborough with her husband Jeff, and when not working, she enjoys gardening, playing her fiddle, and staying active in the outdoors.

Francois Mayesi

Program and Housing Assistant

Francois was a volunteer interpreter at Hope House in the Asylum Seekers Assistance Program before joining our staff in June of 2022. He is a Pastor by profession, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Master’s degree in theology from the Catholic University of Congo. He is employed at Maine Medical Center as a per diem chaplain, in addition to his position at Hope Acts. Francois speaks French, English, Lingala, and Kikongo, and understands Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. He loves travelling and is known around the Hope House office for making staff, clients, and volunteers feel comfortable.

Sarah Gauvin

English Language Program and Communications Manager

Originally from Downeast Maine, Sarah moved to Portland after receiving her TESOL Certification from the University of Maine. She is a co-founding member of Hope House English Language Program (HHELP), and continues to teach English as a volunteer. Previously, she worked for an international non-profit in communications, administration, and project management roles where she was able to visit programs in both El Salvador and Nicaragua after adopting a passion for cross-cultural exchange during her undergrad semester abroad in Uganda. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing, and is inspired by humanity, words, and art.

Rod Mahoua

Housing Coordinator

Rod is originally from the Republic of Congo. He volunteered at Hope House in 2018 and joined Hope House in March 2021. He speaks English, French and Lingala. Rod has a Diploma in International trade and transport, and experience in the logistics and relocation industry. He also gained experience working for International Institutions back in South Africa and the Republic of Congo. He enjoys learning about social entrepreneurship and new technologies.

Megan Jones

Case Worker

Megan Jones joined the Hope Acts team as a case worker in the fall of 2022. She works closely with asylum seekers as they adjust to life in Maine. She is passionate about empowering clients and advocating on their behalf. Megan worked for 20 years as a fine art and commercial photographer before pursuing a career in social work. In her spare time, Megan is often outside playing, no matter the weather.

Serge Asumani

Program Assistant

Originally from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Serge speaks Lingala, French, Swahili and English. Forced to flee DRC in 2016, he used his life savings to seek asylum in the United States. Serge moved to Portland where he volunteered while learning English and waiting to receive work authorization. In 2017 he relocated to California, where he worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a Work Readiness and Financial Literacy Coordinator, and also enjoyed working as an actor. Now back in Maine, Serge focuses on helping immigrants with their asylum paperwork and processes. He wants to work hard to contribute to the economy, serve the community and "pay forward" the kind of support that America has provided him. Serge hopes someday to return to the DRC and open a soup kitchen for disadvantaged children and families.

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