Meet the Staff

Please welcome Karen J. Montejo to the VRS Family!

Karen joins us as our new Housing Coordinator and will be in charge of the Rapid Rehousing Program.  As such, she will be our one-person Housing Department initially.

She brings extensive experience as a Housing Specialist/Navigator for both the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. Her passion is helping others and housing our families who are currently experiencing homelessness.

She holds an Associates Degree in Business from Chaffey College and is a licensed CA Real Estate Agent. In 2022 she closed more than $5 million in sales!

“I am fortunate to be able to do what I love! I love to be the person to house our families from renting their first apartment to one day owning their forever home,“ she stated.

Perry Brents, Grant Administrator. A Professionally driven executive, with 36 years of leading expertise in grant writing and management for Federal, State, Municipal, and Community Service programming and projects; including managing grants in Park Planning, Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG), Homeless Emergency Services, Youth Diversion, Violence Prevention, and Work Force Development. Facilitating collaborative teams to establish, manage, and provide resources. Proven communication and networking skills, building fruitful public and private partnerships with Community Based Organizations, Business Leaders, City Council members, and appointed municipal Committees, Commissions, and Boards. Delivery of growth by providing for the management of diverse resources, customer service, community programming, park/facility development, maintenance, and marketing of services in the public sector. Perry holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and is a Certified Grants Manager/Administrator.

Crystal was born and raised in the City of Hemet and is very familiar with the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley. She brings a strong background in customer service as well as a caregiver and therefore has extensive knowledge on how to deal with people from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. She understands what the community needs are in terms of helping our homeless get back on their feet and working on obtaining leads for affordable housing and wrap-around services.

Monique Gonzales joins Valley Restart Shelter as the new bookkeeper. She brings 10 years of experience as a bookkeeper in multiple industries, currently in the legal profession. She holds an associate degree in Business and Technology from Golden West College and will graduate with her bachelor’s in Nonprofit Management in the Fall of 2022 from Colorado Christian University. She has a desire to be of service in the community, is the mother of three adult daughters, and enjoys traveling and caring for her deaf Dalmatian Zuka.

Nadia has a background that includes working with at-risk youth and foster children. She’s been a part of interdisciplinary teams including therapists, social workers, probation officers, law enforcement, and others. She has a strong understanding of case management and community engagement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cal State San Bernardino.

Rhachene Matthews is the new Navigator. She joined VRS on August 16th. She brings extensive experience as a care provider, homeless shelter monitor, and youth counselor. She is a mother of four as well as a grandmother. She has lived in Los Angeles/ Santa Monica, and in the High Desert where she served the community for over 20 years providing services and assistance to at-risk youth, disabled adults, and the mentally challenged. “I believe that… as long as you have faith in God you can conquer anything,” she says. VRS is pleased to have her assisting the homeless in navigating the system for rapid rehousing and much-needed community wrap-around services.

Emil is the new Night Security/Operations member. He joined VRS on April 17th. He is the co-founder of Conduit CDC and a special advisory to the Board for strategic planning, logistics, and community outreach. Emil’s work experience is in transportation, planning, community security, driving, and community services including ministry in meal programs, homeless outreach, community development, and youth development. Emil enjoys working with and encouraging youth affected by gangs and gang violence. Emil is a devoted father, husband, and ordained Deacon at Bread of Life Church. He is committed to his community of Hemet and San Jacinto where he resides. His goal and desire are to change the trajectory of our community due to poverty, injustice, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma. He is committed to eradicating systemic racism, poverty, and lack of education and resources that impact the lives of so many under-served people. VRS is proud to have him on board!