Meet the OAA Team that is radically committed to hope and healing for our participants. We love what we do and who we do it for.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Christa has been with Open Aid Alliance since 2008 when she began as an HIV Prevention Coordinator. She became the Executive Director in 2010 and has been dedicated to the evolution and growth of the organization ever since. She is passionate about providing leadership to address challenging and complex human conditions and Open Aid Alliance is a part of her heart. When the concept of harm reduction was introduced to her she could feel it ignite every cell of her body and knew that there could be no other right way for her.
Christa is a work in progress and she is humbly reminded of that daily as she navigates life both professionally as a leader and personally as a mother. Messy and Wildly Fulfilling are adjectives she might use to describe her life.
Born and raised in Montana, Amanda has always had a passion for helping. After years in other helping positions, Amanda found her home and calling in harm reduction at Open Aid Alliance. Amanda is particularly passionate about supporting participants to become self-advocates and experts in their own lives. She fiercely believes in the right to self-determination. To her, harm reduction means love and empowerment. She plans to continue to fight for the rights of people facing stigma and to amplify their voices and stories whenever possible.
Amanda also loves spending time with her loved ones and her furbabies, reading, cooking and getting outdoors.
Uncovery Clinical Director, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Sarah started working at Open Aid Alliance while completing her internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Working with so many people that had been rejected from care, it was evident that Open Aid Alliance needed increased capacity to nurture and care for those experiencing shame, rejection, addiction, trauma, isolation, and hopelessness. Uncovery Treatment Center was born.
Sarah is passionate about creating atmospheres of inclusion and belonging, so everyone can receive the care they need and deserve, no matter what. Trained in Addictions Counseling and Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Sarah can help clients work towards reducing harm in their lives and towards creating the changes that stir inside their souls. Trained in working with Altered States of Consciousness, Sarah is skilled at working towards integrating substance-related and mystical states to regain balance in one’s life.
Trained as a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Sarah loves teaching the skills of awareness and listening to tap into deep inner wisdom and freedom. Sarah is a Somatic Experiencing (SE) Practitioner and is skilled at guiding clients towards healing through nervous system regulation. SE is a modality to heal all forms of trauma.
Sarah has long led groups for personal and social transformation as well as taught at retreat settings for both youth and adults.
On her off time, she can be found on a mountain top, howling at the moon.
Clinical Therapist, Uncovery
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Tomi has lived in the awe-inspiring state of Montana since 2012 and has worked for the amazing Open Aid Alliance Team since 2019. Having lived experience with both IV drug use and homelessness, Tomi is passionate about harm reduction and the human potential for positive change and healing through connection and dignity. She studied Human and Family Development and has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health in support of this purpose.
Harm Reduction Therapy is a commonsense and humane approach to healing. A client does not need to be abstinent or even be seeking abstinence in order to receive counseling services. Instead, this risk reduction counseling honors and supports your right to choose what works best for you in your life. It's an honor to get to walk through the darkness and the light together.
When Tomi is not with all the cool folks at OAA, she's in the backcountry of the mountains, at a concert, or in a hammock or hot spring with the loving humans (and animals) in her life, and a good book.
Kristen grew up in a small town in Montana, and after spending 12 years in Atlanta she moved back to this beautiful state that has always been home to her.
With a Masters Degree in Community Counseling, Kristen’s passion lies in helping individuals realize their own unique potential. Kristen believes that through the Housing First philosophy she can successfully support participants in becoming the best versions of themselves.
During her downtime, Kristen loves to get creative in the kitchen, and enjoys sharing a great meal with family and friends. She has fun by staying active, whether that be meeting friends for a gym class, running a race, or hitting the slopes with her family.
A Montana lifer, Chantz is ecstatic to be returning to his homebase after 4 years away exploring Denver and Portland. He’s extremely thankful to be starting a position with OAA that will allow him to continue giving back to the great state that raised him and impressed upon him the importance of community and togetherness. Outside of work Chantz enjoys all forms of travel, live music and theatre, bowling, and winning all the board games.
Rebecca is a neurodivergent harm reduction geek with a passion for coordinating creative projects and connecting people. She believes every individual has the right to feel worthy of self-respect. It is an honor for Rebecca to be a part of Open Aid Alliance and to gratefully serve the people of Missoula and Lake Counties. She is an amateur horticulturist/meteorologist/food scientist and would love to see cute pictures of your dog(s).
Harm Reduction Program Specialist
IT Specialist, Intake Coordinator
Pronouns: He, Him, His
As a dad, punk rocker, and bicycle enthusiast. I appreciate the services, compassion, and understanding Open Aid Alliance provides people like me.
In IT for over 25 years, my work has mainly focused on the unique needs of small businesses and nonprofit organizations. I've helped my clients with basic computer service and desktop support to complete network and infrastructure management.
I have been involved with Open Aid Alliance for about 6 years in different capacities. As an IV drug user, I was a client of the syringe exchange program. As a volunteer, I assisted with various IT and program related matters. I am now employed full-time with OAA as their IT Specialist. At 49 years of age, I have found my passion. Supporting OAA so they can support their participants brings me joy and satisfaction each day.
We made a quick little time-lapse of everyone preparing the meal from our 2019 World AIDS Day Dinner. It was hectic due to a tight timeline, but everything fell into place like we planned and everyone had a good time. The food was excellent and it was a great staff experience. We have a great group here at OAA (if I do say so myself… and I do) and it was fun to do something different together.