Empowering couples to strengthen family bonds

Montefiore’s Supporting Healthy Relationships (SHR) is a FREE program designed to empower low-income couples to achieve family success, by improving their communication skills, learning how to reduce destructive conflict, and gaining financial stability. Funded by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), and led by a team of psychologists and mental health counselors, SHR provides families with a supportive, safe community where they can obtain the skills and resources to develop strong and committed relationships and overcome barriers to achieving financial health. Our SHR program helps to address these major life questions:

  • Do you want to strengthen your relationship and become closer as a family?
  • Do you and your partner need support navigating the struggles of parenthood?
  • Do you need to find a way to achieve financial stability for your family’s future?

This program is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $7.5M with 100% funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official view of, or an endorsement by, ACF/HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements. These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.

Zero-cost Program Eligibility

SHR is free of charge. You may be eligible to participate if:

  • You and your partner are 18 or older
  • You are in a committed relationship
  • You are expecting a child (biological, adopted, or fostered) or you have at least one child under 18 living at home (the child can be biologically related, adopted, or fostered)
  • You are low-income (e.g., receiving public benefits, unemployed, at or below 200% federal poverty line)

Montefiore’s Supporting Healthy Relationships Program is an LGBTQIA+ affirming program. We provide culturally-sensitive workshops and services for all couples, including sexual and gender minority couples. 

We are here to help! We want to get to know you and help support you in building a solid foundation for your family.

CONTACT US NOW!

Program Eligibility

Our Services

We provide our services in BOTH English and Spanish so families will find a supportive, safe community where they can obtain the skills and resources to develop strong, committed relationships, and overcome barriers to achieving financial health. *Due to COVID-19, ALL of our services are currently provided virtually. Once it is safe to do so, we will be providing both in-person and virtual services*

 

Relationship Workshops

Our workshops provide an opportunity to develop and practice relationship skills through discussion, teaching, and peer-to-peer learning with the help of clinically trained psychologists and mental health counselors.

Our workshops are like a DATE NIGHT! When in-person, we serve a catered meal (dinner is on us!), and it’s a great opportunity for couples to spend quality time together, away from their children, and focus on their relationship. Couples especially enjoy meeting and learning from other couples in the community in a relaxed environment. We assist with childcare reimbursement, and provide round-trip Metrocards to help with transportation.

Workshops are facilitated by 2 relationship coaches, and are delivered once a week for 10 weeks, in a group format to 4-15 couples. Daytime, evening, and weekend workshops available. Our curricula are based on 20+ years of research by relationship and parenting experts, such as psychologists John Gottman and Sue Johnson. When in-person, our workshops are usually delivered at our South Bronx headquarters, but we also provide our services at other locations throughout New York. Currently, due to the pandemic, we are delivering our workshops virtually via Zoom.

Date Nights, Booster Sessions, and Supplemental Activities 

Our core workshops are supplemented by additional workshops (on topics such as stress management, anger management, budgeting, and infidelity) and social events (such as game nights, karaoke nights, paint nights, and family holiday parties) that we host about once a month. We also provide support groups on a regular basis.

 

Our Services

 

Family Support Services

We work with you to find community resources and services to address any family stressors. We are partnered with many community-based organizations who assist our families in obtaining legal support, health care, food pantries, mental health services, and more.

Employment Services

Our employment team helps your family gain financial stability with the goal to achieve financial mobility. Through individual career counseling, weekly English and Spanish skills-building workshops, job search strategies, resume building, networking, and interviewing, we can help you take the next steps toward finding and maintaining employment. We can also help you obtain the training, certification, or degree that you need to further your career goals. In addition, clients who find new employment, or who receive a promotion, while enrolled in our program, will receive transportation assistance and financial incentives after 30, 60, and 90 days of maintaining their new job. 

Program Enrollment

Couples must participate in the intake process in order to enroll in the program. We also often host Open Houses where you can learn more about our program and hear testimonials from couples who have graduated from the program. Check back often to see when we are having our next Open House, or give us a call!

After getting in contact with us, the next steps in the intake process may include:

  • Phone Screen. You will complete a brief phone screen and then be scheduled for an intake at our South Bronx headquarters, one of our partner sites, or remotely via zoom.
  • Intake. The intake includes two 40-minute interviews with a relationship coach and a financial coach, and 40-minute survey completion. Both partners must be present at the intake interviews.
  • Workshop Enrollment. Provided that you complete the intake process and the program is a good fit for you and your partner, you will be enrolled in one of our upcoming workshop series.

Once enrolled in our program, you have access to our services for ONE YEAR. This includes:

  • Family Support Services and Employment Services
  • Supplemental Workshops and Social Events
  • Booster sessions. All enrolled couples are encouraged to meet with a relationship educator periodically to augment their workshop participation.
  • 6-Month Follow-Up. All enrolled couples will be invited back 6 months after their intake date for a booster session and to complete additional surveys, which enables couples to reflect on their progress in the program.
  • Incentives and Reimbursements. All enrolled couples receive childcare reimbursement and other financial incentives for completing surveys and program participation milestones, and transportation assistance and financial incentives for job placement.

**To receive any of the above additional services, you must attend one of the core relationship/parenting education workshop series.** 

Learn More About Our SHR Program

For interested couples 

We are here to help! We want to get to know you and help support you in building a solid foundation for your family. Please call and talk to one of our recruiters at 718-401-5050 or e-mail us at SHR-UBA@montefiore.org.

If you are interested in referring an eligible couple, call one of our recruiters and provide the couple’s contact information so we can reach out to them directly.

  • 18 years of age or older
  • In a committed relationship
  • Expecting a child (biological, adopted, or fostered) or have at least one child under 18 living at home (the child can be biologically related, adopted, or fostered)
  • You are low-income (e.g., receiving public benefits, unemployed, at or below 200% federal poverty line)

If you have a question about eligibility or the referral process, please call one of our recruiters at 718-401-5050 or email SHR-UBA@montefiore.org.

Montefiore’s Supporting Healthy Relationships Program is an LGBTQIA+ affirming program. We provide culturally-sensitive workshops and services for all couples, including sexual and gender minority couples. 

For potential community partners

  • Does your organization serve low-income families in the Bronx, or any marginalized community in New York City or the tri-state area?
  • Could your clients benefit from FREE services focused on strengthening families through relationship education?
  • Does your organization provide relationship and/or parenting support, but need assistance with or training in delivering a more structured curriculum?

We have partnered with many organizations in the Bronx, New York City, and elsewhere in the tri-state area to bring our services to more families in need. We have facilitated our workshops wherever there are families who fit our eligibility criteria, as long as the organization can assist with recruitment and provide a space to deliver the intervention. We can also tailor our curriculum and structure our workshop format to fit the unique needs of your clients. 

Please contact us via calling 718-401-5050 or e-mailing SHR-UBA@montefiore.org to find out more about partnering with SHR!

Our Team

Traci Maynigo
Traci Maynigo, Psy.D., Ed.M.
Program Director and Relationship Coach

Traci is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in couple and family therapy, multicultural psychology, and maternal mental health. She has been researching and writing about relationship education, parenting, and diverse couples and families, with a particular interest in intercultural couples, for the past decade. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University, master’s in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. She has specialized training in Gottman Method Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), and is also a Certified Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Educator, PREP 8.0 Instructor, and 24/7 Dad Facilitator. She also holds a faculty position at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Outside of SHR, Traci enjoys singing, dancing, writing, and kickboxing. She and her husband live in Queens with their 2 children and dog. To contact Dr. Maynigo, please email tmaynigo@montefiore.org.

Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., M.A.
Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., M.A.
Associate Program Director and Relationship Coach

Moshe is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in parenting, couples, family and group therapy, paternal mental health, and cross-cultural fatherhood. Over the past several years he has been conducting and presenting fatherhood and relationship education research and has been providing clinical services for couples and families from diverse backgrounds. Moshe received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology. He has specialized training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and Gottman Method Couple Therapy, and is also a Certified PREP 8.0 Instructor and 24/7 Dad Facilitator. Moshe holds faculty positions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Adelphi University. Outside of SHR, he enjoys playing piano, spending time outdoors, reading, painting, and spending time with his family. Moshe and his wife live in Queens with their 2 children. To contact Dr. Moeller, please email mmoeller@montefiore.org.

Mary Minges, Ph.D., L.M.T
Mary Minges, Ph.D., L.M.T
Clinical Coordinator and Relationship Coach

Mary is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in group and couples therapy (Emotionally Focused and Gottman Method Couples Therapy) as well as parenting and relationship education (PREP, 8.0, 24/7 Dad). She completed her graduate training at Adelphi University, Derner School of Psychology, with a focus in psychotherapy process and outcome research, which she continued during her postdoctoral fellowship at The Brief Psychotherapy Research Program at Mount Sinai, Beth Israel. Dr. Minges is passionate about her clinical work, taking a strengths-based stance, and helping clients to understand the purpose of their life strategies and how they can be problematic. Through this lens, clients are challenged to develop a deeper sense of self, in order to more authentically connect with their personal, family, and work life. She works with couples and families with a history of loss, trauma, or mental health issues, and emphasizes helping each individual within the family system to accomplish their personal and professional goals. Mary is a committed meditator who lives with her husband in New York, NY. To contact Dr. Minges, please email mminges@montefiore.org.

Lisbeth Parra, M.S, MHC-LP
Lisbeth Parra, M.S, MHC-LP
Relationship Coach

Lisbeth is a bilingual mental health counselor who provides compassionate, comprehensive, and genuine services to both English- and Spanish-speaking families. She has received extensive training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, has received certification in Gottman training levels 1 and 2, and Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) 8.0, as well as the National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad curriculum. Lisbeth received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and Human Relations from Pace University in 2017, as well as her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2019. Lisbeth completed her Mental Health Counseling internship at Supporting Healthy Relationships during her final training year, and was subsequently hired as a full-time staff member. Lisbeth enjoys reading novels and writing poems, as well as spending time with her family and dog, Layla. To contact Lisbeth, please email liparra@montefiore.org.

Christian Larios, B.A.
Christian Larios, B.A.
Relationship Coach

Christian received his bachelor's degree in Spanish and Fine Arts from The College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2009 and graduated from Hunter College-CUNY, with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Christian has been working within Montefiore’s Supporting Healthy Relationships program since 2014, where he has held multiple positions, including recruiter and employment specialist. Christian has advanced training in Gottman Method Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), and is a Certified PREP 8.0 Instructor and Certified 24/7 Dad Facilitator. As a bilingual clinician, Christian also facilitates Spanish workshops and believes in the program’s mission: to provide a supportive safe community for empowering families with the skills and resources to develop strongly committed families and stable relationships. Christian lives with his wife, son, 3 cats, and 2 dogs in Yonkers, NY. To contact Christian, please email clarios@montefiore.org.

Wadner Auguste, M.P.A.
Wadner Auguste, M.P.A.
Financial Coach

Wadner provides educational, financial, employment and career resources to clients seeking to become financially stable. Wadner is a native New Yorker, bilingual in Haitian-Creole with family ties to Haiti. He has worked in various sectors, including higher education administration, real estate, and most recently, workforce development. During his tenure in workforce development, he aided in placing a number of students and clients in healthcare positions. Wadner received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science as well his master's degree in Public Administration. He enjoys spending time with his family, as well as producing music. To contact Wadner, please email wauguste@montefiore.org

Nicole Rodriguez, B.A.
Financial Coach and Recruiter

Nicole is our bilingual Financial Coach and Recruiter. Nicole emphasizes the importance of overcoming potential barriers to employment and other case management issues that are potential stressors to a relationship. Nicole provides tailored support to couples seeking to improve financial literacy and/or are in need of career counseling. Nicole holds a B.A. in Psychology and is pursuing a master’s degree at Stony Brook University. Nicole is extremely family oriented and resides in the Bronx. To contact Nicole, please email nicrodri@montefiore.org

Jacqueline Parkinson, B.A.
Jacqueline Parkinson, B.A.
Community Engagement Specialist and Events Coordinator

Jacqueline is the Senior Recruiter and Events Coordinator at Supporting Healthy Relationships. She helps potential couples get oriented from start to finish, including pre-screening, onboarding, and educating clients about SHR’s services. She helps plan and coordinate supplemental workshops, social events, open houses and relationship retreats. Over the last three years, she has increased partnerships with numerous community-based organizations and schools to help families in the community. Jacqueline has worked at Montefiore since 2011, starting out in Pediatrics and then joining SHR in 2016. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Speech Language Pathology and is planning to pursue her master's degree in the near future. Jacqueline is an animal and plant lover and currently resides with her husband in NYC. To contact Jacqueline, please email jacqrodr@montefiore.org.

Diana Espinal
Diana Espinal
Community Engagement Specialist and Office Coordinator

Diana has provided administrative support to the Supporting Healthy Relationships team as an Office Coordinator for over ten years. She has recently transitioned into a new role as one of our Community Engagement Specialists and strives to help families feel welcomed and supported throughout their journey in our program. Diana orients our potential couples and community partners with information on program services and on-boarding requirements while also assisting with administrative operations. It was during her tenure with Supporting Healthy Relationships that she developed a deep passion for helping others and is currently pursuing her degree to become a Registered Nurse. Diana enjoys spending quality time with her husband and being the best mom to her two sons and puppy. To contact Diana, please email despinal@montefiore.org.

Jay Koli, M.S.
Jay Koli, M.S.
Data Analyst

Jay is a Software Engineer by profession, currently living in New Jersey. In his role as SHR’s Data Analyst, Jay uses his programming and analytical skills to manage large health care databases. He utilizes Python codes and SQL scripts to engineer and generate quality PHI (Protected Health Information), data reports, and program analyses. Aside from being an avid coder, Jay is also a passionate audio engineer. Ever since starting this hobby at the age of 10, he has engineered over 1000 shows for leading music and commercial industries. At SHR, Jay is known to liven up our social events and staff parties with his audio systems and music, which we love! He keeps abreast of current technology and data manipulation by continuously broadening his knowledge in the fields of music engineering, software and data engineering, and analytical thinking. Jay received his B.S in Computer Science from Mumbai, India, and his M.S. in Computer Science from Pace University, New York. To contact Jay, please email jkoli@montefiore.org.

Jessy Argueta
Jessy Argueta
CQI/Data Analyst

Jessy began her healthcare career at Montefiore Medical Group in 2007, and later worked as a Project Associate for Montefiore’s CMO Department. She joined SHR in 2021 and provides CQI analytical and data support. She received her bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Mercy College and is currently working on her master’s in Business Administration from Western Governors University. She lives in Westchester with her 2 children. To contact Jessy, please email jargueta@montefiore.org.

Erika Torres
Erika Torres
CQI/Data Analyst

Erika graduated from Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania and attended Lehman College in Bronx, NY, in their Early Childhood Developmental Program. She has been working with children and families for over 20 years. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her children, family, and friends. To contact Erika, please email eritorre@montefiore.org.

Ricky Camilo, M.S.
Ricky Camilo, M.S.
Data Analyst

Ricky graduated with a bachelor’s in Information Systems in 2018 and master’s in Science in 2019 from Pace University. A Systems Engineer by trade, Ricky is a born and raised Bronx native and is planning on returning to school to pursue his doctorate in Computer Science. An avid baseball and basketball fan, runner, and book reader, if he is not at the track or trail, he is reading a book, studying, or spending quality time with his family. To contact Ricky, please email ricamilo@montefiore.org .

Ashley Elson
Ashley Elson
Program Assistant

Ashley Elson provides clerical support to the Supporting Healthy Relationships Program. She developed an analytical and systemic way of thinking from her coursework in Economics, Communication Studies, and Business Law at Zicklin School at CUNY Baruch College. A recent college graduate, in the future, she’d like to go to law school, but in the meantime, she uses her spare time to build websites for small businesses and enjoys walks in nature with her friends.

Irvin Camarillo, B.A.
Irvin Camarillo, B.A.
Research Coordinator

Irvin provides research support and outreach coordination for the HERO Dads program and Supporting Healthy Relationships Program. Irvin received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from New York University. Prior to joining the team, Irvin coordinated several trauma-focused programs for families at New-York Presbyterian Hospital, working to improve access to early childhood mental health care and nutrition in Harlem and the Bronx. He is committed to improving health equity for community members and families in greatest need, with a particular interest in preventive work that centers healthy masculinity. Irvin was born and raised in the Bronx, he is an avid sports fan.

SHR In the News!
SHR Date Nights in Bronx Voice
SHR Date Nights in Bronx Voice
Community Health Magazine
Community Health Magazine
Women’s Health – Fall Date Ideas
Women’s Health – Fall Date Ideas
Women’s Health – Winter Date Ideas
Women’s Health – Winter Date Ideas
Finding Space For Love To Grow
Nourishing Relationships

Listen to our Program Director, Dr. Traci Maynigo speaking on SiriusXM's Catholic Channel on Just Love! Dr. Maynigo discusses the importance of nourishing your relationship, especially during these difficult times. Couples are finding it especially difficult to spend time together because they are doing everything in the same space. Working from home, remote-learning, and navigating external stressors together. Listen in to gain insight on how to strengthen your relationship!

 https://justlove.wpengine.com/.../a-conversation-on.../

#relationshipgoals #familyiseverything #covidandrelationships #psychology #siriusXM #catholicchannel