Melissa Peele, Founder, is a strong advocate for children and families. She has devoted the last eighteen years to this effort. She is a native of Aulander, North Carolina. She served in the United States Air Force, four years active duty and three years in the Air National Guard. She received her Bachelor's degree in Human Services Counseling in 1995 from Old Dominion University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Norfolk State University in 1998. Her passion for serving single mothers was ignited over twenty one years ago as she supported her sisters as single parents with the care of their children. She believes this is her life’s work and desires to see generations changed by rebuilding single mother’s lives through the power of Jesus Christ. Seeing Firm Foundation of Virginia become a reality is her God given dream come true.
Candice Nesbitt, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, received her early education in the city’s public school and she graduated from the Academy of St. Aloysius High School, an all-girls college-prep school. She attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and after one year, she decided to join the United States Navy in June 1987. Her experiences in the administrative field afforded her the opportunity to work for high ranking military and civilian officials. She has been stationed mainly on the east coast of the U.S and abroad to Italy and the Middle East. After 20 years of honorable service, she retired in March 2008. In 2002 Candice began a career in real estate as a realtor and real estate investor. She partnered with the Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Preservation to offer her homes to the Choice Housing Program. In the future, Candice anticipates opening a transitional home for homeless female veterans and their children.
Shirley A. Breedlove received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Temple University in 1979 and her Master of Social Work degree in 1981. She has over 30 years of experience, and has worked in various facets of helping the community throughout her profession. Shirley is looked to as an expert source in counseling and coaching employees who work with patients who struggle with substance abuse, mental illness or in need of individual or family therapy. During the early years of her profession, Shirley worked mental health facilities in Philadelphia, PA. She began as an AfterCare Director. organizing, administering, evaluating and monitoring all activities of the chronically mental ill clients. Her skills quickly advanced her to be the primary source for providing comprehensive case management and providing direct assistance to clients who needed resources and services for treatment and advocacy on their behalf.
Her passion for helping those in need led Shirley to open her own adult home in Newport News, Virginia called Lawson Haven of Hope. Shirley supervised the day to day operations, and provided personal and professional assistance to clients. From Philadelphia to Virginia Shirley has touched many lives through her expertise in the field of Social Work. We are grateful to have Shirley on our team, her professionalism and dedication to this line of work adds value to our mission.