& Partners

“I am what I am because of who we all are.”Leymah Gbowee, on the concept of Ubuntu

Our Team

Michael Stanton was ordained by the PC(USA) to the position of Executive Director of Open Hand Ministries, Inc. and co-founded the ministry in 2007 with a number of like-hearted individuals and organizations from the neighborhood. In 2006, He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He is happily married and living in Garfield with 4 beautiful children and too many pets.

Tammy T. Thompson, Owner/Operator of Thompson Real Estate Consulting, is a Certified Paralegal, who has been working in the real estate industry for over 15 years. Tammy discovered her passion for helping low-moderate income families become first time homeowners through her work in the non-profit sector of Pittsburgh. She developed and facilitated curriculum that focuses on the emotional impact that poverty has on families. At OHM, Tammy is the Family Care Coordinator/ Circles East Liberty facilitator and works with families to uncover how this emotional impact plagues the financial decisions we make. Using this knowledge, she assists families in creating action plans that will allow them to save, budget, and plan for their futures.


After graduating in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Albany, Jodi came to Pittsburgh as a fellow with Repair the World: Pittsburgh. During her two years as a fellow she explored social justice in the context of education and employment in Pittsburgh and beyond. After working with Circles East Liberty for a year, Jodi came on board with OHM. Here she works as the communications coordinator and the Coach for Circles East Liberty. When she’s not working, Jodi enjoys exploring the city she now calls home. And, of course, binge watching Netflix.

The first time Tim Raufer crawled through the window of a boarded-up house with Michael Stanton was just before Christmas, 2007. In the intervening years, Tim worked in construction, until eventually owning and operating a home inspection company, Volunteering and consulting on OHM projects, and serving from 2010 – 2012 on OHM’s Board of Directors kept him in touch with the organization. In 2016, Tim and his wife sold VBInspect to one of their employees, to pave the way for more creative and hands-on work in each of their lives. Tim lives in East Liberty with his wife and two sons, in a house that exists in a perpetual state of remodeling.


Our Board

Twenty years experience in non-profit economic development and business consulting; community volunteer and church Elder focusing on mission participation. “It is a privilege to be part of Open Hand Ministries’ response to the needs of our neighbors and communities.”
Lead pastor of the Open Door, a PCUSA missional church community in Pittsburgh’s East End. A graduate of Westminster College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, BJ has experience bringing spiritual guidance into organizations in transition such as the Union Project and Garfield Community Farm. BJ has been married for 23 years and has four children. He is a devotee to the monastic traditions in both his spiritual practices, reading and in brewing beer.
Real estate attorney at PNC Bank and a member of North Way Christian Community. Kristy is blessed to be a part of Open Hand Ministries, and looks forward to being involved in the important work that it is doing in Pittsburgh.
Director of Family & Community, East Liberty Development, Inc. Currently works with community partners to create programs connecting low-income families across socio-economic lines so that all families can enjoy the growth of Pittsburgh’s East End. He has spent much of his life working with youth; has degrees from University of Pittsburgh’s GSPIA program and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Electronics engineer. Twelve years of local, domestic, and international housing ministry experience; board member since January 2011; church Elder. “I am grateful for the opportunity to grow alongside Open Hand Ministries and to have a hand in the wonderful work of this ministry.”

Retired, Research Technician for Westinghouse for 31 years. Beulah Presbyterian Church member. “Open Hand Ministries gives me the opportunity to see God at work in Today’s World, and a way to say Thank You to God in a small measure for the abundant love He has shown Me.”

Liberty teaches English and is a freelance writer. She attends East Liberty Presbyterian Church. While seeking ways to be involved in the vibrant community of Pittsburgh’s East End, she has enjoyed using the occasional sledge hammer or table saw under Michael’s direction.
Fred has been a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church since he and Laurie were married there in 1988 and a resident of Highland Park since moving to Pittsburgh in 1974. Having seen firsthand the struggles of the poor and the inability of the establishment to win the war on poverty, he is excited to be part of a ministry that helps provide a path out of poverty one family at a time. Fred is a founding partner of Shorebridge Wealth Management, an investment firm located on Washington’s Landing.
Brandon is a trial attorney with Meyer, Unkovic and Scott LLP, and native of Western Pennsylvania. Growing up, Brandon spent many years in the construction industry and is grateful to contribute to Open Hand Ministries and to participate in its meaningful work. Brandon is a part of the OHM Board to give of his talents, experiences, and energy to encourage equity, stability, and fellowship in the community.
US Human Resources Compliance Coordinator for Alcoa Inc. Active with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc as an officer, fundraising and Strategic committee chairperson, and faithful volunteer. “As a new member of the Open Hand Ministries Board, I am very excited and blessed for the opportunity to be a bridge to the community alongside the board and staff.”

Those Who Have Partnered
With Us Along The Way