About Our Team

Back to Who We Are

J. RueMel Parkin

Executive Director
ChairBoard of Directors
Founded helpNYC in October 2018

Professional Affiliations

New York Crystal Meth Anonymous Intergroup, Board MemberNew York Peer Specialist Board, MemberNational Youth Advocacy Coalition, Former CouncilorMental Health America, Advisory MemberNYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Peer and CHW Workforce Consortium

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Rue has served on the boards and councils of charities and advocacy organizations such as the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, National Youth Pride Network, Outright of Maine, Southern Maine Pride, Folsom Street East, Capital Area AIDS Network, and New York Crystal Meth Anonymous. They have also served on advisory committees and was a community advisor for the City of New York: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They are a credentialed New York State Peer Specialist with experience in crisis intervention, peer bridging, overdose intervention, and peer counseling.  Rue holds an NYSPS-P with extensive training in Intentional Peer Support. Before their mental health and community organizing in New York City, Rue spent over twenty years as a union stage manager working for companies such as the Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Green Alliance, Walt Disney Entertainment, Busch Gardens, and Seaworld Adventure Parks. They also toured with several theatrical, dance, and musical artists on major tours. Rue grew up in Maine and now calls New York City home. 

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Richard Perkins

Secretary, Board of Directors
Joined helpNYC in April 2022

Professional Affiliations

Housing Works, Inc.Aldelphi UniversityEmpire State CollegeFashion Institue of Technology

Biography coming soon.

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Reverend Cassandra Perry

Board of Directors Governance CommitteeChairperson
Joined helpNYC in August 2020.

Professional Affiliations

Duke UniversityNew York Theological SeminaryGarvin School of International Management163rd Street Improvement Council, Executive DirectorNeighborhood Preservation Coalition, Board MemberWilliams Institutional CME Church, Associate Pastor

The Reverend Cassandra G. Perry is the Executive Director of the 163rd Street Improvement Council. She also serves as Associate Pastor of the Williams Institutional CME Church, and is an Adjunct Professor at New York Theological Seminary.   After studying in Spain and at the University of Oxford in England, she graduated from Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar. She earned an MBA in International Marketing from the Garvin School of International Management in Glendale, AZ; then worked in the private sector for companies such as Honeywell, Pfizer, and Goldman-Sachs. Continue Reading

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Stacey Rose-Blass

Food Assistance Collective of New YorkExecutive AssistantVolunteer
Joined helpNYC in December 2021

Professional Affiliations

U.S. Department of StateAmerican Federation of Government EmployeesCongregation Romemu, NYC

Having been involved in social justice work since a teen in high school, Stacey comes to helpNYC with a keen desire to affect positive change in all her interactions. She spent the majority of her adult life in the Washington, D.C. area, professionally at the (former) U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State primarily in international exchange programs.  She also served as Union President of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1812 from 1993-1996, a critical time of “the reinvention of government” under the Clinton/Gore Administration.  More recently Stacey was a founding member of the renewed Social Action Steering Committee at Congregation Romemu, NYC.

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