Safe Harbor Announces Interim Co-Directors

Safe Harbor Voice  |  June 21, 2022
Safe Harbor Announces Interim Co-Directors

Our Board of Directors and staff are excited to announce interim leadership: Kristie Cohens and Samantha Tucker will serve as Safe Harbor's Interim Co-Executive Directors as we continue to fulfill our mission and vision and prepare to search for long-term executive leadership.

Both Kristie and Samantha have been working at Safe Harbor for many years and will continue to serve in their current positions while also fulfilling their roles as Interim Co-Directors.


Meet Kristie Cohens

Interim Co-Executive Director & Director of Community Counseling & Advocacy Services

Kristie has been with Safe Harbor for six years. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Webster University. Kristie brings over 25 years of experience working with various intersections of domestic violence. Her experience ranges from working with traumatized youth within the juvenile justice system, counseling adults struggling with substance abuse and learning to navigate mental illness, and working in geriatrics.

In addition, Kristie has years of managerial experience and executive leadership. She served as Program Director at Summit House, Inc. in Raleigh, NC, where she had oversight of a drug treatment home for women and their children. She served as Assistant Director at Pendleton Place, a 44-bed shelter for children from infancy to 21 years who were victims of child abuse and neglect. She also served in a Co-Interim Executive Director capacity while at Pendleton Place. Kristie further managed a team through the implementation and coordination of SAFY’s Strengthening Families Program.

Kristie is an Ordained Elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church where she leads a small congregation as Pastor of Mt. Zion Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Kristie loves her family. She is the single mother of two young men, Jarrett and Micah.

Kristie ascribes to this guiding principle for her life and career: “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.”


Meet Samantha Tucker

Interim Co-Executive Director & Grants Director

Samantha has an 18-year tenure at Safe Harbor, including 14 years in the fundraising capacity. She holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in English (Creative Writing) and German from Lenoir-Rhyne University; and a Master of Arts Degree in Professional Communications from Clemson University.

As the Grants Director, Samantha brings knowledge of Safe Harbor’s “inner workings,” including comprehensive understanding of organizational funding, structuring, outcomes measurement, and capacity-building strategy. She has extensive experience communicating the mission, vision, services, stories, and successes of Safe Harbor to stakeholders.

In addition to her work at Safe Harbor, Samantha serves as a peer grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) in the area of Housing Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking. Applying her skillsets to empower others, strengthen our communities, promote equity, and enrich lives has become Samantha’s lifework.

Samantha shares life with her husband Wes and their kiddos Max, Ollie, and Maris. In her spare time, you’ll likely find her at youth sports/arts events, running the SRT, in a live music venue, growing veggies, or talking life with friends.


Words from our Board President, Jennifer Gosnell

“Safe Harbor’s Board of Directors is excited to announce Kristie Cohens and Samantha Tucker as Interim Co-Executive Directors of Safe Harbor. Kristie and Samantha have a collective 23 years of serving victims of domestic violence at Safe Harbor and over 36 years of non-profit experience. Their leadership and dedication to the mission of Safe Harbor is recognized throughout the community and within the agency.

Samantha understands fundraising, writing over 50 grants a year, and how to best utilize those funds to achieve client successes. Samantha says, ‘I often get to be the storyteller of the organization. In weaving together domestic violence statistics, organization service statistics, client stories, and experiences from staff and clients, I share the story of Safe Harbor, its work, and its ability to change lives.

Kristie believes in the power of service and commitment. In addition to degrees in Criminal Justice and Counseling, she brings extensive experience leading midsized nonprofit organizations, with a strong track record of increasing contributions and facilitating collaborative partnerships in the community. She has experience with strategic planning, daily operations, and compliance.

Congratulations and thank you, Kristie and Samantha. The future of Safe Harbor is in excellent hands.”

Kristie, Samantha, Safe Harbor’s staff, and Board of Directors will work together in the months ahead as we plan for the future and continue strong service provision to survivors of domestic violence and the community at large.

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused...

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



When you give to Safe Harbor, 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic violence in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic violence education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.





Safe Harbor Resale Shop operates solely on donations from our generous community. Donations are tax deductible and make a difference in the lives of our clients.  



Your donated furniture can support our clients as they transition out of our programs and start a new life, and can also raise money for Safe Harbor by going to our Resale Shop to be re-sold.



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