Crisis Center
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For information about our annual fundraiser, WINE FEST & AUCTION, please contact: Shirley Caylor at (219) 938-2727


For information about our annual fundraiser, WINE FEST & AUCTION, please contact: Shirley Caylor

at (219) 938-2727

Shirley Caylor

Shirley Caylor is the co-founder of the Crisis Center, and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Caylor is a graduate of St. Mary of the Lakes College.  She is a member of the Lake Area United Way Agency Execs; the Porter County United Way Agency Executives. She is the chairperson of the Consortium of Residential Providers; a member of the Indiana Youth Services Association; the National Network of Youth Services; The Times Editorial Advisory Board; Former President of Gary Rotary.
Caylor was inducted into the Society of Innovators, and honored at Northwest Indiana Times Women of Merit (2005). In 2016, the National Safe Place Network honored Shirley with a 'Lifetime Achievement Award.'

Contact:  219-938-7070 Ext. 2727


Barbara Wisdom

Barbara Wisdom is our Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
She has a post graduate certificate in accounting from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science degree in community psychology from Purdue University Calumet. She started her career at the Crisis Center by working part-time as a college student.

Barbara annually attends the AICPA conference for non-profit organizations' financial executives.
She is a founding member of a national focus group for non-profit finance and management executives, and also belongs to the National Association for Female Executives and the American Association of University Women.

Contact:  219-938-7070 Ext. 2710.

Sandra Porter-Phillips

Sandra Porter Phillips, Teen Court Coordinator, has supervised the program since its inception in 1989.

Mrs. Phillips has a Master’s degree in Science Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana State University. Porter-Phillips is the chairperson of the Tobacco Coalition whose goal is to increase community’s awareness and award mini-grants. She is also a member of the Partnership for a Drug Free Lake County, on the Prevention sub-committee.

Mrs. Porter-Phillips is a member of COFFY (Community Organization for Families and Youth) a coalition of Gary-based services that meets to respond to the needs of Gary citizens. She is also on the board of the National Association of Teen Courts. Board of Director for the Le County Substance Abuse Council –secretary/Treasurer

Contact: 219-938-7070 Ext. 2741


Gavin Mariano

Gavin Mariano is the Coordinator for our Safe Place/Safely Home program, as well for our Teen Court program in Hammond.  He also serves as our Public Relations & Outreach Specialist, and our I.T support.  He also is trained Human Trafficking awareness presenter for youth and community / business leaders. Gavin earned a B.A. from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001 with a major in Political Science and Spanish; a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in 2014, and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW).  He serves as a Bachelor and Master-level Field Instructor for various Universities.  Gavin serves as an advisory committee member for Indiana Department of Corrections; member of the National Runaway Safeline task force, volunteer for Junior Achievement (JA), and serves on the executive committee of the Indiana University Northwest Board of Advisors.. Gavin was the keynote speaker at the 2002 National Safe Place conference, the 2004 Drug-free rally, and 2004 21st-century scholars banquet. Gavin was honored by the NWI Times as one of the "20 under 40" professionals in Northwest Indiana in 2008. He was also recognized as one of the "Who's Who in Indiana" by Building Indiana magazine for 2011.  Gavin is a mentor for Latino youth, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Contact: 219-938-7070 Ext. 2707


Sara Spruth

Sara Spruth is the Coordinator for the Crisis Center’s Crisis Contact Hotline. Sara holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Psychology from Loyola University. Prior to working at the Center, she worked for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program, co-facilitated the Homicide Support Group and volunteered on multiple domestic violence agency hotlines. Sara and her husband co-founded Sacred Transformations, a non-profit which helps to transform individual’s negative marks into beautiful works of tattoo art. She serves currently as board member and transformative tattoo artist. Sara is also the very proud mother of two spry children and volunteers as an Art Teacher at their school.

Contact: 219-938-7070 Ext. 2708

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Alternative House Coordinator

The Alternative House Coordinator also supervises our counseling services staff.  The Coordinator leads a staff of professional residential workers, and auxiliary staff.

For more information about Alternative House, call us at (219) 938-7070 or visit





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