• Melissa Haupt

    Director of Programs

    Melissa Haupt, LMFT – Director of Programs

    Melissa Haupt is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 19 years of experience in behavioral health working with at-risk youth and families.  Joining the Lifeline Community Services team in 2012, Melissa’s previous experience includes ten years of experience working with foster youth and transitional age youth in residential treatment.  While working in residential treatment, Melissa provided crisis intervention, intensive case management and individual, group and family therapy to address complex trauma associated with childhood abuse and/or neglect and commercial sexual exploitation of children/domestic minor sex trafficking.  Her clinical work with foster youth also addressed homelessness and the impact of multiple placements, lack of continuity in education, relationship loss, juvenile justice involvement and a wide array of substance abuse issues and behavioral health concerns.  During her tenure in residential treatment, she was promoted to Clinical Director, providing clinical oversight of day intensive and outpatient services, within three residential treatment facilities in San Diego County.  While working in residential treatment, Melissa had extensive training in Trauma Informed Care, facilitated trainings to educate all staff and was instrumental in instituting the approach throughout the agency.  

    As Director of Programs, Melissa provides administrative and clinical oversight to Lifeline’s Project LIFE and LifeSpring programs and is responsible for service quality and effectiveness.  Since joining the Lifeline Community Services team in 2012, Melissa has helped to  create and implement  behavioral health programs for disadvantaged and at-risk populations including survivors of human trafficking, probation-involved youth, former foster youth, transitional age youth and special education students and families.  Among extensive training in brief therapies, she has been trained in Trauma-Focused CBT, Trauma Resiliency Model, Traumatic Incident Reduction and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.  Melissa has been a member of CAMFT since 2011 and has five years of post-graduate education from Alliant International University in emphasis areas including substance abuse, multicultural psychology, LGBT psychology and gender studies.  She and her team have developed clinical programming that is sensitive to and inclusive of the needs of all genders, sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds.  Melissa and her team recognize the importance of collaboration in improving systems, increasing client access to necessary services and supporting holistic healing and recovery and remain actively involved in community partnerships.  

    Melissa has been involved with Project LIFE since 2014.  In an effort to build San Diego County’s capacity to assist human trafficking survivors through coordinated efforts that are trauma-informed, survivor-led and culturally competent, Melissa has maintained active involvement with the REACH Coalition (Recover, Empower, Advocate, Collaborate, and Heal) and has co-facilitated meeting since 2016.  The REACH Coalition is a collaborative effort of the following organizations: Lifeline Community Services, San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, Generate Hope, Survivor Leader Network of San Diego, San Diego Youth Services, La Maestra Community Health Centers, Center for Community Solutions, North County LGBTQ Resource Center, San Diego LGBT Community Center and Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition.  Combining expertise and resources to combat trafficking, REACH Coalition support survivors through survivor-centered services and best practice approaches to physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of survivors.  In an effort to contribute to system change through collaboration, development of best practices and anti-trafficking policies, Melissa is a member of the San Diego County Regional Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council, co-chair for the Victim Services Subcommittee Meeting and steering committee member for the Southern California Regional Safe Shelter Collaborative.

Alberta Saavedra

Leadership Team

Dori Gilbert