We are more than a shelter.
We are a path to housing.

Who We Are

Our History

First Step Shelter opened on December 11th, 2019 as a Homeless shelter for single adults in Volusia County.  We are not just a place for homeless individuals to sleep and get a hot meal, we offer health, addiction, and counseling services as well as helping residents find jobs and housing. Our goal is to end homelessness in Volusia county one person at a time.

First Step Shelter is a transitional Homeless shelter for single adults in the Volusia County local government communities that have agreed to provide ongoing funding. Residents live with us while receiving services to stabilize their lives, get jobs, and find housing. The shelter also offers a 24/7/365 Safe Zone available to local government investor partners to enable them to provide an alternative to incarceration for relocating homeless who are loitering or trespassing in public spaces and on private property. This is a highly valued service in local communities giving the legal ability to enforce civil order in their public and private properties.


  • Adult Homeless population within our community (18+ single)
  • City and County elected officials
  • Law Enforcement
  • Social Service Agencies directly related to homelessness
  • Social Services Providers and Health Care Providers within our community
  • Faith-Based organizations and institutions
  • The business community, lead employers, and neighborhood boards, especially in areas with a high concentration of people experiencing homelessness

Our mission

First Step Shelter assists homeless, single adult men and women, who have the potential to stabilize their life and live independently, to move from homelessness to housing. We work in partnership with fellow
community organizations to maximize services and resources in order to reduce the homeless persons living in Volusia County. At First Step we go beyond assessment and temporary shelter by addressing our resident’s medical, social, spiritual, mental, occupational, and financing needs. As our residents become stable and self-sufficient, we assist them with the final step of transitioning into housing. First Step Shelter is more than a shelter, we are the path to housing.

& Staff

First Step Shelter is dedicated to ensuring that no one in our community has to face homelessness alone. 

Meet the First Step Shelter Team!

Victoria Fahlberg

Executive Director
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Fahlberg has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Public Health in Population and International Health from Harvard. She has founded two successful non-profits, one in Lowell, MA and the other in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  She brings strong leadership, administrative, fundraising, and project management skills to First Step Shelter. She is a published author and co-editor in the field of domestic violence.  She has been recognized as a community leader, and was named among the Citizens of the Year (Lowell Sun, Jan. 16, 2010), 25 Most Fascinating People of 2009 (Lowell Sun, Dec. 31, 2009), and Women Making a Difference (Lowell Sun, Nov. 4, 2003).

Raymond Chavez

Director of Facilities

Daniel Feierman

Director of Client Services

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors enables First Step Shelter to achieve its mission by being advocates and champions throughout the community, ensuring the establishment and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures, actively participating in resource development, and exercising stewardship and oversight. The City of Daytona Beach Commission appoints the Board of Directors.  

Derrick Henry


Derrick L. Henry, a Daytona Beach native, is serving his second term as mayor of the City of Daytona Beach. In addition to his role as Daytona Beach’s mayor, he serves as a school-based administrator for the Volusia County School District. Prior to serving as the city’s top elected official, Mayor Henry was a teacher, assistant principal, high school basketball coach at Mainland High school, where he was recognized as Volusia County’s Social Studies “Teacher of the Year” in 1998-1999. He also served as the city’s Zone 5 commissioner from 2009 to 2011. As chairman of the First Step Shelter’s board of directors, Mayor Henry has been committed to working collaboratively with community stakeholders to build and operate Volusia County’s only come-as-you-are shelter.

Bill Milano


Bill Milano has served on the Ponce Inlet Town Council since 2012. He moved from Broward County, Florida in 2002 with his wife Patty of 52 years; retiring after 38 years as an Educator, 16 of which as a high school principal. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education, a Masters in Guidance and Counseling, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration Leadership and Guidance and Counseling. He was honored as the Florida Principal of the Year by the Florida Thespian Association, and, also, as the United States Principal of the Year by the North American Thespian Association, the International Exchange Club Secretary/Treasurer of the year and he was honored as the Alumnus of the Year by Broward State College for his community service. Bill’s service record includes: 2 years as a Ponce Inlet Planning Board member, 16 years and counting as a homeowner association member and president; earned designation as a United States Swim Official and was selected as the meet referee in the Florida High School Swimming Championship. Bill is a member and current Treasurer of the First Step Shelter for the Homeless board. Patty and Bill enjoy frequent visits with their 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

Joan Campanaro


Joan Campanaro moved to Daytona Beach in 2008 upon retiring from her 30-year career as an Army Nurse, where she achieved the rank of Colonel. She brings with her a wealth of experience in leadership within the healthcare environment serving in positions of middle management, director, Chief Nursing Officer, and the military equivalent of CEO.  Joan is an active member of our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the F.A.I.T.H. (Fighting Against Injustice Towards Harmony) Organization.  Since retiring, she has put much of her time and energy into her passion for social justice and helping those in need.

Rose Ann Tornatore


Rose Ann Tornatore is the sole owner of Wholesale Lighting, Inc. in Daytona, Florida.  She joined the Board of Directors of First Step Shelter in September 2019.  Rose Ann is originally from Canastota, New York.  She has a background in administrative support and property management, managing apartment complexes. Rose Ann brings her compassion, energy, and desire to involve the community and to see First Step Shelter be supported by all; to be a success for those who walk through its doors.

Mike Panaggio


Mike Panaggio is a national trendsetter in direct marketing. Panaggio’s exceptional vision and creativity has propelled his company, DME toward continual growth and profitability in the one-to-one marketing field. DME has been helping its customers achieve sustainable, profitable revenue growth for over 30 years. Today his focus is on creating a new kind of groundbreaking sports and marketing operation at DME Sports and all of its affiliates – DME Academy, HSSPORTS.COM and HSSPORTS INSIDER – are part of Mike’s visionary drive. Panaggio prepped at prestigious Deerfield Academy and then played four years of basketball for his father at SUNY Brockport, where he graduated with a degree in Economics and the all-time record for points scored in a career.
Mike continued to score points in business as he ascended to the top ranks as a commodities and securities broker with Merrill Lynch and Prudential Bache in Rochester, New York.  Mike founded Direct Mail Express (DME) in 1984. In the decades since, DME has grown from three employees and a carload of ideas into an 11-acre, 140,000 square foot campus employing over 500 people, which has become one of the top direct marketing companies operating in the US today.

Don Burnette

Vice President

Don Burnette has served as Mayor of Port Orange since he was elected in 2016. Prior to that he served as the District 2 City Councilman from 2010-2016 and was Vice Mayor for 2 years. He recently served two terms as Volusia League of Cities President and currently serves on the Florida League of Cities Board of Directors. He has served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board as Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair since 2003. Don recently was named the Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors 2023 Business Partner of the Year, having chaired their Adopt-a-School Committee since 2012. He was the Port Orange/South Daytona Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year in 2021 and the New Smyrna Beach Visitors Bureau Tourism Partner of the Year for 2023. He lives in Port Orange with his wife, Anita and they have two grown sons, Matthew and Patrick.

Valli Perrine


Valli Perrine, MBA, is the vice mayor for New Smyrna Beach. Prior to her elected seat she spent four years as the NSB Economic Development Board Vice Chair. One of her goals was to promote new and better jobs for citizens and high school graduates. Valli was born in Oklahoma and she raised her two beautiful daughters in Indiana. During this time she spent over 25 years working as a regional finance director for corporations and small businesses. She has successful managerial leadership, accounting, financial analysis, forecasting, process improvement, contract negotiations, logistics, new business start-ups, and marketing experience. Valli completed her MBA and BA from Concordia University. She is active in various Christian ministries. She enjoys boating, art, concerts, writing, gardening, and exploring national parks. 

Michael Pleus


Michael Pleus is a native Floridian, born in Windermere, Florida.  He received his BA from Stetson University in Political Science in 1994 and MBA from Stetson University in 1999.  He earned his designation as a Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association in 2007.  His career in Public Administration began in 1994 as an Intern in the County Manager’s Office.  He was promoted to Special Projects Coordinator and later an Assistant to the County Manager before leaving in early 2000.  Michael was hired as Administrative Services Director for the DeLand in March 2000.  He was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 2001 and City Manager in July 2008.  As City Manager, Michael is responsible for the day-to-day operations of City government. Michael is a past president of the Florida City and County Management Association.  He is a member of the DeLand Breakfast Rotary and Past President of the Kiwanis Club of DeLand.  He currently serves on the Executive Committee for Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation, the Board of Directors for Volusia/Flagler Commission on Homelessness, Treasurer for the Community and Support Services Board for Catholic Charities of Central Florida, and the Board of Directors for the Florida League of Cities.  Additionally, he is active in Boy Scouts, serving as Cubmaster and Troop Committee Treasurer. Over the years Michael has earned numerous service awards including Stetson University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Professional Management Matters award from the Florida City/County Management Association, Neighborhood Center of West Volusia’s Love Local Award, Boy Scouts of America Golden Eagle Award, Spring Hill Community Neighborhood Association’s Exceptional Community Partner Award, Chamber of Commerce President’s Award, the League of Cities Employee of the Year Award and City Manager of the Year Award, NAACP Difference Maker of the Year, Volusia Business Report Young Business Leader Award, Stetson University Civic Responsibility Award, and the Salvation Army Community Service Award. Michael and his wife Vickie have been married for 25 years and live in DeLand.  They have one son Nicholas who is a Cadet at United States Military Academy at West Point.

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