by LINDA FRABL | photo by Brock Scott Photography

Hope for Tomorrow

faces_pinomaki2As the saying goes, out of tragedy comes opportunity. Poway resident Shelly Pinomaki is living proof of this. After suffering from the brutal murder of her sister, Shelly recalled, “The process of having to walk that road blindly, without proper support, made the matter even worse. The additional trauma inadvertently inflicted by those with good intentions was shocking.” This prompted Shelly to become a chaplain with the sheriff’s department, and to create Christian Crisis Care (CCC), a biblically-centric volunteer crisis training nonprofit organization associated with CAREForce.us.

Discussing her role as a chaplain, Shelly commented, “A chaplain is a ‘minister in the workplace.’ Being a sheriff’s chaplain allows me to serve those that serve.” Prior to this, Shelly had run her own graphic design business in addition to teaching at Platt College. Shelly has since realized, “Performing a secular purpose is a calling on my life.”

For her work with CCC, Shelly founded the nonprofit after becoming trained in crisis intervention and going through the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP). She said, “While the basic training for physical and emotional support is available, the spiritual component of healing was missing. The CCC was created out of that direct need.” She now trains volunteers to provide spiritual healing support at churches, schools, and other organizations.

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Name: Shelly A. Pinomaki
Profession: Sr. Chaplain and Founder of Christian Crisis Care
Community: Poway since 2001
Hobbies & Interests: Reading, baking, spending time with our adult children
Favorite Local Spots: Poway Lake and Old Poway Park


faces_pinomaki3Pleased to call Poway home, Shelly was a single mom when she moved her family here from El Cajon, specifically for the great schools. As the manager for her son’s travel hockey team at the Poway Sportsplex, Shelly befriended the team’s assistant coach, who happened to be a single dad. Shelly laughed, “Our sons insisted that we would make a great family and they wanted to become brothers. Everything fell into place and now here we are, years later, a happily merged family of five!” The three sons graduated from Poway High in ’06, ’07, and ’08.

After overcoming her own life’s trauma, Shelly has proven that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel. Now she is a board member with CAREForce.us, and is training to become its lead instructor. Shelly added, “Crisis intervention is not intuitive, it is a learned skill. When done correctly it can provide hope for tomorrow.”