Abby Kelley Foster House, Inc. (Abby’s House) in Worcester, MA seeks an executive director who is passionate about empowering homeless, battered, and low income women to thrive.
Founded in 1976 by Annette Rafferty as one of the first homeless shelters for women in the US, our mission is to provide shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services, to homeless, battered, and low-income women, with or without children. Abby’s House was named after Abby Kelley Foster, a major figure in the anti-slavery and women’s rights movement and an apt figure to represent the mission of the organization. We empower women to lead self-directed lives filled with dignity and hope. We provide a welcoming and safe place for women with histories of homelessness, trauma, substance use, mental illness, and domestic violence.
As the largest provider of supportive housing designed specifically for women in Worcester County, Abby’s House has helped over 15,500 low-income women regain their path to independence over four decades. Each year Abby’s House serves as many as 500 women (24-hrs per day, 7 days each week) from across Worcester County and beyond, providing them with safe shelter, housing, and individual advocacy.
Abby’s House provides safe and secure housing through our 9-bed overnight shelter, 72 single room supportive housing units, and 7 two-bedroom apartments. We develop strategies collaboratively with women to mitigate the primary factors leading to their housing insecurity, mental and physical health issues, substance use, and economic instability. And, Abby’s House ensures women have access to comprehensive wraparound services including onsite meals, food pantry, clothing, transportation, parenting support, emergency financial assistance, intensive case management, and supportive referrals to our network of more than 125+ health and social service partners.
In 2019, Abby’s House successfully completed a $17M+ renovation of 52 High Street, a nearly century-old building and our largest property of supportive housing. We have designed and prepared a $5M+ renovation of our shelter to commence in 2023; it will improve the structural integrity of the building, make it fully accessible, and expand the shelter from a congregate setting with five rooms and nine beds to a non-congregate shelter with 13 rooms and 18 beds.
Abby’s House operates on a $3.3M annual budget and holds $21.5M in assets. Over 3,000 individual donors provide more than 25% of our annual operating revenue. Our diversified revenue base includes rents, foundations, thrift shop income, business and civic organizations, and an endowment. We are led by a 16-member Board of area professionals, supporters, and former residents. Approximately 30 staff are employed, 50% of whom identify as BIPOC. The executive director currently supervises a senior team of five and we regularly use contractors and consultants and rely on many dedicated volunteers.
Abby’s House’s Executive Director (ED) stands at the helm of a dynamic, mission-centric, resilient organization. They are the primary representative of Abby’s House in the greater community, building public support and partnerships to benefit our women and children. The ED raises funds to invest in programming and our facilities and provide desirable jobs at a competitive wage. They serve as the collaborative leader of a team of dedicated professionals, cultivating a workplace culture of inclusion, transparency, compassion, and continual growth. And they carefully oversee the fiscal and administrative systems that support the life-changing mission of Abby’s House.
The next ED will assume responsibility for a thriving, well-run organization. The Board looks forward to partnering with the new leader to determine areas of programmatic enhancements, appropriate staffing infrastructure, and organizational growth. Some of the upcoming key priorities that the next leader will oversee and guide their senior team in managing and implementing include:
- Further embedding best practice models driven by an Integrated Model of Care within all programs to allow women easier access to supportive services.
- Commencing and overseeing the completion of the shelter renovation, to begin the summer of 2023.
- Continuing to invest in DEI/Anti-Racism work at all levels of organizational life, building staff, Board, and volunteer capacity.
- Engaging in advocacy and public policy changes with other non-profit, business, and government leaders to address upstream issues of poverty and violence.
- Actively seeking opportunities for new partnerships and funding while overseeing development needs and goals for enhanced community engagement and current partnerships.
- Assuring that the staffing levels at the direct service and administrative levels are appropriate to support the growth in services.
Profile of the Ideal Candidate
Abby’s House’s next ED will be a seasoned organizational leader with significant experience as a human service professional and deeply committed to our mission. We appreciate and value diversity and unique experiences, and welcome different perspectives; our next leader will uphold these values as well. The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following capacities:
- a nuanced understanding of the challenges facing homeless women and their children, women’s empowerment, and the strength-based and trauma informed approaches to providing them with safe, welcoming housing and care
- broad based knowledge of the housing field, including development, financing, facilities, and renovations
- a visionary leader who thinks strategically about the role Abby’s House could play long-term in ever-changing economic, political, demographic and technological terrains, and brings an open-minded approach to the work
- a skillful and experienced nonprofit administrator who can manage a complex budget with multiple funding streams, oversee efficient systems, and has experience working in partnership with a board of directors and volunteer base
- an innovative and experienced fundraiser who engages creatively with the community and institutional funders to leverage financial support
- a collaborative decision maker who prioritizes inclusive and transparent practices, seeks out the widest diversity of views, listens attentively, and gracefully builds consensus among a wide variety of stakeholders
- generous in spirit; a caring, personable, genuine, and supportive leader who strives to provide equitable, life balanced working conditions for all staff, and is experienced with coaching and leveraging talent
- deeply committed to maintaining a welcoming, collaborative, equitable, diverse, anti-racist, and inclusive organizational culture and climate
- a bridge-builder and trusted community ambassador who fosters collaborative relationships and is excited to serve as the primary ambassador of Abby’s House in the community
- handles risks with calmness, patience, and consistency
- a flexible and willing team player who readily engages in the wide variety of tasks and enjoys having fun
Required and Desired Credentials and Experience
- 8-10 years of senior level management experience
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree
- Familiarity with Central MA is a plus
- Bilingual is a plus
Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with a starting salary range of $135,000 – $150,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Abby’s House also offers a comprehensive and generous benefits package that includes a contribution to health insurance, short and long term disability, low cost vision and dental plans, and full life insurance coverage. This is a place-based position.
Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of Abby’s House. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send required documents to Eos Transition Partners.
Abby’s House is an equal opportunity employer and embraces diversity at all levels of the organization. In keeping with our values, Abby’s House is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all the organization’s activities, programs, practices, and services. We are a trauma-informed organization, and we encourage applicants who have ample capacity for reflective thinking and learning and with lived experience who are well-grounded in their own recovery. We encourage a broad range of applicants, particularly candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and BIPOC candidates and LGBTQ candidates.
This executive search is led by a Board approved Search Committee in collaboration with Eos Transition Partners consultant Nancy Jackson. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to: .
Abby’s House is growing to meet the needs of women, with or without children, experiencing homelessness in the Worcester area. The newly created positions listed below will help Abby’s House to enhance existing programs and support the needs of residents and guests. Apply now!
The Abby’s House Thrift Shop was established in 1982 and is a place of great pride and innovation. The Thrift Shop gives women from Abby’s House and surrounding areas the opportunity to shop with dignity for quality and affordable clothing and necessities in a safe, well-maintained store and provides free clothing to hundreds of women each year in need.
The Thrift Shop Manager plays a key role on a team (made up of the Assistant Manager and Associate Director of Wellness) that is responsible for all aspects of the Thrift Shop operations, including developing, implementing and maintaining its systems and policies. The Manager position is a highly collaborative and visible position and requires the ability to work effectively in a professional manner with a diverse and inclusive community at Abby’s House, including staff, volunteers, guests and residents, donors, partner agencies, and the general public. In partnership with the Assistant Manager, the Manager directly supervises more than 50 volunteers, and reports directly to the Associate Director of Wellness. This position is a regular, part-time, including weekends as needed (20-25 hours per week) position.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Manages daily operations of a retail store engaged in selling specific lines of merchandise.
- Supervise and coach the Thrift Shop Assistant Manager while creating an inclusive and collaborative work environment.
- Collaborate with the Associate Director on the development of shop policies, procedures, and help oversee their successful implementation with Assistant Manager.
- Help Associate Director of Wellness update the Thrift Shop Operations Manual at least annually
- Work with the staff accountant to oversee all aspects of cash management, including the opening and closing of the register and proper sales transactions
- Organize and maintain a clean and safe shop
- Help develop, implement, and oversee Thrift Shop procedures in case of emergencies, including injuries, public threats, and fire and emergency evacuations
Volunteer and Staff Supervision
- Collaborate with the Volunteer and In-kind Coordinator to ensure adequate volunteer staffing from diverse backgrounds and to oversee the volunteer schedule
- Train new volunteers in the proper Thrift Shop procedures and foster a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere among volunteers
- Supervise all Thrift Shop volunteers, including daily assignments
- Help plan and lead volunteer meetings in collaboration with Associate Director and Volunteer Coordinator
- Collaborate with staff to provide information about Abby’s House housing/shelter, women’s services and fundraising events and opportunities
- Develop and implement efforts to appreciate and recognize volunteer contributions on a regular basis
- Performs and/or supervises employees and volunteers engaged in taking of and controlling inventories, reconciling cash with sales receipts, keeping operating records, or preparing daily records of transactions.
- Plans and develops work schedules and assigns employees to specific duties.
- Ensures compliance of employees with established security, sales, and record keeping procedures and practices.
- Collaborate with the Assistant Manager and Associate Director of Wellness for all operational changes.
Managing Inventory and Sales
- Provide excellent customer service to a diverse population of donors and customers and monitor customer service throughout the shop
- Develops and implements pricing policies to ensure profitability of store operations.
- Coordinates sales promotion activities and oversees preparation of merchandise displays and advertising copy.
- Evaluate, and revise if necessary, procedures to accept, sort, price and display donated items in a timely manner
- Maximize the design and use of Thrift Shop floor space and storage rooms to maximize efficiency and optimize sales
- Oversee the signage and display of notices, including sales
- Manage the security of all clothing and household items
- Be liaison to companies who donate products to Abby’s House Thrift Shop and properly secure and manage the sale of specialty items
- Work with community agencies and Abby’s House staff to provide vouchers for free clothing to women in need, and help properly track the use of vouchers
- Develop and/or maintain outlets for all unsold clothing and household items
Promotion and Events
- Develop and implement an annual schedule for innovative sales and seasonal changes
- Collaborate with the Abby’s House Women Services team and volunteers to advertise/market the Thrift Shop
- Work with volunteers to plan and implement Thrift Shop events, such as the Fashion Show (March) and Holiday Bazaar (November)
- Participate in staff meetings, trainings, and annual evaluations and be committed to ongoing growth and improvement in the position
- Maintain the confidentiality standards of Abby’s House and exemplify compassion, hospitality, and respect to the guests and residents at all times
Candidates must possess the following qualifications: relevant experience in a retail setting or nonprofit organization; a minimum of an associate’s degree or equivalent work experience; exceptional experience in supervision of staff and/or volunteers and ability to manage with minimal supervision; ability to work in a collaborative manner and demonstrate appreciation for the contributions of others; time management and organizational skills; Spanish-speaking abilities preferred; time management and project manage skills; ability to lift up to 50 pounds as needed; ability to occasionally work evenings or weekends.
Abby’s House is committed to growing its understanding of and practice around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism in all the organization’s activities, programs, practices, and services. Staff are an integral part of this evolving practice. We also are a Trauma Informed organization and as such, Abby’s House encourages applicants with lived experience who are well-grounded in their own recovery and who have ample capacity for reflective thinking and learning.
How to Apply: If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to . Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We will accept applications until the position is filled.
Founded in 1976, Abby’s House was one of the first shelters specifically for homeless women in the US. Our mission is “to provide shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services, to homeless, battered and low-income women, with or without children.” Abby’s House currently has 79 units of supportive housing and 9 overnight shelter beds. Abby’s House has a long and rich history of working with the complexities of homelessness and abuse, and provides a safe, trauma-sensitive, supportive, and welcoming environment. We help each woman to recognize her own inner strengths and abilities and to connect with the resources, information, and support to heal and reclaim her life.
The Clinical Case Manager provides clinical case management with the women of Abby’s House to help remove barriers to housing placement and retain permanent housing. The Clinical Case Manager’s primary responsibilities are to comprehensively assess initial and ongoing individual needs, built rapport, and sustain therapeutic engagement. The Clinical Case Manager utilizes clinical knowledge and skills to identify interventions that target growth in coping skills and other life-skills learning. The Clinical Case Manager supports housing stability, medical and mental health wellness, and community integration using evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing, harm reduction, housing first, and trauma-informed care. This position reports directly to the Director of Programs and is a key position in serving women and children at Abby’s House. The following is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all of the responsibilities and requirements associated with this position.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
In collaboration with the Advocacy team, the Clinical Case Manager will perform the following duties and responsibilities:
Provide Direct Clinical Services to Guests and Residents
- Develop and maintain professional goal-directed relationships with shelter guests and residents of Abby’s House
- Conduct intakes with guests and residents in a respectful and sensitive manner
- Complete assessments to begin to determine each guest and resident’s needs
- Provide crisis assessment and intervention
- Facilitate life skills and coping skills groups for guests and residents
- Contribute clinical insight during weekly team meetings and in 1:1 consultation with staff
- Collaborate with external providers to enhance the coordination
- Engage shelter guests and residents and identify interventions with an approach emphasizing a person-centered approach, harm reduction, and the restoration of community functioning within a setting guided by trauma-informed care, housing first principles, and professional boundaries
- Assist in the screening, intake, and enrollment of shelter guests and residents, including orientation to program policies and goals
- Complete comprehensive biopsychosocial assessments and functional needs assessments to guide individualized Empowerment Plans that identify the person’s strengths, capacities, and goals
- Complete collaborative goal plans with participants with the purpose of targeting areas that will improve quality of life and health outcomes
- Write and maintain accurate, complete, and up to date empowerment plans, progress notes and data in electronic database
- Ensure all resident and shelter guest’s documents within the electronic health record are complete, accurate, and current
- Maintain confidentiality of resident and shelter guest information per HIPPA guidelines
- Coordinate appointments, transportation, and follow-up services for shelter guests and residents to improve access to primary health care, mental health care, substance use services, and other local resources to build sustainable community connections and reduce the need for emergency health care services
- Support program participants by teaching and modeling life skills such as budgeting, housekeeping, meal preparation, appointment scheduling, health maintenance, and socialization within the community
- Communicate effectively with property management and other third-party partners
- Work cooperatively and cohesively with a multi-disciplinary team, including participation in weekly team meetings, individual supervision, and training
- Other duties, as assigned
- A master’s degree required, preferably in a human services field in mental health, social work, or psychology
- Certifications or licenses in addiction, trauma and or mental health preferred, including LICSW, LCSW, LMHC, and LMFT
- Experience with trauma-informed care/treatment and respect for women’s autonomy and self-determination and their incorporation into everyday practices
- Compassionate, hopeful, and respectful, with the ability to listen and be non-judgmental, along with a positive mindset
- Minimum of 2 years of clinical experience
- 5+ years of experience working with underserved populations to include women at risk due to homelessness, chronic health or mental health needs, substance use, and those who have experienced interpersonal violence
- Familiarity and experience with supportive housing and/or shelter models
- Experience fostering and supporting individual and organizational inclusion and equity
- Collaborative, flexible, and solution-oriented
- Ability to stay organized and use time effectively
- Excellent communication skills, open and transparent
- Exceptional level of professionalism in managing relationships and interactions in multiple settings
- Patient, understanding, and supportive
- Ability to engage in collaborative relationship with multidisciplinary team
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Word processing and computer skills
- Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
- Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks
- Maintain flexible schedule to meet program needs and attend required meetings
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Comfortable with receiving clear, direct feedback from supervisor and peers
- Appropriately interact with people from diverse socio-economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds
- Maintains an attitude fairness, openness, and respect and supports the development of cultural competency at Abby’s House
- Remains open to different opinions and viewpoints and is willing to learn from them
- Respects and values all people’s voices, including children, families, and colleagues
- Sense of humor
- Highly flexible and energetic
- Enjoys working with and motivating guests and residents
- Publicly represent Abby’s House at events that serve to educate the public about the issues that face women who are homeless, abused, and low-income
This position requires the ability to occasionally work on evenings and weekends.
Salary & Benefits: This position is a full-time, exempt position and provides competitive pay based on a market analysis of comparable positions. Abby’s House offers a generous benefits package, including 4 weeks of paid time off, 11 holidays, health insurance, short term and long-term disability insurance, life insurance and employer-paid parking.
Abby’s House is an equal opportunity employer and embraces diversity at all levels of the organization.
In keeping with our values, Abby’s House is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism in all the organization’s activities, programs, practices, and services. We also are a Trauma-Informed organization, and we encourage applicants who have ample capacity for reflective thinking and learning and with lived experience who are well-grounded in their own recovery.
How to Apply
If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to . Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We will accept applications until the position is filled. Apply as early as possible.