Nancy Crowder, Executive Director of Citizens for Adequate Housing, Inc. for 23 Years to Depart at Year’s End
Nancy Crowder, the Executive Director of Citizens for Adequate Housing, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides shelter and affordable housing to families who might otherwise be homeless, will be departing the agency in December of 2010. This exodus will end her role at the helm of an agency that exists for the purpose of ending family homelessness.
This well-known and well-respected individual, Nancy Crowder shines as a leader in the fight against family homelessness. Massachusetts State Senator Frederick Berry shares, “Nancy has been a gift to countless struggling families who, with her assistance, have been able to get back on their feet. It has been a true pleasure working with her, and I wish her happiness in all future endeavors.”
Ms. Crowder’s vision to end family homelessness has never waivered, and her determination and tenacity in this regard has remained constant. This strong, yet gentle woman has led as the Executive Director of CAH seeing many successes under her tutelage. Her 23-year leadership has been recognized on the North Shore and beyond with certificates, citations and positive comments from government and lay leaders alike. She has received accolades for her flawless commitment to families and their plights of homelessness. This caring woman is a leader that others have learned to take their cues from. Always determined, this CAH Executive Director exemplifies leadership. She was the recipient of the Peabody City Chamber Mary Upton Ferrin Award; the Danvers Diversity Committee Martin Luther King, Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” award; the Lynn Item’s “Woman of the Year” award; and the Salem Evening News “Great People Make Great Places” award. Ms Crowder was one of the founders of Homes for Families, an agency that works with homeless families and shelter providers to reform public policies to ensure that all children in Massachusetts have a home.
Starting her role at the helm of Citizens for Adequate Housing in August of 1987, there was at that time only the Inn Between shelter serving 5 families, an operating budget of $225,000, and six staff members. Now, in 2010, CAH serves 25 homeless families with its two programs, owns 16 rental units with below-market rates, and has a $2 million operating budget. Times have changed, but Ms Crowder’s determination has not. During her role as leader of the agency the Inn Transition was added in 1990. This shelter is for families with a parent in recovery. There are only three such sites in Massachusetts, CAH being one of them. Inn Homes, a community land trust program, was also added during her tenure which is the segment of CAH that has bought and renovated homes containing apartments that have then been rented at lower than market price for those just getting on their feet, having suffered hard times and travails. Nancy is also well-known for her role in bringing the “Undoing Racism” training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, of New Orleans, LA, to the North Shore.
Ms. Crowder raises the bar on leadership style. Her forthright, unassuming approach to getting projects begun and seeing things through have allowed others to learn a way to approach obstacles with determination and conviction. She has perpetuated CAH’s existence to combat family homelessness, and keeps CAH in step with helping to eliminate the family homelessness, and the chronic pain and racism, that exists. Due to Ms. Crowder’s efforts, and that of her hand-selected staff, there have been many successes among the families Citizens for Adequate Housing, Inc. has provided for, and many more to follow. Homelessness knows no seasons, and sadly knows no respite, and exists constantly for some. Peabody Mayor Michael J. Bonfanti states, “Nancy Crowder is a remarkable woman who has devoted her life to benefit those in need. Under her leadership, services to the needy have been expanded and hundreds of families, who would have been homeless, have been provided shelter. We are thankful for her commitment to helping others, and honored to know and work with her."
One has only to know Nancy Crowder to know that CAH has a determination and long-standing mission to give its families new opportunities to stop the cycle of homelessness once and for all; to launch a path of bettering their lives. She personifies leadership; and has gone “full steam ahead” all of these years in her role. Her never-faltering goal has been to push family homelessness to non-existence.
CAH Board of Directors President, Karl Wilson, says, “A finer individual would be hard to find to be at the helm of Citizens for Adequate Housing. Nancy exemplifies commitment, purpose, high regard for families and helping those individuals find the best path to resume their dignity. She provides to her staff tremendous guidance, management, and positive energy. In recognition of such leadership and longevity, Citizens for Adequate Housing will be holding a celebratory event In Nancy’s honor on a date to be set in the near future.”
Eric Easley, CAH’s Property Manager, who helps manage and conduct the maintenance for CAH has said of Ms. Crowder, “Her honesty, integrity and work ethic can be seen throughout CAH’s organization. I can’t think of anyone who has inspired me more than Nancy to do for others in life. Nancy has helped me set my moral compass, and to make me realize what is really important in life.”
Accolades abound for Nancy Crowder, and will echo forever as she begins a new chapter in her life.