Alternative House Names Maria Crooker-Capone as ED
September 7, 2021 — Alternative House, a nonprofit based in Lowell that provides shelter, support, children’s programming, legal and housing services, and community advocacy for all victims of domestic violence, recently named Maria Crooker-Capone as its executive director.
Crooker-Capone succeeds Kathleen Kelley, who retired after serving as executive director of Alternative House for 27 years.
Crooker-Capone earlier served as director and assistant director of support services at Alternative House for 12 years, until 2019. She then was director of programs and operations at Respond, Inc., and director of business operations at Curtis Investment Properties.
“Working with survivors of domestic violence has always been a passion of mine, and working in the community here has been inspirational to me.” she said. “When the opportunity came up to become executive director, it was very exciting.”
Crooker-Capone said her near-term focus will be on increasing Alternative House’s work dealing with trauma and its impacts on families.
That work became more challenging during the coronavirus pandemic, “as it made us think differently,” said Crooker-Capone, who noted that despite restrictions and the need to test clients and staff frequently, the organization continued to operate 24 hours a day, every day.
Crooker-Capone earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and a Master of Science degree in nonprofit and organizational management from Lasell College.
Kelley, who previously served as a Lowell city councilor, among other accomplishments, developed with the City of Lowell a task force against domestic violence. With Middlesex District Attorney’s office and Lowell Police Department, she created GLEAN, a high-risk assessment team to identify and provide services to victims of domestic violence.
Established in 1978, Alternative House, which operates with 35 employees and 10 to 15 volunteers throughout the year, serves Greater Lowell victims of domestic violence, and their families, providing emergency shelter, counseling, and other support. Alternative House recently opened a new emergency shelter that can accommodate 25 people, which augments a transitional housing facility and six permanent affordable housing units that it owns and operates.
For the year ending June 30, 2020, Alternative House reported $1.5 million in revenue, of which $218,000 came from contributions and grants, and $1.5 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.
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