Cross Roads House announces departure plans for Executive Director Martha Stone

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PORTSMOUTH—Cross Roads House is announcing that Executive Director Martha Stone is stepping down after more than 17 years at the organization. 
Founded in 1982, Cross Roads House provides emergency and transitional shelter to homeless men, women, and children in the Seacoast area. 
 
“After much contemplation, I have made the decision that the time is right for me to hand over the reins to someone new. I am not leaving to take a position elsewhere, but rather to take some time for myself after working for nearly two decades in roles that have been both demanding, and incredibly fulfilling,” said Stone.

“It’s been a privilege to work for Cross Roads House. To have the opportunity to help people who are experiencing homelessness turn their lives around and move to safe, permanent housing has been the most rewarding work of my career.”

 
“I care deeply about the organization and plan to stay on until a replacement has been identified. Cross Roads House is in an excellent position right now. The organization’s finances are healthy, and our facilities are in great condition. We have a talented and dedicated management team, case management, and direct care staff, along with an extraordinary board of directors,” Stone noted.
 
Ben St. Jean, Board President of Cross Roads House stated, “Martha has been such a driving force at Cross Roads House over the last 17 years. Her passion for our mission and the work at Cross Roads House made her a perfect fit. Martha has been instrumental in so many aspects of the organization and the community at large that there are literally too many to list. I will underline the agency’s most recent challenges which revolved around adapting shelter operations and the facility throughout the pandemic. Here, her organizational and leadership skills really came through. Cross Roads House has been very fortunate to have Martha throughout her entire tenure and especially throughout the pandemic.”
 
St. Jean continues, “At this time, the Board of Cross Roads House has formed a search committee to find Martha’s replacement. Martha will be staying on with the organization through this transition and I am looking forward to smooth transition. On behalf of the entire Board, we thank Martha for her dedication to Cross Roads House and our community at large over the years and wish her well in whatever goals she pursues in the future.”
 
Stone joined the staff at Cross Roads House in 2004 as the agency’s first development director. At the time, the organization was gearing up for a major capital campaign to raise funds to design and construct a new shelter facility. The $5 million dollar campaign was successful and in 2009 the current shelter facility was opened. In 2013 Stone was promoted and took over as executive director. Under her leadership, the organization has continued to add new programs including a permanent supportive housing program. In 2018 the organization acquired a property on Greenleaf Avenue in Portsmouth to operate as a permanent housing option for individuals who had experienced homelessness. 
 
Over the years, Stone has served in a leadership capacity with several organizations who are working to find solutions to end homelessness and address the affordable housing crisis. The organizations include, Housing Action NH, the Balance of State Continuum of Care, Home for All (formerly the Greater Seacoast Coalition to End Homelessness), NH Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Governor’s Council on Housing Stability.
 
“I will forever be proud of the work we accomplished during my years at Cross Roads House,” said Stone. During her tenure at Cross Roads House, the shelter has served more than 9,000 people and provided over half a million nights of shelter. The staff has grown to include 30 people who work 24/7/365 to deliver emergency shelter to families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness. 
 
Hundreds of men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness seek emergency shelter and supportive services at Cross Roads House every year. In 2020, despite an ongoing affordable housing crisis and a global pandemic, Cross Roads House helped 135 people move from homelessness to stable housing. The agency’s mission is to meet the immediate needs of homeless families and individuals, and to provide them with the tools and guidance they need to return to permanent housing.

Click here to read Martha Stone's letter to the community regarding her departure plans. 
 
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