Share |

Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc.

 38 Wareham Street
 Boston, MA 02118
[P] (617) 5210100
[F] (617) 5210105
[email protected]
Libby Ellis
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2625710

LAST UPDATED: 02/19/2017
Organization DBA Casa Myrna
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.

Mission Statement

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $4,901,514.00
Projected Expense $4,889,277.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • SAFELINK HOTLINE (877) 785-2020

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.

Background Statement

Casa Myrna was founded in 1977 by a group of volunteers in Boston’s South End to provide a safe haven for women who were being abused by their husbands and partners, often in front of their children. Casa Myrna was named for Myrna Vazquez, an actress and activist who organized members of South End’s Puerto Rican community. The community’s response to domestic violence, and their mobilization around other pressing issues, reflected a key moment in the growth of Latino activism in Boston. Over close to 40 years, Casa Myrna has grown from one emergency shelter (still operating in the South End) to Boston’s largest provider of domestic violence awareness efforts and of shelter and supportive services to survivors. We take a holistic approach to help survivors recover from the trauma of abuse and become safe and independent for the long-term. At the same time, we focus our efforts on prevention by educating and raising awareness about intimate partner violence. Our comprehensive services, available in both Spanish and English, provide domestic violence survivors with tools to recover from the trauma of abuse and begin to build sustainable self-sufficiency. Our three shelters are the Mary Lawson Foreman House Emergency Shelter, the Transitional Living Program and the Teen Parenting Program. Our supportive services for survivors in our shelters and those who live in their own homes in the community include: housing advocacy; counseling; children’s services; legal advocacy and representation; financial literacy, academic and employment preparedness; and community-based advocacy. In addition, Casa Myrna operates SafeLink, the only 24/7, bilingual domestic violence hotline in Massachusetts. We also design and lead workshops and trainings for teens and adults in greater Boston communities about healthy relationships, the signs of domestic violence and ways to support survivors. Casa Myrna is the only domestic violence agency in Massachusetts to mount annual ad campaigns on mass transit systems to educate people and promote SafeLink. Intimate partner violence affects women and girls across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Nearly one in three women and teens have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. Casa Myrna’s direct services primarily support very low-income women from non-white backgrounds. The SafeLink Hotline and our broader prevention activities support adults and teens from diverse backgrounds.


Impact Statement

In the past year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016), Casa Myrna provided shelter and comprehensive supportive services to 2,085 domestic violence survivors and their children. Our SafeLink hotline responded to 25,625 calls from survivors, their friends, family and colleagues. We educated over 1,000 teens and adults about domestic and dating violence through workshops and events. We continue to strengthen and increase our communications efforts through daily social media posts on Facebook and Twitter and frequent emails from the CEO, Board members and survivors to more than 2,000 people. Casa Myrna is committed to responding to survivors’ immediate needs for safety and shelter and their longer-term needs to develop skills for employment, advance their education and secure permanent, affordable housing, all indications of leading safe and independent lives. We are equally dedicated to raising awareness and educating people to ultimately prevent intimate partner violence.

This year, we will continue our comprehensive intervention, awareness and prevention efforts. Pursuant to our current three-year strategic plan, we are focused on: new models of short term shelter for families; a rapid re-housing program that helps survivors move from homelessness to permanent, safe, affordable housing quickly; expanding our education, awareness, outreach and prevention work; seeking new ways to engage our community; and developing our commitment to and demonstration of social justice practices.

The plan also includes improvements to our infrastructure that help to enhance our prevention, awareness and service initiatives, including the development of stronger and more consistent personnel policies and procedures; staff and program performance evaluation; data/outcomes management and reporting; internal and external communications; and staff professional development and leadership. In FY17, we will expand our capacity to prevent domestic violence through increased support of survivors and education of the broader community. We have aligned our staff positions and departments to best meet these needs.

Our work is informed by survivors and responds to the broader community’s needs for increased education about intimate partner violence.   

Needs Statement

1. One of the major challenges faced by Casa Myrna is the unpredictability of government support, which represents a large percentage of our program funding. We are concerned that changes at the federal level may impact our capacity to deliver essential services. 

2. An ongoing pressing need is the lack of safe, affordable, permanent housing in Massachusetts, particularly in Greater Boston. 
3.  Our community-based programs and services have a pressing need to increase our capacity to access hard-to-reach victims of domestic violence who live in the community (who may still live with their abuser).
4. We seek to engage the support we need to fully implement the goals outlined in our current strategic plan including social justice initiatives.
5.  We seek to recruit new board members with the expertise and philanthropic capacity to help the organization and our clients achieve our goals. 

CEO Statement

Casa Myrna works to end domestic and dating violence holistically and comprehensively. Based on needs expressed by survivors, our services address the intersection of domestic violence, trauma and material insecurity by providing survivors with tools to achieve safety, a healthy sense of self and sustainable self-sufficiency. We also address the root causes of domestic violence through awareness and prevention. We ensure we are aligned with survivors’ needs by asking what they need, and many of our staff, volunteers, board and donors are survivors themselves. From them all, we know that immediate safety (emergency shelter) is not enough. Survivors want to feel empowered, be economically stable, and pursue their dreams. To this end, our program model has changed from the provision of emergency shelter to that of comprehensive services and resources, including follow-up with survivors after they have left our programs. We are proud that, years later, many survivors continue to engage, volunteer, seek us out for assistance, or just update us on their lives.

We also base our services on data and trends from our community. Casa Myrna is a leader in developing programs to meet the emerging needs of survivors. Our Teen Parenting Program was created more than twenty years ago in response to the growing number of young, low/no income pregnant or parenting girls whose experience of domestic or family violence was putting them and their children at risk of ongoing harm. The program is now the only one of its kind in the state to provide shelter and comprehensive support to teen parents homeless because of violence. Based on current trends and survivor demand, we are now developing our ability to provide services to teens in the community and to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation (trafficking) and to provide resources to rapidly re-house survivors in shelter quickly and permanently.

Each survivor has strength and resiliency. However, the constant belittling that is a hallmark of domestic violence leaves survivors with low self-esteem and doubt in their potential and ability to succeed on their own. The many challenges they face to rebuild their lives can seem insurmountable, and often combine to create new paradigms of poverty and increased vulnerability to homelessness, isolation and insolvency. Overcoming those multiple challenges requires a compassionate understanding of the dynamics of an abusive relationship and the programmatic capacity to respond to their multi-faceted needs. Casa Myrna ensures that we provide this for every survivor in our community.


Board Chair Statement

I have been honored to represent Casa Myrna as a Board member, a volunteer and a runner on the Boston Marathon team for the past five years. In each role, I can engage family, friends, colleagues and the public in the fantastic work of this organization. Casa Myrna’s simple but powerful mission is what drew me to the Board. I have always been passionate about working with organizations that are willing to challenge the status quo of social problems that can lead to the breakdown of families and erosion of communities. Casa Myrna’s comprehensive, unique approach to providing services for domestic violence survivors made me want to commit to the organization. From our residential programs to SafeLink to community based legal services, Casa Myrna works tirelessly to support, educate and empower survivors of domestic violence, and raise awareness in the community about this issue. Last year, we completed a comprehensive strategic planning process. We are now fully engaged in implementing our plan. For years, Casa Myrna did not have a solid strategic plan in place and this resulted in protracted and difficult discussions among the Board and management when the organization faced challenges and opportunities. Although we all agreed we needed a strategic plan, creating it was a long series of “starts” but not much progress. No one seemed to know where to begin and the topic became a source of much anguish between Board and staff. We all wanted the best for Casa Myrna but could not figure out how to have the discussions and to think long term. In 2015, we made a commitment to embrace the challenge of a strategic planning process and complete within the year. By hiring a facilitator, engaging staff, management and the Board and creating focused groups to address specific goals, we were able to break the big challenge of a strategic plan into manageable pieces and engage in productive and often inspiring conversations about the organization’s future. Before we knew it, we had a strong, comprehensive plan that will guide Casa Myrna through the next three years. In the process, we strengthened connections and communication between staff and the Board. This will serve the organization well as we face future challenges and opportunities.

At the end of FY14, Casa Myrna faced an unexpected challenge of the immediate loss of a funding source for our Teen Parenting Program (TPP). This could have meant the shutdown of a shelter for eight teenage survivors and their children, leaving vulnerable families with few safe housing options and limited access to social service and skills based programs, which were critical to helping them become strong parents. Our Development team, in partnership with the CEO and Board, swiftly created a “call to action” to save the TPP. This included advocacy with local and state officials, reorganization of internal resources and, most importantly, a comprehensive fundraising initiative that called on current and former donors to support the program. As a result of this successful coordinated initiative, the TPP continues today and remains the only program for teenage parents affected by domestic violence in Massachusetts. I am proud to serve as Board President and lead Casa Myrna over the coming years.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Roxbury

Casa Myrna's three residential programs primarily serve survivors and their children from Boston and surrounding communities. Our Supportive Services serve survivors who live in their own homes in Roxbury, Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan and the South End. The SafeLink Hotline supports survivors and other callers from across Massachusetts, with more than 50% of people calling from Boston. Our education and awareness efforts reach people across the state.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Victims' Services
  2. Housing, Shelter - Temporary Housing
  3. Human Services - Family Violence Shelters and Services

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)




Our Education and Outreach activities include workshops, trainings and events for teens and adults in Massachusetts communities on healthy relationships and ways to recognize, respond to and ultimately prevent domestic and dating violence. Our daily social media postings on Facebook and Twitter, regular emails from the CEO, ongoing updates to our website, public policy advocacy and annual mass transit ad campaigns further raise awareness about domestic and dating violence. Casa Myrna is the only domestic violence agency in Massachusetts to mount such public awareness campaigns on mass transit systems. The ads, in Spanish and English, connect survivors and others to SafeLink Hotline educate people about intimate partner violence. Our eleventh ad campaign appeared in October 2014 on buses, subways and trains in nine communities across the state. As we start to implement our new strategic plan in 2015, we will expand outreach and education to increase our prevention efforts.

Budget  $80,000.00
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short-term, we measure the success of our education and outreach work by the number of people we reach through workshops, trainings and other events. In FY15, we reached 1,362 adults and teens. Short-term success is also measured by the increased number of people who connect with us via our daily social media posts: close to 1,000 people follow us on Twitter and engage with us on Facebook. More than 1,500 receive regular emails from our CEO, representing a new way of communicating with and educating our supporters. In the past year, many in our community have commented positively on this increased frequency of communications. Last, we have strengthened our website in the past year via platform upgrades and ongoing content updates, and have developed new relationships with the media, resulting in coverage about Casa Myrna in major print, screen and radio outlets, including blogs and articles written by our CEO, other staff and Board members.

Program Long-Term Success 

The ultimate change that will occur from our education and outreach efforts is the prevention of intimate partner violence. This is an ambitious goal, and one that Casa Myrna is committed to achieving, with the partnership of others in our community. The long-term goal of prevention is a foundation of our new strategic plan and refined organization vision. Education and outreach activities that target teens and adults, and even elementary school-age children, are vital to developing effective prevention strategies. We look forward to developing partnerships with a number of youth-focused organizations, including the Boston Public Schools, to best reach our prevention goals via education.

Program Success Monitored By  We monitor the success of our education and outreach efforts in a number of ways. Participants in workshops and trainings complete evaluation surveys to provide feedback about the content, subject relevance to their work or education, and leader. We receive overwhelmingly positive feedback about our workshops and trainings, in particular about our education, the Communications and Outreach Manager. She is a skilled, engaging teacher who keeps current about issues in the field of intimate partner violence and creates educational sessions that are tailored to the particular audience of teens or adults. We monitor the success of our mass transit ad campaigns, educational emails and social media posts via feedback in verbal and written feedback from those in our community. In the past year, we have received outstanding feedback from Board members, donors and other stakeholders about the content and frequency of these communications.
Examples of Program Success 
Our education and outreach efforts are successful in their reach to diverse constituents in Massachusetts. In the past year, we reached new groups of people through events and activities, raising awareness about domestic violence in populations we may not have previously reached. For example, the Make It Your Business reception, held in March 2015, brought together more than 100 business leaders from companies that had not yet connected with Casa Myrna. Governor Charlie Baker, other elected officials and our CEO spoke about the impact of domestic violence on employees, colleagues and the bottom line. In addition, we further educated and engaged elected officials through our first Policy Maker Breakfast in October 2014. Close to 100 local and state officials joined us to hear from three survivors, our CEO and Speaker Robert DeLeo about ways to strengthen legislation to help survivors.  We will host this event again in October 2015.


Casa Myrna provides three shelters for survivors and their children. The Mary L. Foreman House emergency shelter, our original shelter based in the South End, supports ten women and thirteen children. The program is named for the late Mary Lawson Foreman, a mother and activist who was a victim of violence. Families receive intensive support around their immediate trauma. They live at the house for up to six months before moving to transitional housing. The Transitional Living Program, founded in 1981 and based in Dorchester, shelters and supports six women and nine children for up to 24 months. Founded in 1993, the Teen Parenting Program houses pregnant and/or parenting teens and their babies and toddlers. It is a model as the only program of its kind in the state to shelter and support teen families who are homeless because of domestic violence. The program serves eight teen parents and thirteen children. Families live at the program for up to 24 months. 


Budget  $1,485,363.00
Category  Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Families Victims Families
Program Short-Term Success 
One indication of the success of our residential programs is the number of people we support. In FY15 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015) we sheltered 75 survivors and 55 children. In addition, because abusers eradicate survivors’ independence, sense of community and self-esteem, it is essential that survivors of domestic violence gain (back) the ability to be self-sufficient. The following are indicators of short-term success for survivors, achieved during the time that they live in our shelters: a sustained, demonstrated understanding and use of healthy parenting strategies; the absence of violence and abuse in interactions with children, program staff and other program participants; sustained attendance in and graduation from an approved educational program (academic or vocational) and/or applying for, securing and retaining employment and working to increase income through employment; and seeking, transitioning to and maintaining permanent, affordable housing.
Program Long-Term Success 
The ultimate change for survivors resulting from our residential programs is becoming safe and self-sufficient. Moving to permanent, safe, affordable housing is a significant indicator of this. In addition, after living at our programs, we anticipate that survivors will feel that they have moved beyond the trauma of domestic violence; demonstrate strong financial literacy skills; obtain and retain employment, or are working to increase their education, skills and income; and continue to engage with Casa Myrna as a volunteer, mentor, speaker or educator about domestic violence. Survivors want to create safe and nurturing families and support their children to develop and grow healthfully to have their own safe families in the future.
Program Success Monitored By 
We monitor our success by continually communicating with survivors to help them set, assess and achieve their self-defined goals for safety and independence. Program staff track all interactions with survivors in our programs database. Last year, we conducted an outcomes project to identify qualitative and quantitative indicators of success in multiple domains (safety, empowerment, self-sufficiency, parenting). This year, we will design a new database and complementary data collection tools and methods. We will base measures of success on where individual participants are in their lives. We are also testing a new tool for measuring survivors’ sense of safety, self-confidence and self-advocacy. The survey is modeled on the Measure of Victim Empowerment in Relation to Safety (MOVERS) Assessment, a thirteen-question document (provided in Spanish and English), developed by domestic violence service providers and researchers from the Boston College School of Education and Simmons College.
Examples of Program Success 

Oranny and her two-year-old daughter Catalia have lived at the Teen Parenting Program (TPP) since February 2015. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Oranny came to the United States when she was 12 years old. At that time, her father began physically abusing her. At the age of 20, Oranny lived with her boyfriend, her daughter’s father. When her boyfriend started abusing her, it felt familiar to Oranny.

Oranny was referred to Casa Myrna by a social worker at the Martha Elliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain. She called our SafeLink hotline. One week later, Oranny and Catalia moved to the TPP. Staff consider Oranny a role model and leader at the program.

I want to make something of myself for my daughter. I never want her to see abuse in our family because I know how that feels.

Oranny works part-time as a cashier and attends Bunker Hill Community College. She looks forward to graduating and pursuing a career in social work so she can help children impacted by trauma.

SAFELINK HOTLINE (877) 785-2020

Casa Myrna's SafeLink is the only statewide, multilingual, 24/7 domestic violence hotline in Massachusetts. Bilingual (Spanish and English) SafeLink Advocates sensitively listen, educate callers and provide resources and referrals to domestic violence survivors, and their friends, families and colleagues, across the state, including to services at Casa Myrna. Advocates receive more than 40 hours of domestic violence and hotline-specific training. A full-time Coordinator supervises staff and manages SafeLink. SafeLink was founded in 2000 and has been in continuous operation ever since. It currently receives between 80 to 100 calls a day. A signature of the hotline is the Bed Update, which tracks in real time available space in the 25 domestic violence shelters across the state, and links callers to these shelters seamlessly. Historically, hotlines were one of the first resources available to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. SafeLink remains a lifesaving resource.

Budget  $602,455.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Adults Females Victims
Program Short-Term Success 
SafeLink's short-term success is best measured by the number of callers the hotline supports. In FY15, SafeLink helped 29,305 callers from across Massachusetts. Approximately 80% of callers were domestic violence survivors seeking immediate shelter. If space was available in a shelter in the caller's area, SafeLink staff transferred the survivor there for support. SafeLink's short-term success is also indicated by its ability to educate all callers about domestic violence and offer additional support and connections. Moreover, having a survivor remain on the phone with an Advocate long enough to create a safety plan represents immediate success.  In FY15, 100% of callers received information and resources, including assistance to create a safety plan.
Program Long-Term Success 
SafeLink's ultimate success is its provision of uninterrupted 24/7 service. We look forward to continuing to operate SafeLink well into the future. In addition, we plan to diversify its provision of support, specifically for teen survivors, by creating a text-based hotline to be more accessible and comfortable for them. Teen survivors experience intimate partner violence at similar rates to adults, yet they do not call SafeLink (as evidenced by our data collection of asking callers their age) with the same frequency and volume as adults do. SafeLink as a phone and text hotline will further impact the program's long-term success in supporting survivors and other callers. We will also strengthen its data collection, monitoring and evaluation, which will better demonstrate its long-term success and impact on individual survivors, other domestic violence agencies and policy efforts related to domestic violence. 
Program Success Monitored By 

We monitor the success of SafeLink by tracking call volume, the reason for the call, geographic location of the caller and if the person has called previously. We recently upgraded our SafeLink database, to collect important information and report more easily. Working with other domestic violence service providers, we were better able to define specific outcome measures of success and associated required data elements for SafeLink. This will help us better track and report on trends for services survivors seek, the availability of resources throughout the state, and survivors’ geographic needs for services and the extent to which needs are met (e.g., emergency shelter is located, a safety plan is made). Further, we will be able to provide reports on calls and callers at a statewide level for policy planning purposes and at a community level to be shared with local domestic and dating violence prevention programs and donors.

Examples of Program Success 

 A story about a caller demonstrates SafeLink's success. In winter 2015, a survivor from Lawrence called SafeLink. The woman (who did not have children) was calling from her car, where she had been living for two days. Her husband was physically abusive to her, and had poured propane on her and threatened to light her on fire. The SafeLink Advocate worked with the survivor to create a safety plan. She learned that the survivor had no money or access to a credit card and was running out of gas for her car. Her abuser had isolated and controlled her to the point that she was not allowed to work, develop friendships or connect with her family, who are not in the area. The Advocate explained the shelter system in Massachusetts, and also accessed the Bed Update, which showed space in the YWCA’s Fina House, an emergency domestic violence shelter in Lawrence. The Advocate connected the survivor directly to the shelter, providing a smooth transition from SafeLink to a vital resource.


Casa Myrna's comprehensive supportive services are provided in English and Spanish to clients in our three shelters and those living in the community. They are a hallmark of Casa Myrna. Housing Advocacy helps survivors and their children remain in their own homes and/or secure permanent, affordable housing. The SOAR (Stability, Opportunities, Achievements, Results) Program provides financial literacy education and academic and employment readiness training. The Legal Program provides legal advocacy and representation to survivors. It also includes a Medical-Legal Partnership with Mass. General Hospital to provide onsite legal support to patients at the main campus and a clinic in Chelsea. Counseling Services provide individual and group therapy. Children's Services support and refer survivors' children to needed services. Community-Based Advocacy places full time, bilingual Community Services Specialists in six Boston agencies to provide support and connections to our other services.
Budget  $1,240,219.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Adults Families Victims
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term success for our Supportive Services is best measured by the number of survivors we serve to help them reach their goals for self-sufficiency and safety. In FY14, we: helped 100 families search for and obtain permanent housing; provided counseling to 118 survivors; provided legal services to 407 survivors; reached 89 survivors through individual and group sessions on financial literacy, academic and employment preparedness; and provided general advocacy and support to 287 survivors in the community. We anticipate reaching similar numbers of survivors this year, including those who reside in our residential programs and who live in their own homes in the community.
Program Long-Term Success 
The long-term success of our Supportive Services is best measured by sustainable self-sufficiency. This is evidenced by a survivor moving to and remaining in his/her own home for at least one year after having received services from our Housing Specialist; continuing to advance toward a college degree, in keeping with the personal economic plan the survivor developed with our Self-Sufficiency Specialist; and finding and keeping a job that provides a living wage to support one's family. Long term success for survivors is defined by them in other less tangible ways. Having the confidence to map out a bus route to a job interview or schedule a conference with a child's teacher or start a search for advanced degree programs all constitute long term success and healing from trauma for survivors. Moreover, gaining the confidence and skills to recognize the qualities of healthy relationships and teaching these to one's children reflect long-term success for survivors.
Program Success Monitored By 

We currently track survivors' goals, progress and interactions with staff in our programs database, beginning with a comprehensive in-person intake. Committed to better measure and report the successes of our clients and our programs, Casa Myrna is now completing an outcome measures project, which will define outcome measures of success (instead of “outputs” of service) and their corresponding data points. This will help us to track outcomes that matter to survivors’ empowerment and safety. We will track survivors' defined goals for themselves and their children, their sense of progress, community, safety, strength, skills and empowerment.  Once we are able to collect this data, we will be able to analyze it to identify trends and strengths and weaknesses within our services, which we will then use to (re)define our service and prevention priorities. This project will result in updated  databases for our residential and supportive services and SafeLink in 2015.  

Examples of Program Success 

Our Community Services Specialist Camila met Gloria (age 21) at the Family Justice Center after Gloria filed a police report. Gloria's boyfriend was trying to press charges against her, although the initial report indicated he was perpetrating the abuse. Camila referred her to our Teen Parenting Program (TPP), and Gloria and her two-year-old son entered the program.

Camila helped Gloria prepare for her court appearance, and the charges against Gloria were dropped. Camila also helped Gloria obtain a restraining order against her boyfriend. Gloria then worked with our Self-Sufficiency Specialist Joselyn. She completed SOAR’s five-session group, and Joselyn helped her enroll in a job training program of Catholic Charities. Joselyn worked with Gloria to overcome her anxiety about banking, budgeting and paying rent. Our Housing Specialist helped her find safe, affordable housing in a public housing unit in Brighton. Joselyn reports that Gloria is even interested in saving for retirement!

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Casa Myrna is proud of the evolving comprehensive services we provide survivors, well beyond their immediate needs for shelter. We try to meet survivors where they are, including providing an array of supports including legal representation and advocacy, counseling, housing advocacy, and economic stability support. These services, available to survivors in our shelters and in the community, support survivors as they work toward their goals for self-sufficiency and move beyond the trauma of domestic violence.

In the coming years, based on demand and trend data, we intend to expand some services and create new ones. We will expand our Community-Based Advocacy Program, which reaches the many survivors who are living in their own homes or shelters in our community. These survivors, for whom emergency domestic violence shelter may not be available, needed or warranted, want to move beyond the abuse and trauma in their lives. By expanding Community-Based Advocacy, we will place advocates in more locations throughout Boston – including courts, health centers and social service agencies. Survivors will be able to seek support and safety planning, obtain information and connect to our other services in places where they feel comfortable or may already frequent.  

Because we recognize the need for specialized services to teen survivors, we will also expand Community-Based Advocacy services to teens. Building on our experience with teens in our Teen Parenting Program, Casa Myrna will place advocates in schools and after school programs in Boston. The development of these services will be informed directly by teens to whom we have provided services in the past.

With funding from the City of Boston and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we are implementing a “rapid re-housing program,” shifting funds from our transitional housing program to support permanent housing. In this new model, homeless survivors and their children will move from emergency shelter or homelessness to an apartment of their own. Beginning in June 2015, Casa Myrna will provide a two year subsidy for rent and comprehensive services to help them maintain housing permanently.

Last, Casa Myrna is working understand and provide services to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. We know that many of the teens and adults with whom we work have survived some form of trafficking. Working with experts from the EVA Center, the City of Boston and the Office of the Attorney General, we plan to expand our services to be able to address this issue beginning in the spring of 2016.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Stephanie Brown
CEO Term Start July 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Stephanie Brown has more than 15 years of experience in social service, public policy, strategy and advocacy. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer of Casa Myrna, she was Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Program and External Relations of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). She began her career at DTA as the Director of the Housing and Homeless Services Unit, and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2009. Previously, she served as Executive Director of Homes for Families, Inc., a nonprofit organization advocating for public policies to end family homelessness by addressing its root causes. Earlier in her career, Stephanie worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services as the Administrator for Domestic and Sexual Violence Intervention/Prevention Policy, and at Jane Doe, Inc. as a Policy Analyst. Stephanie is President Elect of the Board of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and serves on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness and the Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Abuse. Her history of involvement with Casa Myrna extends back to 1994, when she was a volunteer on our hotline and in our children's program. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Florida.


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Deborah Collins-Gousby May 2010 July 2013
Ms. Linda Jo Stern Aug 2009 May 2010

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Deborah Collins-Gousby Executive Director of Programs --
Mr. Ron Mason Director of Operations --
Ms. Leela Strong Director of Development and Communications --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Sylvia Simmons Best Practice Award Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation 2014


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Collaboration is a cornerstone of our Community-Based Advocacy Program. We partner with the South End Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Health Center, Roxbury and Dorchester District Courts, Brookview House and the Boston Family Justice Center, where our bilingual Community Services Specialists are on site one day per week. Our Legal Advocacy Program's Medical-Legal Partnership collaborates with Mass. General Hospital's HAVEN Domestic Violence Program to place two of our attorneys on site monthly to meet with survivors. We also collaborate with the state Department of Children and Families to provide SafeLink; Families at Home, which provides 10 Section Eight housing vouchers for domestic violence survivors and their children; Northeastern University School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute to provide training to attorneys and expand our legal advocacy via a three-year Office of Violence Against Women grant; Horizons for Homeless Children, whose volunteers provide weekly childcare at our three shelters; Women of Means, whose volunteer physicians and nurses provide biweekly medical care at our three shelters; and Community Cooks, which shares home-cooked meals on a monthly basis with the residents of the Mary L. Foreman House and Transitional Living Program. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 46
Number of Part Time Staff 31
Number of Volunteers 22
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 84%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 21
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 36
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2 multi-racial
Gender Female: 70
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Anne Giovanoni Esq.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Alkermes, Inc.
Board Chair Term Sept 2014 - Sept 2017
Board Co-Chair Ms. Juanita Allen Kingsley
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Century Health Systems
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2014 - Sept 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Karin Beecher School Committed Campaign Newton Voting
Mr. Lennox Chase Esq. Lawyer in private practice Voting
Ms. Anne Giovanoni Esq. Alkermes, Inc. Voting
Mr. Casimir Groblewski Fantini and Gorga Voting
Ms. Juanita Allen Kingsley Century Health Systems Voting
Dr. Annie Lewis-O'Connor Brigham & Women's Hospital Voting
Mr. Ganesh Rajaratnam Alkermes, Inc. Voting
Ms. Cassie Ramos Esq. Mintz, Levin Voting
Mr. Terry Rice Living Proof Voting
Ms. Saritin Rizzuto Metro Credit Union Voting
Ms. Mary Stack Maine Pointe Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): South Asian
Gender Female: 6
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Real Estate

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In 2013, we experienced significant change in our leadership structure. After three years of a Co-Executive Director model (with one Executive overseeing Programs and one overseeing Development and Administration), Casa Myrna’s Board made the decision to hire a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This title reflects the senior leadership abilities, strategic thinking, fundraising experience and vision required to lead the organization. Stephanie Brown became CEO on July 1, 2013, bringing expertise in public policy and systems that support low-income and marginalized individuals (including domestic violence survivors), supervisory experience and a vision to secure and strengthen our work for many years to come. Stephanie, and the CEO position, represent stability for Casa Myrna, which leads to confidence in our partners, donors, Board, staff and clients.

Two years later, Stephanie and Casa Myrna's Director of Development (Raquel Rosenblatt, who started in August 2013) have expanded and diversified revenues, and partnered with the Board to increase their engagement around personal philanthropy, other fundraising efforts and demonstrating additional increased leadership.

In January 2015, the Board elected a slate of (partially) new officers, further rejuvenating an already active board. With the CEO, these newly elected officers will lead the next phase of Casa Myrna’s growth, embracing our expansion of Community-Based Advocacy Services, the move away from transitional housing and towards permanent housing, and the creation of services for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. Our outgoing Board President is leaving us with the legacy of stability and growth, and a strategic plan for the next three years that is realistic yet visionary. The plan focuses on expanding our education, outreach and coalition building work, seeking new ways to engage our entire community and prevent domestic violence. For example, building on the effectiveness of SafeLink, we will implement a youth focused “hotline” using different communication methods, including texting. We will convene training and technical assistance sessions with other agencies to share best practices and resources, and to develop solutions to common barriers for agencies and clients. We will expand services, reaching more survivors, and bring more awareness of the issue to our community. By working more closely with other stakeholders and agencies, we will all be able to better serve survivors of domestic violence – and prevent the need for services - throughout the City and the Commonwealth.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $4,901,514.00
Projected Expense $4,889,277.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $3,066,895 $3,617,654 $3,141,064
Total Expenses $3,765,387 $3,290,236 $3,109,072

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $2,593,277 $2,184,567 $2,129,368
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $2,593,277 $2,184,567 $2,129,368
Individual Contributions $648,870 $1,076,856 $622,770
Indirect Public Support $43,964 $43,974 $44,505
Earned Revenue $-455,336 $52,233 $54,685
Investment Income, Net of Losses $147,919 $175,400 $216,842
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $88,201 $84,624 $72,894
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $3,130,285 $2,466,964 $2,373,398
Administration Expense $396,618 $541,627 $549,131
Fundraising Expense $238,484 $281,645 $186,543
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.81 1.10 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 83% 75% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 8% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $3,660,731 $4,281,675 $4,066,816
Current Assets $830,705 $975,997 $723,359
Long-Term Liabilities $193,316 $202,783 $202,783
Current Liabilities $402,783 $254,447 $279,745
Total Net Assets $3,064,632 $3,824,445 $3,584,288

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $386,623.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.06 3.84 2.59

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 5% 5% 5%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

 The CEO, Director of Development and Board collaborate to increase Casa Myrna’s capacity to raise funds, to diversity our funding base and to steward existing and new donors. In addition, Casa Myrna has been increasing survivor and staff engagement in development efforts. Through this process, we have diversified and expanded government funding throughout our programs, engaged and strengthened relationships with individual and foundation donors, expanded our capacity to raise revenue through events, and identified a cadre of survivors who feel empowered by speaking about their experiences. This investment in our infrastructure will allow us to grow, improve and sustain our services and prevention programming in the coming years.

In May 2014, Casa Myrna was notified by its largest funder, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), that beginning in August 2014 (fiscal year 2015), Casa Myrna would lose $310,000 in funding for our Teen Parenting Program due to shift in Department policy. The loss of this annual contract, which began in July 2002, put Casa Myrna’s flagship shelter program in jeopardy. After recovering from the initial shock, Casa Myrna’s leadership quickly moved to action, analyzing and mitigating the loss. Six months later, Casa Myrna had raised from foundation and individual donors the funds needed to keep the program open for the remainder of the fiscal year. In addition, Casa Myrna diversified the government funding base that supports the program to ensure its long term sustainability. Further, no other services were reduced or eliminated in the process. While we have budgeted a loss in our fiscal year 2015 budget because of this cut, based on projections thus far, we expect a small profit by the fiscal year end.

We are proud of these accomplishments as they reflect success not only in fundraising but also in developing strong, long-term relationships with Casa Myrna leadership, donors, survivors and other stakeholders. The strength of these relationships will ensure Casa Myrna’s work is not only sustainable, but visionary and responsive to the needs of our community.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available. 


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?