Always Home Announces New Executive Director Tricia Cunningham

Always Home is pleased to announce the appointment of new Executive Director, Tricia Cunningham.  Cunningham is a dedicated nonprofit professional who brings to the position experience in nonprofit management and community relations along with a deep commitment to Always Home’s mission, Preventing Family Homelessness. Cunningham succeeds Betty Smith who has served as Executive Director for the past two years and as a valued member of Always Home’s Board of Directors prior to her appointment in 2019. 

Annemarie Seifert, President of Always Home’s Board of Directors, shared how excited the Board is to work with Tricia in her role as new Executive Director. “Tricia is a positive and energetic leader,” said Seifert. “Her warmth, collegial style, and active engagement in Southeastern Connecticut will be an asset to Always Home.  The Board is confident we will be well positioned under her leadership to continue to thrive in the years to come.” 

Cunningham is recognized as a devoted and hands-on community leader. As a former President of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and co-host of Mystic Matters, she raised Mystic’s visibility and awareness both locally and beyond. Most recently, she has strengthened the presence and reputation of Fairview, Groton as its Director of Community Relations & Development. Along the way, Cunningham has also been a devoted volunteer for numerous nonprofits, municipal committees and civic organizations throughout the region. Her ability to lift up organizations, communities and individuals is a key reason Cunningham was awarded the ATHENA Leadership Award in 2018, sponsored by the Ocean Community Chamber Foundation, and was one of Southeastern Connecticut’s “40 Under Forty” awardees in 2014.  

“I am honored and humbled to serve as Executive Director of Always Home and to work with a team of dedicated and compassionate individuals comprised of staff, board members, volunteers and donors alike,” said Cunningham. “I have admired the work of this organization for years; their mission of Preventing Family Homelessness speaks to my core. There are families in our community facing significant challenges and Always Home is there to offer help and give hope. I will be following the footsteps of very strong leaders, most recently, Betty Smith, who has carved a clear path forward for the organization.  I intend to carry on in the same tradition of excellence and service to our community.” 

Seifert echoed that Smith has been an outstanding leader and champion for Always Home. “Much of what Always Home has recently built is a direct result of Betty’s leadership, vision, and efforts,” said Seifert. “Her passion and commitment to our mission has positioned the organization for future success.  We wish her and Bill all the best as they set out for their next life adventure.” 

About Always Home 
Always Home is a private 501(C)3) non-profit formed in 1998 to address the needs of Eastern Connecticut's homeless and imminently homeless families. Formerly known as Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality, Inc. (MASH), the agency continues to pursue its mission of Preventing Family Homelessness. Always Home’s work has evolved from temporarily housing homeless families in scattered site shelters to a “Housing First” approach which focuses on preventing homelessness before it happens, instead guiding families to find immediate and lasting solutions to their housing crisis. The organization has also broadened its reach in order to provide services to families throughout Eastern Connecticut and now serves over 300 families a year. As a key player in the Eastern Coordinated Access Network (ECAN), Always Home works closely with the other service providers in the Eastern Connecticut regional network to ensure that at-risk families receive the services they need to attain housing stability. 

For more information about Always Home, visit