The Pettengill House, Inc.

21 Water Street, Suite 4A, Amesbury, MA 01913

The Pettengill House Food Pantry

13 Lafayette Road, Salisbury, MA 01952

Phone:  (978) 463-8801


Nonprofit Community Social Service Agency

News & Events

Pettengill House Executive Director Tiffany Nigro accepts a Community Champion level sponsorship donation from Newburyport Bank's Jo Ann Klatskin, Senior Vice President, Government and Nonprofit Banking Manager

November 2023

Newburyport Bank Charitable Foundation Becomes First “Community Champion” Sponsor

Pettengill House is announcing the rollout of a new sponsorship program which encourages local businesses and organizations to support the agency’s efforts to address the most urgent needs in the community, including poverty and economic hardship, housing insecurity/homelessness, food insecurity, basic needs, mental health, and substance misuse.


This new program offers customizable sponsorship opportunities that promise to bring significant recognition and exposure for local businesses and organizations. Sponsors can join the program at any point during the year, and their benefits will begin at the time of sign-on. The distinguished title of “Community Champion” is reserved for sponsors who commit to becoming year-long sustaining partners with a gift of $25,000 or above. A gift at this level will help sustain critical Pettengill House programs and services for the year to come.


“Newburyport Bank Charitable Foundation has been a longtime friend and partner of Pettengill House and continues to show their commitment to investing in the well-being of our local communities. These are challenging times, and we are so grateful to our generous partners who step up to help Pettengill House provide a lifeline for thousands of individuals and families in need,” said Tiffany Nigro, Pettengill House Executive Director.


Pettengill House will hold several special events this coming year, including a new winter Concert for Pettengill, the Pettengill Pop-Up Series (three events throughout the year), the 4th annual Mission Possible online campaign in May, and the much-anticipated post-COVID revival of the Pettengill House Signature Celebration Event in the spring of 2024.


Sponsorship information and order form are available online at For questions, please contact Sierra Partlan, Director of Development and Programs, at

Pettengill House Senior Support social workers celebrate with a group of program participants after receiving a $100k grant from Cummings Foundation to support the agency's Senior Wellness Outreach Program.

June 2022

Pettengill House Awarded $100k Cummings Grant

The Pettengill House, Inc. is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 million Grant Program. The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. The community social service agency was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process and will receive $100,000 over four years. This is the second time since 2018 that Pettengill House has received a grant through this program.

This grant will enable Pettengill House to continue and expand upon the agency’s Senior Wellness Outreach Program (SWOP), which provides outreach and critical support services to meet the growing needs of seniors aged 60 and over in Salisbury and Newburyport. SWOP was first established in 2018 with help from a Cummings Foundation grant as a response to an increase in need among the vulnerable senior population in the area. In FY 2021, Pettengill House provided SWOP services for 123 clients in Salisbury and 98 clients in Newburyport. Because of continuing challenges, including ongoing crises in mental health and housing, rising cost of living, and the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19, Pettengill House anticipates SWOP enrollment to continue to grow.

“We are so grateful to the Cummings Foundation for their continued support of Pettengill House and vulnerable seniors in Salisbury and Newburyport. This grant will enable our SWOP social work team to continue breaking down barriers and providing critical interventions to address increasingly complex, multilayered needs,” said Executive Director Tiffany Nigro.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.


About The Pettengill House, Inc.

Pettengill House is a nonprofit community social service agency established since 1994.  Its mission is to support and empower individuals, children and families by providing education, comprehensive case management, and basic needs; and by coordinating community supports that contribute to individual and family stabilization, personal growth and development.  Learn more at


About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at


Executive Director Deb Smith and Assistant Director Tiffany Nigro


July 23rd, 2020

Pettengill House Executive Director of 24 years to retire, pass torch to Assistant Director

After 24 years of dedicated service, The Pettengill House, Inc. Executive Director Deb Smith announces that she will retire at the end of July.  Assistant Director Tiffany Nigro will step into the role of executive director upon Smith’s retirement.

“It has been an honor to serve as executive director of the Pettengill House and to be part of its development in becoming an award winning lead community social service model agency,” Smith stated.  “Over the years I have had the opportunity of working with an incredible team of professionals along with a strong, supportive group of community partners.   It has also been a privilege to work with the numerous individuals, children and families, who over the years have taught me a great deal about both courage, determination and persistence.”

Smith holds a Master of Education in Counseling and Psychology, and is a licensed social worker and substance addiction counselor.  She also has numerous certifications in mental health, trauma informed care, education, and social services that reflect the diversity of her experience.  Her extensive work has earned her many accolades at both the community and state level, including the 2014 Fox 25 News Hometown Hero Award, Massachusetts State Unsung Heroione Award, 2008  and the 2010 Northeast Counselors Association School Linked Service Program Award, among others.  Under Smith’s expertise and leadership, The Pettengill House, Inc. has grown into the area’s lead social service agency, providing comprehensive case management and essential programs and services for 3,000 individuals, children, and families in nine local communities, and sustaining over 50 formal partnerships with local and state government, agencies and organizations, public safety, schools, charitable organizations, faith community, and community at large.

Assistant Director Tiffany Nigro has also played a key role in shaping the direction of The Pettengill House, Inc., most often working hands-on behind the scenes.  A seasoned licensed social worker and instrumental member of Pettengill staff for 23 years, Nigro began as an intern, coordinating youth substance addiction prevention programing while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Salem State College.  After graduation Nigro signed on full time, eventually assuming the assistant director role in 2004.

“I deeply value the time I have spent growing with the agency and being part of the positive impact Pettengill House has had on many individuals and families throughout the years,” stated Nigro.  “I have learned a great deal, and I want to thank Deb for her guidance and leadership which has led me to where I am today.  We have such a great team at Pettengill House, and I am excited for the future of the agency.  As executive director I look forward to continuing to build on our valued partnerships and further strengthening our programs and services to provide continued support for our communities”

“Tiffany Nigro and I have worked together for more than 20 years, and share similar philosophies, goals, and commitment,” stated Smith.  “I am very confident passing the torch to her, knowing that Pettengill House will continue to thrive and support our communities.”

Board President Yvette Bailey stated, “On Behalf of the Pettengill House Board of Directors and Advisory we feel this leadership transition is on solid ground.  Deb and Tiffany have established excellent community programing and relationships that have served the PGH community soundly over their years together.  The Pettengill team will continue the work of this ‘gentle giant’ of an agency.  Many thanks to Deb for her years of service and best wishes to Tiffany as she continues the mission of The Pettengill House, Inc.”

The Pettengill House, Inc. will continue to benefit from Smith’s professional expertise, as she will be transitioning into a part-time role as an education consultant post-retirement.  In honor of Smith’s lasting legacy and years of leadership, the board of directors will dedicate the conference room at The Pettengill House, Inc.’s flagship Amesbury site, to be named “The Deborah M. Smith Boardroom”.


Phone:  (978) 463-8801

Fax:  (978) 463-8743

The Pettengill House, Inc.

21 Water Street, Suite 4A

Amesbury, MA 01913

The Pettengill House Food Pantry

13 Lafayette Road (Rte. 1)

Salisbury, MA 01952