Main Office and Mailing Address:

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

Request Services/Make a Referral


Nonprofit Community Social Service Agency


Programs & Services


Basic Needs

Identified basic need supports are related to food, clothing, shelter, and safety programs and interventions provided onsite and through our emergency assistance program.

Children’s Supplemental Gift

This volunteer driven program is supported by the community.  Supplemental gifts are provided to families with children for Christmas and their birthdays.

Community Partnership

The Pettengill House community partnership is composed of community residents, business members, and over fifty (50) local and state agencies and organizations.  The partnership has ongoing communication and meets as needed to assess needs and provide best practices, expertise and programs on behalf of its clients while combining resources in most effective framework.

Comprehensive Case Management

Pettengill’s comprehensive case management program is key to the mission of Pettengill House and addresses the multi-level needs of clients.  In this regard, Pettengill House professional staff successfully implement ongoing direct services, interventions, programs, and referrals, along with coordination of local and state services.


Individuals and families in need often have significant challenges, including physical and mental health disabilities, substance addiction, developmental delays, and environmental and economic challenges. Providing comprehensive case management services enables Pettengill House staff to implement the Pettengill House mission, providing needs assessment, education, and self-sufficiency while breaking down barriers and connecting individuals and families to additional support services.


The Pettengill House comprehensive case management program is also effective in breaking down barriers by providing support and advocacy through the building of effective and trusting relationships.  The goal of this model continues to be empowerment, education, prevention and self-sufficiency rather than dependency.

Crisis Intervention Services

This level of intervention is an emergency need, generally resulting from physiological, physical, or substance addiction/mental health needs, and as such requires high level interventions.  Crisis intervention of this level is addressed both on and off site.  As “first responders” Pettengill is responsible for their role as initial crisis team members, gathering information, data, and supports necessary to provide stabilization while facilitating an action plan and co-coordinating services with community partners.

Educational Initiatives

As the area's lead community social service agency, Pettengill House supports ongoing education within school and community settings.  Pettengill staff provides presentations to community-based organizations and schools regarding best practices and interventions pertaining to mental health, substance addiction, effects of childhood trauma, poverty, and homelessness along with an overview of Pettengill programs and services.  Additional education and consultation are also provided to school staff and community partners pertaining to best practices working with at-risk children and families.

Individual and Family Stabilization Services

Recognizing that stabilization is essential for identifying core issues and moving forward, Pettengill incorporates its agency mandates and procedures to establish self-sufficiency.  Upon initial intake, Pettengill staff and client complete a formal intake, address needs, complete assessment, and implement an action plan for success.  The goal of the Pettengill House Emergency Assistance program is to provide individual and family stabilization to qualifying clients by providing financial assistance in the area of housing, utility, medical, transportation, basic needs, social/emotional, and recreational/educational programs.  Eligibility requires completion of Pettengill formalized intake required documentation, evidence of income sustainability, and adherence to self-sufficiency mandates.

Food Pantry

The Pettengill House, Inc. food pantry is a supplemental program which provides nutritious food to qualifying individuals, children, and families.  Establishing a partnership with Nourishing the North Shore has been an effective addition to the program, implementing a weekly VEGOUT farm stand on site to provide clients with fresh local produce.  In collaboration with the Greater Boston Food Bank and Shaw’s Supermarket of Newburyport, the food pantry is also supported by a food rescue program.  In addition to foods, the pantry also provides toiletries and personal care items.

Home Visits, Assessments, and Interventions

As an established community-based multi-service agency, Pettengill House completes ongoing assessments and interventions.  Home visits and assessments are completed at the request of clients, school districts, local and state agencies, law enforcement, and service organizations.  The goals of these interventions address basic needs, health and well-being, and environmental needs.  Pettengill House home visits and assessments are critical in gathering information pertaining to strengths, needs, goals, and safety.  The results and action plan of home assessments vary as greatly as the individual or family, and may result in the need for ongoing case management, referrals, or immediate interventions.

MassHealth Services

As an approved MassHealth site, Pettengill House trained staff are state Certified Application Counselors, providing information and application assistance in completing the initial application for subsidized MassHealth or MassHealth Connector insurance. Pettengill House also provides disability application support and follow up requirements, including accessing Primary Care Physicians and Mental Health and Substance Addiction providers.

MA Dept. of Transitional Assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Realizing the barriers of individuals and families to access the state food stamp program (i.e. Lawrence, MA location, transportation, literacy, and need for advocacy), as an approved state Outreach Partner site, trained Pettengill House staff complete food stamp applications and renewals on site through the state supported Department of Transitional Assistance Connect web program. 

McKinney Vento Homeless Student Support

The McKinney Vento Homeless Act is an unfunded federal mandate passed in 1987 to protect the rights of students who are homeless.  This act enables qualifying students who have become homeless to remain in their community schools.  Identified McKinney criteria includes students who have experienced loss of permanent housing, or who are living in cars, substandard buildings, motels, hotels, shelters or campgrounds or temporarily sharing housing due to economic hardship.  Adhering to the McKinney Act at request of parent (or student if over 18) school districts are required to provide transportation to and from their community school (within an hour radius), along with providing free school breakfast and lunch programs and when required additional academic supports.  Working closely with area schools Pettengill House provides Tier II interventions, advocacy and support services to identified students and their families.  The Pettengill McKinney Homeless Student Support Program provides basic needs, enrollment in the Pettengill School Linked Service Program, assessments, comprehensive case management, emergency assistance, housing and shelter interventions, and medical and mental health interventions.

Operation Backpack

Operation Backpack is a community supported initiative which includes over thirty community drop off sites and provides students in need with backpacks and school supplies. Over the past fourteen years this annual volunteer supported program has provided over 6,000 backpacks filled with supplies for area children.


Learn more about Operation Backpack

Saturday Night Meals

This volunteer driven program is largely supported by the faith community (Central Congregational Church, Newburyport, East Parish Church, Salisbury and Main Street Congregational Church, Amesbury) in partnership with The Pettengill House, Inc.  This nine-month program provides hot, nutritious meals delivered directly to individual homes of qualifying individuals and families.

School Linked Services

The cornerstone of Pettengill House is education.  The Pettengill House School Linked Service program provides advocacy, education and supports to identified community students and their families. Pettengill firmly believes education is key in ending poverty and improving quality of life issues for children and families. The Pettengill House School Linked Service program is built around breaking barriers and “links” education, home, school and community together in efforts to support area children and families.  This unique program originated from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Adopting this model since its inception in 1994, Pettengill House provides students and their families with education and environmental supports, built upon the School Linked Service mission ensuring that “all children come to school ready to learn”.  The goal of the Pettengill House School Linked Service program is to “improve the well-being of families to better support their children’s education”.


The Pettengill House School Linked Service program supports numerous area students and their families.  In efforts to better support students and their families the Pettengill House School Linked Service program also provides comprehensive case management, family stabilization, basic needs, health services, advocacy, counseling, crisis intervention, referrals, financial assistance and prevention education programs.  Students and their families are supported directly in their school, home and community settings.   Outcomes of the School Linked Service program include increased parental involvement; improved communication between school, home and community; increase in student grades; increase in after school enrollments; decrease in student absenteeism; decrease in student tardiness; decrease in student failure and decrease in student behavioral interventions.

Senior Support

The Pettengill House Senior Support program specializes in providing full-service interventions and supports to at-risk, low income men and women aged sixty years and older.  The program has proven essential in providing management services of outreach, professional interventions, advocacy and supports.  Through formalized intake meetings, comprehensive case management and collaboration with community and state agencies this program has effectively become a steppingstone to improve the well-being and quality of life of seniors.  The program provides direct service supports and is a “familiar bridge” between area Councils on Aging, Elder Services and Pettengill House.   Aligning with this program Pettengill House contracts with Amesbury Senior Center to provide additional mental health outreach assessments and interventions for seniors in six Greater Newburyport communities. Through a grant received by the Cummings Foundation, Pettengill House has also expanded its service delivery and outreach to elders in both Newburyport and Salisbury.  The Newburyport and Salisbury communities were also identified for these additional interventions to further partner and support both the Newburyport and Salisbury Councils on Aging with a social work support system of care, which neither COA has.

Substance Addiction / Mental Health Initiatives

The Pettengill House Substance Addiction/Mental Health Initiative provides professional assessments, support services and interventions to Greater Newburyport residents in need.  Realizing the complexity of substance addiction and mental health, and knowing the need for individualized treatment, Pettengill House implements its therapeutic system of care model which provides comprehensive case management, advocacy, and intensive follow-up on behalf of the identified individuals in need.


Through a grant received by the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Pettengill House provides “Adult, Youth, and Public Safety Mental Health First Aid Training” to a diverse population of community members including school personnel, agencies, organizations, faith community, police and fire departments, and local government staff.  The goal of this national research-based training is to teach community members to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and impart the skills needed to reach out to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis and provide initial assistance, including connecting the individual with Pettengill House and additional supports and resources.


Collaborating closely with area police departments, and in partnership through the Essex County Outreach Law Enforcement Initiative Pettengill House substance addiction social workers and recovery coach provide an array of interventions and direct services to individuals and families in need.  This effective joint social work/ police model between Pettengill House and area police departments provides treatment rather than criminal charges.  The addition of a peer recovery coach currently housed at Pettengill House is made possible through our joint partnership with Newburyport Police Department and the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI).


Formal professional substance assessments identify the impacts of use and overdoses identifying immediate treatment needs and interventions.  In additional to direct service, Pettengill also provides coordination of ongoing services, pertaining to both hospitalized medical care (detox) and follow-up residential and outpatient therapeutic services.

Winter Coat Drive

This volunteer driven basic needs program provides qualifying adults and children with warm winter coats, hats, and mittens. Over the past fourteen (14) years, more than 7,000 coats and warm winter clothing items have been provided to children, adults, and elders.