By Ramona du Houx

May 20,2020

The Board of Directors of The Betsy Ann Ross Home of Hope announced former State Senator and current State Representative Colleen Madigan, LCSW as an Interim Executive Director.

“Her guidance and direction will ensure the continuation of Maine’s only transitional safe, secure home for women veterans and their children,” wrote the BARHH Board in a press release.

Rep. Madigan is an experienced mental-health provider and administrator with strong background in government and special expertise with adolescents and families. The BARHH board expressed that Madigan is an empathic, intelligent, committed, social worker who has the needed expertise and experience.

“Challenging times demand a compassionate, strong and reasoned leader. Our veterans need a woman in charge they can trust, such as Colleen, who understands their needs and will treat them as equals while always watching out for their best interests,” they wrote.

As a Maine State legislature, Rep. Madigan has defended, honored and passed legislation that help the most vulnerable in our society and the people who look after them.

“Colleen is knowledgeable, intelligent, diplomatic, highly skilled, and, most important, kind. She knows how to get things done without causing conflict. She is one of the most highly effective people I have ever seen in action. She was chosen as one of ten state legislators from across the country to participate with the National Council of State Legislators on child welfare policies,” said Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney. “She worked tirelessly to draft and pass a new law requiring DHHS to use national standards and their own study to set and follow caseload ratios. In typical Colleen fashion, the bill was passed with bipartisan support; everything she does involves working across the aisle and creating solutions that receive agreement from everyone.”

Rep. Madigan has worked in the behavioral health field for over 25 years in schools, hospitals and various human services organizations as a clinical social worker. Amongst a long list of credentials providing her expertise to multiple agencies, Colleen provided clinical oversight and consultation for staff and programs, as well as consulted shelter clients as needed at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. She also oversaw a team of twenty clinicians, providing clinical and administrative supervision. She’s a lifelong advocate on women’s issues. In 2014 the Maine chapter of NASW made her the Social Worker of the Year.

“We look forward to working with Colleen to develop innovative best practices geared to the safety and wellbeing of our veterans to help them transition,” wrote the Board.

Colleen served as a Maine State Senator 2012-2014 before being elected to the Legislature in 2016 where she’s been ever since. She currently is a member of the Health and Human Services Committee and was serves on the Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice ‘s Justice for Maine Children Task Force Chair of Special Commission to Study Children’s Mental Health.

In the Maine State Senate, she was the Chair of State and Local Government Committee, a member of Health and Human Services Committee, a member of Substance Abuse Commission and the Chair of the Commission to Study the Incidence and Mortality Related to Cancer.

After graduating from William Paterson College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, she worked with adults with mental health challenges, then spent a year in Eastern Europe providing supportive counseling services to international students. Upon returning to the U.S., she earned her masters in social work from Boston College.

“We shall always be indebted to Martha St. Pierre for making the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope a reality. Her vision has helped and will continue to help women veterans who need a safe transitional place to live. Thank you, Martha,” added the BARHH board in the release.

The Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope is a home for in-need, homeless, or in-transition female veterans. Our mission is to assist women veterans achieve self-sufficiency in a safe, home-like atmosphere. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.