Executive Director Transition Announcement

February 17, 2022

Jo Ann Mattson Headshot

A message from Jo Ann Mattson, Executive Director of The Light House

Dear Light House Community,

After a truly rewarding experience here at The Light House, I have recently announced my plans to step down from my role as Executive Director at the end of February 2022. The Light House is a place like no other and this has been the most fulfilling work I have ever done. My love and commitment to the mission remains firm and I have every confidence in the strong and compassionate team that will be steering this transition and keeping the many programs and services going strong.

The relationships I have built during my time as Executive Director will remain very dear to my heart. I would like to express my deep appreciation to all who have been a part of The Light House and my work as Executive Director during these many years: staff, board members, volunteers, donors, partners, and the many individuals and families we serve have all played an important role in building a stronger community. I am so proud of what we have accomplished together and will be forever honored to have been a part of this vital organization.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see first-hand so much kindness, love, compassion, and hope. It has been a great privilege and I look forward to seeing The Light House continue to grow.

With deepest gratitude,

Jo Ann Mattson,
Executive Director, The Light House

A message from The Light House Board of Directors

After nearly six years of furthering The Light House’s mission and vision, Jo Ann Mattson will be departing from her role as Executive Director at the end of February. During her tenure, Jo Ann has worked tirelessly to strengthen and expand The Light House’s many vital shelter, homelessness prevention and support services.

The Light House Board of Directors would like to thank Jo Ann for her dedicated service and many significant accomplishments, including:

  • Expansion of The Light House’s Safe Harbour Resource Center (SHRC) to focus on providing robust prevention and diversion support, and outreach to street homeless.
  • Successfully ushering in a campaign to support the long-term financial stability of Light House operations.
  • Facilitating a significant increase in local and national grant partnerships.
  • Elevating The Light House’s presence in the community by participating in partnership boards, including Anne Arundel and Annapolis Coalition to End Homelessness, Anne Arundel Connecting Together (ACT), and Anne Arundel Affordable Housing Coalition (AAAHC)—an important step to ensure that The Light House has directional say in how our community responds to our neighbors experiencing crisis.
  • Participation in efforts with state legislators in support of funding for housing and homelessness programs through the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC).
  • Strong leadership throughout the Covid-19 crisis and successful navigation during this critical period of operational challenges and organizational growth—Light House programs have been consistently serving 40% more individuals and families overall and operational expenses have increased by 30% since the start of the crisis.

Thanks to Jo Ann’s exceptional guidance, The Light House has been living into our vision of becoming a national model for how our community cares for its neighbors experiencing homelessness. Her inspiring leadership will be greatly missed by the staff, board, volunteers, partners, supporters, and alumni. We wish her the best of luck in her next chapter as she moves on to her new role as Executive Director of the local Annapolis nonprofit, STAIR (Start The Adventure In Reading).

To maintain continuity in all areas of our organization, The Light House Board of Directors and senior staff has established a robust succession plan. As part of this plan, Light House Deputy Director, Heather Cassity, has been designated by The Light House Board as Interim Executive Director. Heather has been deeply engaged in all aspects of Light House programs and operations for over 5 years and is well prepared to assume this role. The Light House Board has great confidence in Heather and the entire staff as we make this transition.

We are deeply grateful to Jo Ann for her years of heartfelt commitment to The Light House. We look forward to honoring her dedication and service by continuing to uplift as many individuals and families struggling with homelessness as we possibly can.

If you have any questions during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


The Light House Board of Directors