Page 27 - BusinessWest 40 Under Forty 2024
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Tim McCarthy
Executive Director, Craig’s Doors: Age 34
   You’re All Class.
Congratulations to the 2024 class of honorees—with a special shoutout to our friend Tiffany Cutting Madru at Analytics Labs.
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     When he was chosen as a member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2024, Tim McCarthy was hesitant to talk about himself, firmly believing this is a team honor. “This is such a remarkable team,” he said. “It’s truly the best team in the country doing this work.”
That work is serving unhoused residents in Western Mass. at three sites. During McCarthy’s time as director, he has expanded programming to add new shelter locations, increase bed availability, and expand case-management support to residents of the region.
Currently enrolled as a graduate student in mental-health counseling
at UMass Amherst, he has also worked to make Craig’s Doors (which was established in 2011 and named in memory of Craig Lorraine, a veteran and well-known street musician in Northampton and Amherst) a trauma-informed operation that practices what McCarthy calls “radical compassion.” It’s also the only homeless shelter in the country that provides free transportation to guests, thanks to a state-funded partnership with the PVTA.
“I just fell in love with this work and this population, and I had a vision for how it could intersect more deeply with concepts surrounding mental health,” he explained, adding that he also employs a number of former clients. “We’ve got a lot of folks with lived experience who existed in the margins. I’m a firm believer in providing opportunities for folks; a lot of people have overwhelming competence that might not be reflected in their résumé, so we try to build internally.”
McCarthy not only wants to raise people out of homelessness, he wants to close opportunity gaps he feels are far too prevalent today. “The outcomes we’re striving for are not built into the nature or ethos of this country right now. But we bring a level of competition to compassion. We’re out here trying to be the best at this work; we’re always trying to be better than we were the day before.”
Recognizing that homelessness is “the most glaring manifestation of wealth and equality,” he noted, Craig’s Doors has closed the compensation gap on its team, where everyone, no matter their role, starts at $20 per hour or more.
“That has allowed us to retain an incredible team and develop our
roster. It also helps us to attract top talent within the space,” McCarthy said. “We’re really practicing what we preach about humility and self-reflection,”
he added. “We’re bringing a competitive work ethic promoted by capitalist ideals, but instead of applying it to individual wealth, we’re applying it to our
—Joseph Bednar
2024 A27

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