Executive Director
Victoria Fahlberg

Dr. Fahlberg has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Public Health in Population and International Health from Harvard. She has founded two successful non-profits, one in Lowell, MA and the other in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  She brings strong leadership, administrative, fundraising, and project management skills to First Step Shelter. She is a published author and co-editor in the field of domestic violence.  She has been recognized as a community leader, and was named among the Citizens of the Year (Lowell Sun, Jan. 16, 2010), 25 Most Fascinating People of 2009 (Lowell Sun, Dec. 31, 2009), and Women Making a Difference (Lowell Sun, Nov. 4, 2003).


Operations Director
Bill Bernardo

Bill has been chosen to head up the Catholic Charities staff after a nationwide search. He and his wife have recently relocated to the area from Pittsburgh, PA. He earned a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, Gannon University. Bill is a Certified Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Trainer and holds certifications in Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction Counseling.Since 2004 Bill has been Director of Clinical Services at Renewal Treatment Inc. directing two In-patient (1 male 56 bed, 1 female 32 bed) programs, a 280 capacity Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program and a Mental Health Work Release Program for adult male and female offenders. He supervised over 30 program staff. Earlier in his career, Bill gained experience in work release, outreach, and Drug & Alcohol treatment programs.


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