Calvary Women's Services launches $3 million project to expand programs and services
PROJECT THAT WILL TRANSFORM VACANT BUILDING AND PROVIDE A NEW HOME - AND HOPE - FOR HOMELESS WOMEN UNDERWAY ON GOOD HOPE ROAD.
Washington, DC - At a time when many social service providers have been forced by national economic crisis to cut back the services they offer to those most in need, Calvary Women's Services has launched a major expansion effort in the nation's capital.
Calvary Women's Services of Washington - which for more than 25 years has provided housing and services that empower homeless women for independent living - has announced the beginning of construction on their new facility and a major expansion of the critical services they offer women in the District.
Calvary's new home to provide services for homeless women will open on Good Hope Road, in Southeast Washington D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood, in December. Calvary will join several other service providers and partners in the neighborhood - and will be the first to offer supportive housing.
"Calvary is a unique and special place in DC," said Ann M. Hilpert, President of the Board of Directors of Calvary Women's Services. "We not only meet a woman's immediate needs like housing and meals, but we provide services that empower her for independent living."
At Calvary, women receive personal attention and an array of services that help them address the reasons they became homeless.
Calvary's new $3 million, 14,000 square foot project will transform an abandoned building in Anacostia into a new home that will serve 50 women a night and provide 100 meals a day, all while providing critical one-on-one attention by keeping case manager to client ratio the lowest in the city.
"At Calvary we offer women a safe, caring place for tonight and support, hope and change for tomorrow. Holding those two critical pieces together - support services and a secure place to live - is the key to returning women to independent living," said Kris Thompson, Calvary's executive director.
Calvary's unique and special approach to the issue of homelessness among the District's women works: every 5 days Calvary's programs will help a woman move into her own home.
The expanded center will increase by 40% the number of women who will move into their own homes each year.
The challenges and barriers for women who find themselves homeless can be great. Women who come to Calvary are in need of housing and also of mental health services, addiction recovery services and other support programs to assist them as they regain independence and stability in their lives. But the results can transform a woman's life.
"We are proud that women tell us that Calvary's reputation is as a place to go to get your life back together," said Thompson. "And this new home is a unique opportunity for us to help more women achieve that."
For more information about Calvary Women's Services' and the new home on Good Hope Road, visit www.calvaryservices.org/media
Additional information on Calvary Women's Services and the Good Hope Road Project
CALVARY GROWN SINCE FOUNDING IN 1983
Calvary Women's Services has grown dramatically since it began as an emergency homeless shelter in the basement of the Calvary Baptist Church in 1983 in response to an historic increase in homelessness in DC.
Calvary's services for women are currently provided at several location, the largest being the women's shelter near Chinatown. The relocation to Washington DC's Ward 8 will bring services closer to where the need is greatest: today, 25% of homeless women in the city come to shelters from Ward 8.
The new center will also help support the re-development of that neighborhood, and bring Calvary closer to our collaborative partners in social services.
Today, Calvary serves 150 women a year, providing safe housing, nutritious meals and comprehensive services as they prepare for independent living. Half of the women come to Calvary from the streets or emergency shelters, and half are leaving bad family situations. At Calvary the women engage in services that help them leave those situations behind, including education programs (75%), mental health services (100%), addiction recovery services (70%), and employment support (40%). Women at Calvary's programs are employed at twice the rate of all adults who are homeless in DC.
And the need for these services has never been greater. From 2007-2009, homelessness in Washington DC increased by more than 8% to over 6,000 people. Calvary alone been contacted by over 500 women in need of its services in the last six months, a rate of two or three women each day.
WHAT MAKES CALVARY UNIQUE?
Calvary provides women who are homeless a safe home, a nutritious home cooked meal, and an array of services that help them address the reasons they became homeless - all to empower them for independent living.
The key to success lies in Calvary's approach to provide one on one services, and taking a holistic view of the complex challenges homeless women face. "We are committed to creating personal, supportive relationships that will help each woman achieve her own goals," said Thompson.
Calvary's services include:
-Life Skills, an educational program to offer women new skills and build self-esteem.
-Case Management to provide each woman individual support.
-Mental Health Services provided on-site by a psychiatrist and a licensed therapist to help women address histories of mental illness and/ or violence and trauma.
-Addiction Recovery Services to support women struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
-Supported Employment to help formerly homeless women and low-income women re-enter the job market.
-A Savings Program to assist women with income in learning to budget and other financial skills.
-Referrals to Partner Agencies for legal services, medical services, job training, GED programs and any other services the women may need.
THE NEW HOME FOR CALVARY WOMEN'S SERVICES
Calvary has purchased and is renovating a 14,000 square foot building at 1217-1219 Good Hope Road in Washington's Anacostia neighborhood in Ward 8. The new facility will:
-Bring all of Calvary's programs for women under one roof
-Provide 10 additional beds for the Calvary Women's Shelter
-Provide 5 additional beds for the Pathways program, which provides more support and longer-term housing to women who have been chronically homeless.
-Build a state of the art kitchen to provide home cooked meals to homeless women and also provide cooking classes and employment training.
-Create private bedrooms with more space for women's personal belongings
-Provide space for Life Skills classes and other services.
Calvary Women's Services board of directors approved the $3 million project in May, 2010 and the property was purchased in December, 2010. Renovation began this month, and the new facility is expected to be ready by the end of this year.