Calvary Women’s Services Opens New Housing Program for Homeless Women Before the Holidays

Photos taken of the new Reach Up site during move-in day.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Calvary Women’s Services today announced the opening of a new housing program, Reach Up. As winter approaches and temperatures plummet in the region, more women will have access to a safe home in a newly renovated building.

Reach Up will help address the demonstrated need in the Washington, DC community for additional housing serving homeless women. The number of single adults who are homeless in the DC area is rising. From 2017 to 2019 there was a 12% increase in the number of women without children experiencing homelessness in DC. At the same time, the number of women reporting domestic violence as a cause of their homelessness has also increased. Until now, there were no beds East of the River reserved for women without children who are fleeing domestic violence. Fifteen of the beds at Reach Up will be designated specifically to survivors of violence.

“Having a safe and secure place to live is essential for working through the trauma that domestic violence, addiction and homelessness cause,” said Kris Thompson, Calvary’s Chief Executive Officer. “Reach Up will empower women to regain their independence and escape the cycle of poverty and homelessness.”

Calvary is the largest provider of women’s housing programs East of the River. The Reach Up program will allow Calvary to have an even greater impact in working to end the homelessness epidemic in the DC area by adding 31 transitional housing beds. In addition to safe housing, women in the Reach Up program will have access to Calvary’s life-changing support services, including health, education, and employment programs, and personal support from case managers.

This project is the culmination of a yearlong expansion project at Calvary that has included increasing capacity at an existing housing program. Overall, the organization’s capacity will have increased by 80% this year.

“Calvary’s programs work,” said Serena Agaba Rwejuna, President of Calvary’s Board of Directors. “90% of women who successfully complete our programs end their homelessness for good. And now, through Reach Up, we are able to expand our reach and enable more women to transform their lives.”

This expansion would not have been possible without the significant investment of numerous partners. Grants have been awarded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, and the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. Pro bono support has been offered by MGAC, Williams & Connolly LLP, Goulston & Storrs, J.E. Richards, and DAVIS Construction. Project planning was supported by The Local Initiatives Support Corporation and led by Jaydot LLC.

For additional information about Calvary Women’s Services, please contact Heather Laing at (202) 678-2341 ext. 220 or hlaing@calvaryservices.org.

This press release was produced by Calvary Women’s Services under grant 2019-CWSH-01, awarded by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia. The opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this press release are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Executive Office of the Mayor.

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