Calvary opened in 1983 in the basement of Calvary Baptist Church as a temporary overnight shelter for women experiencing homelessness. In response to the ongoing needs of the community, Calvary Women’s Shelter was incorporated and later became the Calvary Transitional Housing Program. Calvary’s capacity and support services have grown consistently over the last 40 years.
Sister Circle, a permanent housing program for women in recovery from substance addiction, began in 1997. The program provides permanent housing and support services for women who live independently.
The first Hope Award Dinner brought together community and business leaders to celebrate the success of women changing their lives through Calvary’s programs and raise funding to continue its work.
The organization launched the Good Hope expansion project in 2010 as a response to the growing crisis of homelessness in the nation’s capital. In our new building, Calvary grew to serve even more women every year and expand the range of support services offered to homeless women.
In November 2012, Calvary completed a large-scale expansion project and relocated its transitional housing programs and staff to a newly renovated building in Washington, DC’s Ward 8. This relocation doubled Calvary’s program space and expanded our capacity and support services, empowering more women to end their homelessness.
In 2013, the Life Skills, Education, and Arts Program (LEAP) began on-site at Calvary. LEAP classes include skill building courses, field trips, and health and wellness activities.
In September 2014, Calvary launched Step Up DC, a program that empowers women with the tools needed to secure employment.
In November 2019, Calvary opened Reach Up Housing program. This program has allowed 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 an apartment-style setting. 15 of the beds at Reach Up are designated specifically to survivors of violence.
Calvary Women’s Services was named one of 25 Red Hot Nonprofits by DCA Live, a group that spotlights the fastest-growing companies and most dynamic professionals in the Washington, DC region.
In 2021, Sisters Rise opened with 16 additional permanent supportive housing units for women fleeing domestic violence. Women at Sisters Rise receive support to live independently in apartments and get a fresh start in their lives.
In February, Calvary began welcoming residents to our newest program, New Foundations. The program provides housing and comprehensive support services to 18 women who are experiencing homelessness as a result of domestic violence.