Over the years since 2003, I have been associated with SWH, Inc. The growth of the organization has been tremendsous. Going from an organization unable to sustain the operation to one who is growing and prospering. What we do is maintain an old (1850,s) house in Mt. Vernon in a safe and inviting way, while having a unique partnership with another non-profit whose expertise provides the program for the residents. There are nine formerly homeless families residing in a wonderful home. We plan progress!
As part of the Conference Projects evaluation process, our District president and I visited the Susanna Wesley House in Baltimore on March 11, 2010. We were given a tour of the facility and had an informative conversation with Chris, the Office Manager. She had prepared answers for all of the questions about how the program is run and funded. It was learned that a lot of good things are going on at Susanna Wesley House! The mission of the program is to “assist women in need and their dependent children; to provide a safe, clean home; and to ensure a viable program for the resident to obtain independent living.” Each resident has an apartment with bedrooms for themselves and their children along with a private bathroom and a private or shared kitchen. The women purchase and prepare their own food and clean their own apartments. The Women’s Housing Coalition provides programs for the residents such as schooling, job training, and counseling. We left very pleased at how our donations were being put to use!
I have been involved in many boards and received tremendous satisfaction from volunteering on the working board of SWH. Many people don't realize it but there are so few places for homeless mothers in Baltimore to stay where they can keep their children with them. Most have to give them up to foster care or other family members who might be involved in the cycle of addiction, homelesses, and abuse. It is so important to keep families together and for women to learn the skills not only to take care of themselves but also to support and raise their children successfully! Many times the SWH is the first real home these children know and long terms this helps break the cycle of homelessness when someday they will remember this positive experience where they felt safe and new a better way of life for the first time in some cases! Keep up the great work SWH!