“Sojourner House taught me to believe that my life doesn’t have to be defined by the abuse I’ve experienced, that I can be anyone I want to be.

They said, yes, you may be crawling now, but we’ll give you the lift you need to get back on your feet and walk again. They gave me an opportunity to be a better me. Everywhere I go I tell my story and about how Sojourner House helped me. I appreciate the sincere love and compassion they showed me when I needed it most.”

– Sojourner House Client

At Sojourner House, we’re transforming lives and building better futures for victims of abuse, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

Sojourner House has embarked on a 1.5 Million Capital Campaign for our building on Westminster Street – the new home of our housing, counseling, and immigration legal services programs, and our Drop-In Advocacy & Resource Center. The campaign will help to ensure the continued impact of these programs, and allow our team to focus existing funds on providing trauma-informed services to clients and community members rather than on building repairs and maintenance costs.

About Our Work

Sojourner House is a victim service agency based in Rhode Island that has been providing safe shelter, housing, and life-saving supportive services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking since 1976. Our clients have access to emotional counseling, support groups, immigration advocacy, basic needs (such as groceries & hygiene products) and a variety of other trauma-informed resources.

In addition to our survivor-centered services, Sojourner House has programs that extend beyond the reactive. We firmly believe in relationship education as violence prevention and travel across the Ocean State and beyond giving talks about healthy relationships, consent, boundaries, and sexual health.

As the Needs of Survivors Grew, So Did Sojourner House

In recent years, Sojourner House has seen a significant increase in the demand for its services. For example, where the agency provided 49,729 residential bed nights in 2019, it provided 99,068 in 2022.

To meet this need, the agency grew– and grew some more! The agency’s operating budget has nearly doubled from $4 million in 2021 to close to $8 million this year. Additionally, it more than doubled its full-time staff, acquired additional property for its residential programs, added support groups and housing clinics, expanded their school-based advocacy program, and scaled up their services for human trafficking victims. 

As we seek to reach more victims and survivors from the most vulnerable and underserved populations, our programs will continue to grow. This past year, we launched new housing and supportive services for youth and young adults, for undocumented victims, and for survivors whose children are in the care and custody of RI DCYF. We also added diversion and navigation services to help victims avoid becoming homeless. In addition, we won two federal grant awards to expand programming specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing, a population currently not being adequately served well by any victims services agency in RI. 

With all of this growth, it became clear quickly that the agency needed more space.

For many years, most of our Providence staff were housed at our former Drop-In Center at 386 Smith Street, a building we have owned since 2002. As we grew, we decided to rent space on Pearl Street on the southside of Providence. We also added an office suite in downtown Woonsocket on Cumberland Street, to better serve that city and other parts of northern RI. More recently, we expanded our presence on Smith Street by renting space in the building next door. Still, with all of our new programs, we were bursting at the seams.

In the summer of 2022, recognizing that the organization needed to invest in more space in order to meet the needs of our clients, we purchased a property on Westminster Street in Providence. The first floor of the building has meeting space for staff and clients and a small conference room for support groups and staff meetings. The second floor has a suite of offices, and the third floor has two residential units which will become part of our affordable transitional housing portfolio. Our staff moved into the building in December, and it now houses our housing, counseling, and immigration legal services programs. Our building on Smith Street in Providence now serves as our administrative office, and we continue to rent the Pearl Street office in Providence, the space next to the Smith Street building, and our Woonsocket office.

The Capital Campaign

Sojourner House has launched a $1.5M Capital Campaign with the goal of eliminating the mortgage on our Westminster Street property, making necessary improvements throughout the facility, and creating an operational reserve fund for future building expenses. The Capital Campaign is led by a committee of volunteers who are engaging members of the community to support the work of Sojourner House. Donations will also support preservation and maintenance of this  iconic, historic Mansard building that has been a cornerstone of the West End since 1876.

Supporting the Campaign

Interested in contributing to Sojourner House’s Capital Campaign? Click the donation button below. Gifts of any size are appreciated. If you have any questions about the campaign or about making a gift, please reach out to jcollins@sojournerri.org.

“Sojourner House has been in an organizational growth mode these last several years in order to better meet the demand for our housing, supportive services, and crisis intervention programs. We are excited to expand our geographic footprint with the acquisition of this Westminster Street property, and we are grateful to the Champlin Foundation for their support of our work.”

Vanessa Volz, Executive Director