Help to Fund a House of Hope and Healing
On March 23rd, 2023, Sojourner House announced the public phase of its $1.5M Capital Campaign to pay off the mortgage on its 1570 Westminster Street property in the West End of Providence, pay for needed repairs, and create an operating reserve fund for future building expenses. The new property, purchased in 2022, now houses the agency’s clinical, housing, immigration, and advocacy teams, and serves as the central Drop-In Center for clients.
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.
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.
Challenge Grant from The Champlin Foundation
The campaign began its “quiet phase” in the fall of 2022 with an initial $250,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation. In February, Sojourner House received a second $250,000 “Challenge Grant” for the Capital Campaign from The Champlin Foundation. The Champlin Foundation awarded Sojourner House this matching grant to encourage and incentivize future gifts. All donations to the Capital Campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000 if given or pledged by October 31, 2023.
Sojourner House seeks to raise the full purchase price of the building – $1.5 million – along with a reserve for maintenance and repair.
Making a Contribution
Interested in contributing to Sojourner House’s Capital Campaign? Click the donation button below. If you have any questions about the campaign or about making a gift, please reach out to email@example.com.
Help us fund this historic house of hope and healing! Gifts of any kind are appreciated.