Press Releases

Calvary Women's Services Receives $175,000 from Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to Help Develop a New Home for Homeless Women in Washington, D.C.

July 25, 2011Press Releases

Major grant will help make project a reality; comes as Calvary launches effort to raise $750,000 for project by end of the year.

Washington, D.C. – Calvary Women’s Services – which provides homeless women with both immediate shelter and longer-term services to empower independent living – announced today receiving an award for $175,000 from The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

The major grant was awarded to Calvary to support the development of their new facility in Southeast DC and a major expansion of the critical services they offer homeless women. The beginning of construction on Calvary’s new home on Good Hope Road was announced last week. 

The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is committed to building a stronger community for residents of the Washington, DC area through support of programs in arts and humanities, community services, education, health and the environment.

“The women of Calvary appreciate the tremendous support that this grant from the Cafritz Foundation represents,” said Ann M. Hilpert, President of Calvary’s Board of Directors. “This funding is incredibly important to providing hope and a new home to homeless women in the District.”

Calvary’s new 14,000 sq. ft. project will transform an abandoned building in Anacostia into a new home that will serve 50 women a night and provide 100 meals a day, all while providing critical one-on-one attention by keeping case manager to client ratio the lowest in the city.

The grant from the Cafritz Foundation comes as Calvary launches an effort to raise $750,000 by the end of the year to support the new development and program expansion.

Other major support from the business community and foundations has already been committed to the project, including $300,000 in in-kind services. Local businesses that have committed in-kind support include Mark G. Anderson Consultants, OTJ Architects, Shapiro & Duncan, CS Consulting Engineers, Inc., Walter L. Phillips, Inc. and Goulston & Storrs. United Bank provided $1 million in financing for the purchase of what was a vacant building on Good Hope Road in Anacostia.

“Calvary is a special place that offers women a safe, caring place for tonight and support, hope and change for tomorrow. Holding those two critical pieces together – support services and a secure place to live – is the key to returning women to independent living,” said Kris Thompson, Calvary’s executive director.

Calvary’s approach of providing for the immediate need for shelter and meals as well as addressing the underlying causes of homelessness works: every 5 days Calvary’s programs will help a woman move into her own home.

For more information about Calvary Women’s Services’ new home on Good Hope Road, including ways to support the project’s development, visit 


About the Project:

The New Home for Calvary Women’s Services

Calvary purchased and is renovating a 14,000 square foot building at 1217-1219 Good Hope Road in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood in Ward 8. The new facility will:

  • Bring all of Calvary’s programs for women under one roof
  • Provide 10 additional beds for the Calvary Women’s Shelter
  • Provide 5 additional beds for the Pathways program, which provides more support and longer-term housing to women who have been chronically homeless.
  • Build a state of the art kitchen to provide home cooked meals to homeless women and also provide cooking classes and employment training.
  • Create private bedrooms with more space for women’s personal belongings
  • Provide space for Life Skills classes and other services.

Calvary Women’s Services board of directors approved the $3 million project in May, 2010 and the property was purchased in December, 2010. Renovation began this month, and the new facility is expected to be ready by the end of this year.