As a follow-up to the annual luncheon we attended:
Sojourner Center was founded in 1977 as an emergency program for women who had recently been released from prison. A passionate group of 12 visionaries recognized that women who were leaving the criminal justice system rarely had the skills or support to be successful in the outside world. Sojourner Center provided a temporary home as well as programs that taught self-sufficiency, empowerment, and family skills, which helped the women rebuild their lives and re-enter society.
During the first four years, the staff and Board of Directors found that the dominant issue affecting the women at Sojourner Center was domestic violence. In an effort to better meet the needs of the women staying at the shelter, the Board changed the mission to focus exclusively on serving victims of domestic violence.
Since then, the facility has grown from a house with only 28 emergency beds to three campuses with the capacity of 280 beds and 32 transitional apartments. Twenty- nine of the apartments are located at Sojourner Center's Transitional Family Living Campus. This facility also has a community clubhouse, as well as an education center, and a donation and resource facility which are currently under construction.
Sojourner Center is one of the largest domestic violence shelters the United States. As a direct result of its capacity, Sojourner Center is able to serve over 2,900 women and children annually.
Yes, you can visit Sojourner Center!
Due to the sensitive, confidential nature of our work, a bit of mystery surrounds Sojourner Center. A one-hour tour of our campus demystifies what our shelter is and does, and focuses attention on the issue of domestic violence. Visitors hear the stories of the women and children living in the shelter and the experiences that brought them to us, and learn how Sojourner Center empowers them to rebuild their lives.