Posted on April 01, 2012 at 1:13 pm
Women Against Abuse is seeking funds to rehabilitate and expand Sojourner House, our long-term housing program for female victims of domestic violence and their children.
Over the years, Sojourner House has provided safe housing and supportive services to assist hundreds of women and children transition into long-term stability and safety.
Without renovation, the facility -- which dates back to the late 1800s or early 1900s -- will be forced to close.
WAA's proposed renovation project will not only restore the facility to meet current building regulations, but it will improve various aspects of the building to improve functionality, energy efficiency, security and comfort, as well as add 3 new apartment units and community living space.
WAA completed minor renovations when it purchased the buildings in 1986. Since then, the agency has replaced the windows and carpeting. Aside from these improvements, the aged facility has not received other capital improvements, and the buildings are in desperate need of rehabilitation.
The apartment units and all of the building systems at Sojourner House are in very poor condition. For example, there are several gaps in the exterior brick walls; portions of the roof are leaking; sections of the gutter and downspouts are in disrepair; interior and exterior doors are worn and need to be replaced; internal walls must be re-plastered; tile in the bathrooms is chipped; several toilets are in poor condition from age; sections of the heating system will soon need to be replaced, such as the boiler; and none of the units are handicap accessible.
Additionally, there is no exterior emergency lighting; the fire alarm system should be upgraded and a sprinkler system should be installed; and a new fence is needed for security purposes. These are just a few examples of the identified needs.
To determine the scope of rehabilitation work needed, WAA partnered with the Non-profit Finance Fund to complete a detailed Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) for each of the four buildings. The CNA indicated the need for a major repair/replacement of the building envelope, replacement of the mechanical systems, and updating the life safety and electrical systems, among other items.
In addition, the project will add three new apartments, community space for group meetings and education programs, and an on-site laundry facility.
Click here to read more about the Sojourner House Rehabilitation Project.