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In the Community

Marian House
949 Gorsuch Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 467-4121

Executive Director: Katie Allston, LCSW-C
Board President: Frank Bossle

Founded in 1982 as a joint project of the Sisters of Mercy and the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Marian House was initially established in response to the circumstances of women at the Baltimore City Women’s Detention Center.  The Sisters who served as volunteers observed that the female inmates desperately wanted to rebuild their lives but usually left the jail without housing, employment or support.  Marian House was created to fill this void.

Marian House is a holistic, healing community for women and their families who are in need of housing and support services.  They provide a safe, loving environment that challenges women to respect and love themselves, confront emotional and socio-economic barriers, and build stable and productive lives.  On average, Marian House serves 100-120 women and 25-40 children each year.

Marian House’s continuum of service includes three levels:  

The first level, Marian House I, is a transitional housing and rehabilitation program.  The goals for this level include preparing homeless women to successfully re-enter the community, improving each resident’s sense of self-worth, providing a sense of empowerment, and restoring each resident’s financial, emotional and physical status.

After a six to eight month stay, residents obtain employment and move to Marian House II, the second program level.  Here, women continue to work on the goals they established in Marian House I but in a less structured and more independent living environment.  The Family Program is a part of Marian House II and provides transitional housing to four families for a period of up to two years.  Often, the women chosen to be placed in the family program are initially in Marian House I, and once established in their individual lives and employment, are helped to reunite with their children through placement in this part of the Marian House continuum of services.

Marian House III is the Shelter Plus Care program and includes Serenity Place, which is described in greater detail below.  This program level provides subsidized permanent housing to graduates of the transitional program.  All program levels provide intensive case management, educational services, employment assistance and other needed support services.

Serenity Place

Serenity Place is located at 932 Gorsuch Avenue, across the street from Marian House’s program center.  The site is an old school building that was renovated as part of a joint effort between Homes for America, Inc. and Marian House.  Homes for America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit housing corporation which specializes in developing and preserving housing for low and moderate income households and special needs populations.

Funded through the Rental Housing Fund and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Serenity Place offers affordable permanent housing to Marian House residents and other low-income persons who are not financially able to enter the general housing market.  The facility's housing capacity is 14 one-bedroom and 5 two-bedroom apartment units.

Residents of Serenity Place receive support services and case management. The case manager meets regularly with residents in their apartment (at least once a month, and more frequently as needed.)

Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has recently selected Serenity Place as Project of the Year for 2008!


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