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Marian House gives new purpose to vacant Catholic school buildings for housing homeless

Courtesy of Marian House | 12/4/2017, 6 a.m.
Twenty-two newly renovated apartments in the Pen Lucy neighborhood of Baltimore City are ready for its first residents, all of ...

— Twenty-two newly renovated apartments in the Pen Lucy neighborhood of Baltimore City are ready for its first residents, all of whom were previously homeless, to move in this December.

The former Blessed Sacrament School on Old York Road was purchased by Baltimore non-profit, Marian House in December of 2016 after sitting vacant since 1974. Marian House purchased the school along with the former rectory and convent buildings of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, with plans to embark on its largest capital expansion project in its 35-year history.

The renovated school, now called The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building at Independence Place, will be Marian House’s second housing project utilizing a former Baltimore City Catholic school. The first occurred when the organization purchased the former St. Bernard’s Catholic School, located directly across from its headquarters on Gorsuch Avenue in Better Waverly, and opened the doors to Serenity Place, a 19 unit permanent housing facility in 2007. The purpose and spirit of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building at Independence Place will emulate Serenity Place and eventually, the former rectory and convent buildings will be renovated to house women with children in need of transitional housing and supportive services.

Of the recent expansion, Marian House Executive Director, Katie Allston LCSW-C, states: “We are thrilled to expand the number of units we manage and the number of people we can help while simultaneously creating a campus in which staff and residents can build community. Supportive communities save lives!”

Since opening its doors to serve more than 35 years ago, Marian House has provided housing and supportive services to over 1,800 women through its transitional and permanent housing programs. The organization has become known as a leading housing organization serving women and children within a structured and holistic, healing community.

In addition to the 22 units, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building at Independence Place will also include community meeting rooms as well as office space for Marian House case management staff. Marian House will hold the building’s grand opening on Wednesday, Dec. 6th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

For more information about this project and/or Marian House, please contact Meg Montone, Director of Advancement, at 410-467-4250 or mmontone@marianhouse.org. To attend the Dec. 6th Grand Opening Event, please RSVP to events@marianhouse.org by Thursday, Nov. 29, 2017.

About Marian House

Marian House is a non-profit located in the Better Waverly and now Pen Lucy neighborhoods of Baltimore City that provides high-quality rehabilitative services and housing to women and their children. Founded in 1982 as a joint project of the Sisters of Mercy and the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Marian House was originally created to serve women being released from jail to rebuild their lives with housing and support. Today, key services Marian House provides include transitional and permanent housing, employment assistance, life-skills training, rehabilitation counseling, financial guidance, education, family reunification, and more. www.marianhouse.org.