Our Mission: Offering compassionate, faith-based recovery services to mothers and their children.
Victorian Tea Recap


record-breaking friendraiser    

A record-breaking 350 guests attended Sojourner House's 11th Annual Victorian Tea on April 19, which raised over $50,000. Taking place at Pittsburgh's Grand Hall at the Priory, the tea highlighted "Perspectives of Recovery," and featured live testimonials of a program graduate, her mother, her CYF caseworker and Sojourner House lifeskills worker.
The event was chaired by board member Sarah Mayer, with honorary chair being Mary Anne Papale, Director of Community Affairs for Highmark. Carol Moore, volunteer and Dedicated, Energetic, Active and Respected member of Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was honored as this year's Pearl of Hope recipient.
Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, as well as sponsors FedEx Ground and Highmark, and media sponsor Pittsburgh Magazine. Enjoy a selection of photos from the tea on our Facebook page.


Ensure a Bright Future for Families

Your will says something about you. It provides insight into your achievements and civic involvement, illustrates your vision, and conveys your hope for the future. Including Sojourner House in your estate plan demonstrates your lasting commitment to helping women and their children in our community. In addition to benefitting your estate, a planned gift is an opportunity to ensure Sojourner House's lifesaving work continues far into the future.

Sojourner House accepts planned gifts to support its mission. Through your will, estate, IRA or even life insurance policy, you can name Sojourner House as a beneficiary of your support. If you want to consider this giving option, we recommend you consult your accountant, financial planner or attorney.

Sankofa Opens!

Blue skies and sunshine greeted over 70 guests who gathered on May 6 to celebrate the grand opening of Sojourner House MOMS at Sankofa.  Valerie McDonald-Roberts, Chief Urban Affairs Officer for Mayor Peduto's administration, cut the ribbon at the event, culminating three years of extensive planning and community support.   


Attendees included Joe Lagana and Bill Wolfe of the Homeless Children's Education Fund, Marge Petruska of The Heinz Endowments, Sylvia Fields of Eden Hall Foundation and numerous other community partners.  Deputy Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Reginald Young, and Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, Castor Binion, also attended.  Additionally, Dr. Norma Raiff, founding executive director of Sojourner House, participated in the event. Generous supporters of the Adopt-an-Apartment campaign joined other guests in touring the units they helped furnish, while Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS staff, residents, and board members answered questions about the new programs.


The historic expansion of Sojourner House MOMS from 21 units to 42 units would not have been possible without an outpouring of support from the Pittsburgh community.The Allegheny County Department of Human Services and Pittsburgh's foundation community contributed more than 1.2 million to finance the renovation of Sankofa and Open Arms.  Adding to this generosity were numerous churches, civic groups and individuals who helped furnish Sankofa's 12 new units through the Adopt-an-Apartment campaign.  "We are extremely fortunate to live in a community that cares so deeply for the most vulnerable of its citizens," noted executive director Joann Cyganovich.


If you'd like to schedule a personal tour of the newly renovated Sankofa facility, contact Laura Stephany, director of development, at lstephany@sjhpa.org or 412.441.7783, extension 24.


Valerie McDonald-Roberts, Chief Urban Affairs Officer of Mayor Bill Peduto's administration, cuts the ribbon marking Sankofa's grand opening on May 6.  View more event photos on Facebook.


Sowing Seeds of Hope
Last Thursday's soggy weather couldn't dampen Sankofa residents' resolve to get their hands a little dirty! As part of an ongoing community garden project, four raised beds were installed on a patch of grass beside Sankofa earlier this month. The beds were lined with plastic and filled with soil to prepare for the first of many gardening days. Mothers and children weren't deterred by the cool rain and 8 a.m. start time. Before planting commenced, Whole Foods Market employee and expert gardener, Valerie Testa, educated the residents in basic gardening principles. Testa, a long-time gardener, helps run the Enright Park Community Garden in East Liberty with other Whole Foods volunteers. The seedlings Sankofa residents planted were home grown from seeds in one of Testa's own gardens.

Twelve families from Sankofa will use the garden at the Kelly Street facility, as well as the women and children of Open Arms, located nearby on Frankstown Avenue. Community neighbors are welcome to use the garden, as long as they request permission from a Sojourner House MOMS employee. The project seeks to foster a spirit of community among MOMS residents and their neighbors, providing lessons in growing food, cultivating healthy eating habits, and gaining an understanding of basic nutritional concepts. If interested in volunteering, please contact Christina McLachlan at cmclachlan@sjhpa.org or 412.441.7783, extension 26 for more information on upcoming gardening days.




Thank you for reading Sojourner House's Newsletter.  In each issue, you'll learn about recent happenings at Sojourner House, as well as current and upcoming news and events.  For more information or if you have a suggestion, please contact Laura Stephany, director of development, at  lstephany@sjhpa.org