MSPWC’s former and present directors including (l-r) Sr. Patricia McLaughlin, SSND, the first director of the Center when it opened in 1982 and current Director of the Caroline Center; Rebecca Abrahamsen, current Program Director; and Mary Ellen Vanni, the second director and retired Executive Director of the Fuel Fund of Maryland.

“My Sister’s Place Women’s Center saves lives,” said an emphatic Tamla Olivier, President and CEO of BGE HOME and Constellation Home and the guest speaker for Catholic Charities’ My Sister’s Place Women’s Center’s (MSPWC) Anniversary Breakfast, commemorating 35 years of service.

Since 1982, the Center has served as a pioneer in implementing creative care for women and children who are experiencing homelessness and hunger. The crowd of supporters enthusiastically punctuated Ms. Olivier’s remarks with affirmative applause. “My Sister’s Place saves lives with three hot meals, job-training, counseling and an internship program,” added Ms. Olivier. “These services allow women to overcome unplanned barriers and become contributing members of our society.”

During the breakfast, Rebecca Abrahamsen, current Director of MSPWC, introduced Alicia, a former client of the Center and a graduate of its Learn to Earn program.

Alicia, guest speaker at MSPWC Anniversary Breakfast and Learn to Earn graduate.

Before an attentive audience, Alicia, a native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, shared her compelling story of grappling with alcoholism, anorexia and destructive behaviors that led to homelessness. In 2015, she met a good friend who recommended My Sister’s Place Women’s Center. “We arrived for a warm meal, and when we entered, I nearly cried. After years of trying to starve myself, I was hungry and so moved by the dignity with which we were treated at the dinner.” Read Alicia’s story.

In addition to lifesaving meals, clients have access to education and life skills training, housing assistance, benefits advice and enrollment, case management, emergency financial assistance, referrals to other

community providers including mental health and addiction counseling, financial literacy services, and access to showers, laundry, mail and telephone service.

Featured speaker, Tamla Olivier,
President and CEO of BGE HOME and Constellation Home.

“The women of My Sister’s Place are on a journey,” said Bill McCarthy, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “A journey to find housing; to obtain steady employment; to acquire reliable and affordable healthcare; and to rediscover their God-given sense of dignity and hope. We are witnesses and co-travelers on their journey of healing and growth.”

“Even though Maryland ranks as one of the wealthiest states in the country, many in our state struggle,” said Mr. McCarthy. “In fact, 1 in 10 of our neighbors struggle to pay rent and put food on the table.”

Since 2008, when MSPWC reopened at its current location next to the Basilica, nearly 800,000 meals have been served to those
in need.