My Sister’s Place (MSP) seeks to end domestic violence and empower survivors to live healthy, independent lives free from violence.
Who we are
For over 40 years, MSP has been an innovator in changing lives by providing DC’s first hotline and first domestic violence shelter, and now by taking a public health approach to the epidemic of domestic violence. As DC’s oldest domestic violence shelter, we have served as a cornerstone of the District’s response to this pressing public health issue since 1979.
MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care from immediate crisis on our hotline through transitional-to-permanent housing. Our experienced team of professional social workers provides clinical counseling, case management, and comprehensive services to empower survivors to recover and thrive. MSP also provides training, case consultation, and advocacy to engage communities to prevent violence and abuse. Our goal is to end domestic violence, and empower everyone to build healthy lives and relationships.
Interested in our Programs & Services? Learn more…
1976 – The Women’s Legal Defense Fund launched its Taskforce on Abused Women, and with the Junior League began providing the 1st hotline in DC for victims of domestic violence
January 10, 1979 – MSP started the 1st Domestic Violence shelter in DC with 15 beds and a 24-hour hotline under the WLDF.
March 31, 1981 – MSP was incorporated as a nonprofit and the agency moved to a 22-bed shelter, thanks to support from the DC Department of Housing and Community.
1982 – Still under the auspices of the WLDF MSP hires its first Executive Director, Judith Lichtman.
July 1, 1983 – MSP obtains 501c3 status and officially separates from the WLDF.
1986 – Thanks to an anonymous donor, MSP purchases a van allowing the agency to securely transport clients to the shelter.
1989 – MSP started the 1st transitional housing program for DV victims
1991 – MSP and the Whitman-Walker Clinic launch a support group for battered lesbians, becoming the 1st LGBTQ+ friendly DV shelter in DC.
1994 – MSP moves its administrative offices to a non-confidential location to protect the shelter’s security.
1996 – Thanks to support from the Joseph and Marjorie Jones Foundation, MSP establishes its bilingual community outreach and education program in English and Spanish.
1998 – MSP coordinates the DC Clothesline Project, a display of shirts created by survivors.
1998 – MSP opens a nonresidential counseling program that provides free support to women and their children
1999 – MSP pilots the Latino Outreach Program
2000 – MSP starts the Beauty Salon Project and distributes empty lip stick cases and nail files with the hot line number
2001 – MSP launches the Domestic Violence Intervention Project in 5 Public Housing Communities
2002 – MSP enhances its residential programs for immigrant women.
2004 – MSP launches Judith’s Dream, a campaign to expand and renovate the aging 22-bed shelter.
2006 – In collaboration with Crime Victim Compensation Program, MSP launched the Emergency Services Center to provide therapeutic counseling and case-management to hundreds of women and children referred through the court system in an off-site setting.
February, 2010 – Demolition and construction of Sanctuary Plus, an expanded and renovated emergency shelter, begins with then-Councilmember At-Large Kwame Brown knocking down the first wall.
November 2010 – MSP completed its Sanctuary Plus expansion and renovation initiative, increasing its emergency shelter capacity from 22 to 45 beds for women and children.
2011 – Sanctuary Plus reaches capacity, serving 15 families.
2012 – MSP restructured their transitional housing program and launched RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Empowerment), an innovative transitional-to-permanent housing program.
2016 – MSP partners with the Child and Family Services Agency of D.C. to create the first Batterer Intervention Program for fathers whose families have been identified as being at risk by CFSA.