My Sister’s Place (MSP) shelters, supports and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community.
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 most recently, first Batterer Intervention group. 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, and our impact on DC’s community remains as strong as ever.
MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing. Our experienced team of case managers and residential counselors 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. Download our one-pager: MSP One-Pager FY18
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1976 – the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (WLDF) launches its Taskforce on Abused Women, and with the Junior League begins providing the 1st hotline in DC for victims of domestic violence
1979 – offer the 1st Domestic Violence shelter in DC with 15 beds and a 24-hour hotline under the WLDF
1981 – incorporated as a nonprofit and organization moves to a 22-bed shelter, thanks to support from the DC Department of Housing and Community
1982 – still under the auspices of the WLDF, hire first Executive Director, Judith Lichtman
1983 –obtain 501c3 status and officially separate from the WLDF
1989 – start 1st transitional housing program for DV victims
1991 – with Whitman-Walker Clinic, launch a support group for battered lesbians, becoming the 1er 1st LGBTQ+ friendly DV shelter in DC
1994 – move administrative offices to a non-confidential location to protect the shelter’s security
1996 – thanks to support from the Joseph and Marjorie Jones Foundation, establish bilingual community outreach and education program (in English and Spanish)
1998 – open a nonresidential counseling program that provides free support to women and their children
1999 – pilot the Latino Outreach Program
2000 – launch ““Beauty Salon Project” , distributing empty lip stick cases and nail files with the hot line number
2001 – launch of Domestic Violence Intervention Project in 5 Public Housing Communities
2004 – launch of Judith’s Dream, a campaign to expand and renovate the aging 22-bed shelter
2006 – in collaboration with Crime Victim Compensation Program, launch 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
2010 – Sanctuary Plus, an expanded and renovated emergency shelter, begins with then-Council member At-Large Kwame Brown knocking down the first wall, increasing emergency shelter capacity from 22 to 45 beds for women and children
2012 – restructure of transitional housing program and launch of 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
2018 – first domestic violence organization in D.C. to translate and maintain a fully integrated Spanish website as part of Latino Outreach Program
2018 – after 42 years of faithfully operating DC’s first domestic violence Hotline, MSP turns over the operation of hotline to the DC Victim Hotline to improve services to domestic violence callers in DC
2019 – launch of Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in NW DC with the goal of increasing services to DC’s immigrant community.
2019 – launch of MSP’s Move-in Program came about after a partnership with KindWorks, another non-profit organization that coordinates volunteers and donated furnishings to fully furnish apartments. MSP took this service in-house and has fully furnished and decorated over 30 apartments for our clients as they move on to their new homes.
2020 – MSP launched our new Fresh Start Fund in the spring of 2020. The Fresh Start Fund allows MSP to cover client expenses of starting off in a new apartment that are not allowable by government grants.
2020 – MSP also launched our Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program, (FRSP) program. We started this program in the Spring of 2020, FRSP is the primary housing intervention for families who are transitioning from the emergency shelter system to minimize the amount of time families spend in shelter and support rapid exit back to permanent housing program services. This program will provide DV survivors specific case management and support to 45 families housed by the city’s FRSP program.
2020 – Our latest HUD program, will start in winter of 2020, provided a grant through The Community for the Prevention of Homelessness to house and provide case management to 30 families in scattered site homes.