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Women’s Shelter Expanding To Offer More Beds, Better Security

The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
An artist's rendering shows some of the plans for improvements to the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.

Once an automobile showroom, the building that houses the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh will soon have a little more room to grow.

The organization serves approximately 6,000 women, children and families each year, but has run out of room to house them.

“We have been over capacity every night for a few years,” said Board Chair Sara Davis Buss. “In fact, in 2016, we turned away over 700 people who needed our services.”

The Center is in the middle of an $11.2 million expansion project, which will take the current 36-bed facility to 48, as well as add more office and therapy spaces.

“We will be making the facility safe for children and we will be updating a lot of the security features in the building,” said Buss.

One new safety amenity includes a fenced-in outdoor piazza for mothers and children.  

This week, Gov. Tom Wolf approved a pair of tax credits will help add $2.6 million to the project.  

The Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives, which is part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, is also offering tax credits to encourage individual and corporate investors to add to the project. The shelter also hopes to grab investors through new markets tax credits, which is part of a federal program that seeks to draw investments to low-income areas by offering federal income tax return credits.

Buss said the center’s capital campaign to raise money for the expansion is ongoing and the hope is to have construction completed in the fall.