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On Thursday, May 23 at 10am, City Mission held a private groundbreaking ceremony to showcase their plans to build a new 50-bed shelter for homeless women, helping to fulfill an urgent need in our community. According to Dr. Sally Mounts, City Mission’s Chief Development Officer, “City Mission is forced to turn away an average of almost 60 women each month “due to limited capacity.”

Pictured (L to R) Dr. Sally Mounts, City Mission’s Chief Development Officer and Diana Irey Vaughan, City Mission President and CEO. The new shelter will be called Sally’s Sanctuary in honor of Sally Mounts.
Breaking Ground - Pictured (L to R) Pat Slowey, donor; Walt Turner, City Mission Board Member; Electra Janis, Washington County Commissioner; Diana Irey Vaughan, City Mission President and CEO; and Camera Bartolotta, PA State Senator.
Picturred (L to R) State Senator Camera Bartolotta, Diana Irey Vaughan, and Dean Gartland (City Mission’s President Emeritus).Senator Bartolotta helped City Mission procure a $500,000 grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development

“We have to turn away women each day, and this shelter will mean being able to say yes – less referrals and more opportunities to serve,” added Leah Dietrich, City Mission’s Director of Residential Programs.  “This new space will be a beacon of hope and a place of healing and restoration.  Lives will be changed, and the women will have a chance to start again.”

Construction of the facility, which will be erected within City Mission’s current campus in Washington, begins in late May and is expected to take a little over a year to complete. With a projected cost of 7.1 million dollars, it will house: childcare space, a family sleeping unit, individual sleeping units, and common areas -- including a living room.

“It is going to be a state-of-the-art facility,” according to Diana Irey Vaughan, President/CEO of City Mission.  She added, “I’m very grateful for the individuals who have opened their hearts to provide the necessary funding to care for homeless women in need.”

City Mission, a Christ-centered homeless shelter, has already raised $6.1 million through the generous support of the community in the form foundations, churches, personal and corporate contributions, and the local LSA funding, which was awarded in March. 

“On behalf of the City Mission Steering Committee, we want to sincerely thank the various banks, foundations, companies and the many individuals who have made it possible to pay-off the City Mission's long-term debt and break ground for this much needed facility for homeless women here in Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Walt Turner, a City Mission Board of Directors member and the Chairman of the Hope for Homeless Women Steering Committee.

The building of this new Women’s Shelter is truly a long-awaited dream come true for the Mission. “Back in 2012,” said City Mission’s President Emeritus, Dean Gartland, “we decided to embark on a journey to improve our facilities, expand our services, and build two new shelters: a shelter for homeless veterans and one for homeless single women. Over the past 12 years we have witnessed most of this vision being fulfilled. The remaining part of this vision is the new shelter for single women and to see this now coming into view creates such a great sense of accomplishment. This is God at work and we are privileged to be a part of it.”

Roughly $1 million of funding is still needed for this vital project. A public campaign is currently underway to promote community support. Naming rights to sections of the building are still available.  For more information on how you can support this effort, visit or contact Dr. Sally Mounts at or 724-705-7122.

About City Mission:  For over 83 years, City Mission in Washington, PA, has sheltered, healed, and restored the homeless to independent living—without discrimination. City Mission’s comprehensive program addresses both short-term needs like food and shelter, and long-term needs, including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health and medical treatment, legal aid, and employment training. City Mission’s goal is to help each man, woman, mother with children, or veteran who walks through our doors to become a healthy, productive member of society. With your help, we can help our residents renew their lives.


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