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 one of the first domestic violence shelters, and most recently, first Batterer Intervention group. As one of DC’s oldest domestic violence shelters, 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 FY21

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Our History

1976The Women’s Legal Defense Fund (WLDF) launches its Taskforce on Abused Women together with the Junior League of Washington, WLDF starts the first domestic violence hotline for survivors of domestic violence in D.C.

1979 – WLDF opens one of the first domestic violence shelters in D.C. with 15 beds, and subsequently moves to a 22-bed shelter in 1981

1981 – WLDF gets incorporated as a nonprofit

1983 – My Sister’s Place becomes the official name of the organization operating independently from WLDF

1989 – My Sister’s Place launches the first transitional housing program for domestic violence survivors

1991 – My Sister’s Place collaborates with Whitman-Walker Clinic to start a support group for lesbian survivors of domestic violence, becoming the first LGBTQ+ friendly shelter in D.C.

1998 – MSP opens a nonresidential counseling program that provides free support to women and children survivors

1999 – MSP pilots the Latino Outreach Program to provide resources and information to Spanish speaking communities.

2000 – MSP launches “Beauty Salon Project” distributing empty lipstick cases and nail files with the hot line number at community resource clinics

2001 – MSP launches the Domestic Violence Intervention Project in five public housing communities

2006 – In collaboration with Crime Victim Compensation Program, MSP launches the Emergency Services Center to provide therapeutic counseling and case management to hundreds of women and children referred through the court system

2010 – Due to increased need, MSP breaks ground on Sanctuary Plus, an expanded and renovated 45-bed emergency shelter. The shelter officially opened in 2012

2012 – MSP launches RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Empowerment), our innovative transitional-to-permanent housing program that currently serves 30 families each year

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 at risk by CFSA (Child and Family Services Agency).

2018 – MSP becomes the 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 operating D.C.’s first domestic violence hotline, MSP hands over the hotline operation to the DC Victim Hotline to streamline services for domestic violence callers

2019 – MSP opens the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in NW D.C. to increase services to D.C.’s immigrant communities

2019 – MSP initiates the Move-In Program which collects new or gently used furniture and household appliances and helps survivors of domestic violence furnish and decorate their homes when they move out of the shelter and into independent apartments

2020 – MSP creates the Fresh Start Fund which provides vital financial support to our clients as they pursue transitional-to-permanent housing, educational or employment opportunities, and experience unexpected expenses which can be destabilizing.

2020 – MSP launches the Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program (FRSP). FRSP supports 45 families in transitional housing managed by the city and provides them with MSP trauma-informed support, case management, and care

2020 – MSP expands our transitional housing program with RISE Plus, a program that provides rental support and case management to clients for 2 years serving an additional 30 clients a year.