We are excited to announce that we have recently received a grant from the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. With this funding, we are able to make great strides in paying off the mortgage for our Next Step House! This, of course, is just one of the many times PCHF has supported us throughout our 6 year history.
In 2018, after 3 years of working with women experiencing homelessness, it had become clear that the choices of affordable housing were limited or non-existent. After making steps towards self-sufficiency our participants were having a hard time finding a feasible ‘next step.’ With enormous support from the community, including PCHF, Phoenixville Women’s Outreach took on the challenge to create a new program at a second site.
Our Next Step House offers a shared living arrangement for women who are ready to be independent. The home offers a space for self-sufficiency with an affordable rent. We have partnered with the Housing Authority of Chester County who offers subsidies to eligible residents. The Next Step House has proved to be a safe, comfortable home in the community where the women have established jobs, health networks, spiritual communities and social bonds.
PCHF proves that they are committed to the health of our community. The Foundation works to improve the health and quality of life for people in the greater Phoenixville region by increasing access to quality healthcare services and promoting healthy communities through grantmaking and collaboration with health, civic, business and community partners.
We are all better as individuals and as a whole because of Phoenixville Community Health Foundation.
Phoenixville Women’s Outreach is proud to announce that they have been chosen as the recipient charity by 100 Women of Phoenixville at the Spring meeting.
100 Women is a collaboration of inspired, dynamic and caring women who know that life is full and time is short. They gather twice a year for one hour, donating $100 each time, to one of three presenting charities. Together they make a meaningful, direct and positive impact on the Phoenixville community through the power of collective giving.
This vote of confidence and the support is motivating. We would like to sincerely thank all the members of 100 Women of Phoenixville for their contributions. From our start, we have received tremendous support and this honor emphasizes our community’s intention to meet the needs of our neighbors who are struggling in hard times.
In addition, we are grateful that our friends at 100 Women hooked us up with the Richard Schulze Family Foundation who has matched $5,000 of the organization’s giving.
The Board of Directors of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach (PWO) announces the retirement of Executive Director Cheryl Messere. Cheryl’s passion, innovation and deep commitment over the last six years has elevated PWO as a leader in providing safe and affordable housing solutions in the community. “We have the deepest gratitude for Cheryl who has served so generously,” said Mike Bryson, President of the PWO Board. “While she is retiring as Executive Director, Cheryl will remain on the Board as the founder. Her giving spirit has been as inspiring as her vision for this mission.”
While Phoenixville had a family and a men’s homeless shelter, it did not have a housing option for single women. It became Cheryl and Barry’s dream to create a housing solution that would offer a transitional program with a unique shared living model. The dream soon became a reality and “The House” opened its door and welcomed its first resident on New Year’s Day in 2015. PWO’s program now provides women with safe housing as well as training and guidance in essential life skills such as economic planning, resilience, and self-sufficiency. It recently expanded to include a second property – the Next Step House – a permanent supportive housing solution for women with limited incomes.
Messere’s retirement now ushers in a new chapter for PWO. We are pleased to announce the selection of Andrea Blue as PWO’s new Executive Director, effective March 1st. She comes to Phoenixville from upstate New York. “Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and so proud and happy to live and work in the area,” she says.
This is an exciting time for PWO and we are grateful for your continued support during this transition. We look forward to our upcoming Gala event on October 21 when our Board and Staff will honor Cheryl and Barry’s legacy of service, celebrate Cheryl’s retirement, and recognize the accomplishments of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach over the past six years.
The Board and Staff of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach
The Board of PWO has set a goal to MATCH all donations made on Giving Tuesday up to $2,000! Please consider donating today! Facebook is also matching donations if made on FB so your gift could be tripled!!
We owe a debt of gratitude to many amazing community members and companies. It takes a village to help empower women to break the cycle of dependence and poverty – and we are grateful to all who help us reach this mission.
Big thanks out to Omar, Matt, and John from Two Men And A Truck in Norristown for moving furniture for our ladies last week. We appreciate all of your trips over the past 6 months to help us! Your donated moving services make our lives so much easier. We can not tell you how grateful we are for such thoughtful, and strong, helpers! You truly are “movers who care.” Thank you!
Big thanks to Lee-Ann Barber, owner of Two Hearts Dance & Yoga, and Marilisa Beatty, Miss Pennsylvania, for organizing to raise awareness and funds for Phoenixville Women’s Outreach through a donation based yoga class last week. The studio provides “whole-hearted movement for every body” in an environment that fosters personal growth – which is just like our mission, to empower women to grow and become self-sufficient. The class raised $150 for our non-profit and we are full of gratitude for the time, energy, and effort put forth by these yogis. Namaste and thank you!