Our Mission: Offering compassionate, faith-based recovery services to mothers and their children.
United Way

Sojourner House's United Way Contributor Choice Code is #4286!  


If your employer participates in a United Way giving campaign, select Contributor Choice Code #4286 on your United Way donation form to support the mothers and children at Sojourner House.  Encourage your co-workers to do the same!


Giving through the United Way is a wonderful way to empower mothers working to break the intergenerational cycle of addiction.  Your gift will provide housing and supportive services to help families heal and rebuild, ensuring a bright future for mothers and children.  Thank you for your support!



Thank you for reading Sojourner House's Newsletter.  In each issue, you'll learn about recent happenings at Sojourner House, as well as current and upcoming news and events.  For more information or if you have a suggestion, please contact Laura Stephany, director of development, at  lstephany@sjhpa.org

Summer Camp 2015
For children at Sojourner House MOMS, summer was packed with educational experiences. With field trips, science lessons, and creating their own works of art, the children at MOMS had a full itinerary.

Days began with certified teachers arriving in the early morning to prepare lesson plans and activities.  These teachers, provided thanks to the generous support of the Homeless Children's Education Fund, joined MOMS staff and volunteers in eagerly and passionately leading the camp. Daily enrichment activities spanned multiple educational disciplines. LabRatz science club performed science experiments each week and ArtExpressions allowed the campers to express themselves through their own creativity. Weekly educational field trips included adventures to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, The Carnegie Science Center, the Citiparks Spray Park, and even a visit from the Roving Art Cart. With breakfast and lunches provided by the City of Pittsburgh Summer Foods Program, moms could rest assured that their children were eating a solid meal and were able to focus on their work, schooling or Narcotics Anonymous/Alcoholics Anonymous groups. MOMS Family Support Specialist and Art Therapist Jennifer Joyce noted, "The kids really enjoy coming to camp every day. It's a chance for them to learn and grow outside of their comfort zone and gain so many new experiences."

The summer of activities and adventures ended with an ice cream social and art exhibition for parents and family members to attend with their young campers. Kids were sad to leave, but the promise of an exciting school year is right around the corner. The summer camp wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the Sojourner House MOMS staff who attended the camp daily and helped organize activities all summer long.

Sankofa Community Garden Update
Small hands are actively plucking veggies from stems at the flourishing Sankofa Community Gardens. Less than 8 weeks after the seedlings were planted, the gardens are producing enough veggies for the families at Sankofa to enjoy during their meals. As much as the moms enjoying cooking with the produce, their children enjoy harvesting it even more. Recovery support specialist Karen Upsher said she gathers the children and they all go pick the vegetables together. 
Produce is harvested and placed in bowls, but not before Karen teaches a lesson on vegetable growth. "I ask them if we should pick something now, or if we should wait to pick it. I try to teach them that waiting to pick the vegetables will allow them to get bigger and better."
The little gardeners also learn the value of the vegetables they are harvesting, discovering that tomatoes are used to make thousands of foods and products all over the world. Children pick ripened produce and then set it aside to focus on watering the plants. The children then offer the veggies to their moms, who include them in evening meals that day. Upsher noted, "The peppers were the first to harvest, and the tomatoes will be ripening very soon. We are planning to make fried green tomatoes with the kids. They're all sure they will like them!" 
Sojourner House and MOMS would again like to thank Whole Foods Market Pittsburgh for its donation of seedlings and Valerie Testa for her expertise in all things gardening.