The Margaret J. Bennett House

The Margaret J. Bennett House

The Margaret J. Bennett Home opened in 1902 as a boarding house for women. Mrs. Bennett, widow of Francis Worthington Bennett, an auctioneer, died in 1900 with no children. Mrs. Bennett provided $150,000 in her will towards opening the house for women, which remained open into the 1970s.  

In the 1900’s a room and two meals daily started at $8 – $12 a week, then increased to $27.50 a week in the 1920s and housed females from 14 – 40  years old.   Some of the early house rules included:

o   No excessive use of cosmetics

o   No smoking

o   No advertising from the house

o   No bringing employment into the home

o   No alcohol

o   No food in the bedroom

o   No use of electric or gas

o   No oil appliances

o   Mandatory house meeting attendance

o   Guest visits were $1.50 per day 

o   Curfew started at 9:00 p.m. and moved to 11:00 p.m. in the 1920s

Today, the Margaret J. Bennett Home continues to serve women in Baltimore. The WHC took ownership of the building and celebrated its groundbreaking in 1999. It currently houses 30 individuals in 29 single room occupancies and 1 apartment. In 2016 a basement space was renovated to create a gym and cooking demonstration kitchen. At the beginning of 2019, the health suite that was first opened in 2011, but had not been used in recent years, was reopened with new occupants – Health Alliance Associates, Inc. They provide an integrated model of primary care, behavioral health, medication therapy management and peer recovery outreach for persons recovering from homelessness, mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, and other traumas. Health Alliance has been a great partner to us, providing same or next-day appointments to any of our residents in need of their services, and to the community at large, as most of their patients are from outside our program.

At the Women’s Housing Coalition, we are grateful to our staff, patrons, and visionaries, like Mrs. Margaret Bennett, for helping us fulfill our mission to create stability for families and individuals with safe housing.

If the Margaret J. Bennett Home is also a part of your history, we would love to hear about it. You can email slong@womenshousingcoalition.com to share your story as part of our upcoming 40th anniversary. 

Hops For Housing Fundraiser

Hops For Housing Fundraiser

We would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Women’s Housing Coalition at our  5th annual Hops for Housing fundraiser. We had 116 guests join us at the Peabody Heights Brewery for music by the Ed Lauer Band, brewery tours, and great local beer and food.  The FUNdevelopment Committee raised $9,154 in support of our vision to end the cycle of homelessness for those we serve. It was an amazing evening with friends – new and old. We are grateful to Dietz & Watson for being our city sponsor, making some baskets up for our basket raffle, and donating the delicious sandwich wraps.

Everyone enjoyed cookies by Insomnia Cookies and cupcakes donated by Fluffy Factory as we waited to see who won the amazing items donated by local businesses in our raffle.

Items for our other raffle baskets were donated by – A Tradition of Excellence Auto, Pure Fiji, Bow Tie Willie, Posh Plate Catering Company, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Blacksauce Kitchen, Mouth Party Caramels, The Baltimore Whiskey Company, Earth Treks, B&O Railroad Museum, Liberty Mountain Resort, Annie Howe Papercuts, Maryland Film Festival, Well Crafted Pizza, Radebaugh Florist, Core Power Yoga, Baltimore in a Box,  Wockenfuss Candy Company, The Charmery , Blue Pit BBQ, and Melissa Supik and friends.

We are excited to support 5 new families before the end of the year.  Through the Hops for Housing fundraiser, we are able to care for one family for 6 months!

We depend on donations and events like this to continue to create stability for individuals and families. Without the support of you and our sponsors including Whiting Turner, Harkins Builders, Veolia, T. Rowe Price, The Lichter Group LLC, Two Point Studios, and Riverside Advisors, LLC. we could not make this event happen. 

We are already looking forward to next year!