Quick Facts

Project Name
Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives
Commonwealth Cornerstone Group
Total Development Cost
Greater Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Square Footage
Leveraged Lender
Huntington Bank
NMTC Investor
PNC Bank
Permanent Jobs
3 Direct
47 Indirect/Induced
Construction Jobs
25 Direct
Low-Income Community
State Enterprise Zone
Medically Underserved Area
Financing Complete
February 2017

Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Since 1974, Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) has served victims of domestic violence and helped women regain their independence and confidence. One of the first shelters for domestic violence victims in the country, WC&S has long been at the forefront of the movement against this egregious crime. In 2016 alone, WC&S served 496 residents, providing 13,846 safe bed nights for women and children fleeing abusive relationships. It also provided more than 28,800 hours of resident counseling, non-resident counseling, legal aid referrals and support and other services to a total of 6,508 women and children. Based on WC&S data, the per capita income of women served during FY 2014/15 was $4,092.60 and household income was $7,606.75.

Sadly, the need for WC&S’s services far outweighs its 38,000-square-foot capacity. In 2016, 500 women and children were turned away from the shelter due to overcrowding. There has also been a dramatic rise in the number of children needing to be served, and the accessibility of information on the Internet has made “hiding in plain sight” impossible, requiring a complete overhaul to the way the facility is accessed and monitored for safety.

The Financing

With combined financing from a number of community partners, including a $5 million NMTC allocation from Commonwealth Cornerstone Group and $7 million in allocation from Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives, WC&S is embarking on a major renovation. All three floors of the existing facility will be updated, allowing the shelter to expand and enhance its programs for abused women and their children.

The current plan for renovation of the shelter will: (i) completely overhaul the security and safe sanctuary spaces; (ii) add and enhance children’s areas; (iii) increase bed counts by 33%, from 36 to 48; (iv) create better, more efficient office, clinical and administrative space; (v) improve and expand security and safety measures at all access points and across the entire perimeter of the facility; (vi) update all of the mechanical and roof systems, which have reached the end of their useful life; and (vii) vastly improve energy efficiency with a LEED-certified design.

This project is expected to support 25 full-time construction jobs at an average wage of $42.50 an hour. Upon completion, the shelter expects to hire 3 new permanent employees at a wage of $16.82 per hour to support operations, and retain 47 current full-time jobs. Economic estimates predict the project will create 23 indirect and induced jobs providing $1,129,000 in added wages for the region.

“The NMTC allocation and additional tax credits invested in this project are vitally important as they help to ensure WC&S meets the current and future needs of our community.”

− Sara Davis Buss, Board Chair, Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

For more information contact:

Tammy C. Propst | 864.271.2737 | tpropst@taxadvantagegroup.com