A shelter providing temporary housing and services that empower mothers and children

Casa Rita in Bronx, New York, converted a vacant school building into an empowering temporary shelter with services for homeless women and children. Conceived by the local Latina community and operated by Women in Need (WIN), it offers housing for 16 women and up to 39 children along with programs and services to help residents build the life and work skills they need to succeed on their own. 

In New York, Women in Need Inc. incorporated private businesses in Casa Rita to help meet its objectives of getting women and children housed and started onto a more solid footing in life.

1987 Selection Committee

Case Rita provides a safe, compassionate, and stable environment that focuses on common space and a communal lifestyle. Living arrangements and programs emphasize responsibility and facilitate networking, self-help, sharing of tasks, cooperative child care, and group problem solving. This approach enables residents to achieve increased independence as they work toward permanent housing. WIN worked with the local community to secure support for the shelter, and it supports the local community by employing area women to help manage the programs.