Coles House Fund Grants $100,000 To HAVEN Women To Help Female Veterans Break Cycle Of Homelessness

Fund at Philadelphia Foundation Supports Housing Needs Of Women

PHILADELPHIA, PA (11/18/2019) – A $100,000 grant from Philadelphia Foundation’s Coles House Fund will support HAVEN Women in helping female veterans break the cycle of homelessness.

“We are so grateful for the support of Coles House Fund through the Philadelphia Foundation,” said Dana Spain, President of HAVEN Women. “This donation will help our residents transition into permanent housing by supplying a stipend for furniture, basic needs and a security deposit. This funding will directly help our women break the cycle of homelessness.”

“Women are assuming combat roles in the military,” Spain noted. “It is imperative that we support them when they return, as we see an increasing number of female veterans come home with PTSD and other challenges. We are steadfastly making their mental and physical health a priority, while providing enrichment and training programs to ensure their future success.”

The Coles House Fund, a Donor Advised Fund established at Philadelphia Foundation in 2002, traces its roots to a Young Women’s Board Home Association founded in 1865 by Mary Coles to advance the ability of women to get jobs by providing them with safe, comfortable and affordable housing when they came to Philadelphia for work or study.

The housing proved so popular that Coles secured donations to acquire four adjoining townhouses in the 900 block of Clinton Street that eventually accommodated 74 women. When the organization ceased operations after more than 135 years, the buildings – by then listed on the National Register of Historic Places – were sold, with the proceeds used to create the Philadelphia Foundation fund to support in perpetuity the housing needs of women in Philadelphia.

“HAVEN Women’s mission aligns perfectly with the Coles House Fund,” said Susan Demuth, who serves as an advisor on the fund along with Sandy Kirch and Dr. Betty Forbes. “Helping women is our main goal.”


HAVEN (an acronym for “Helping Achieve Veteran Empowerment Now”) Women is located in University City on Baltimore Avenue. It is Philadelphia’s first and only shelter for homeless and transitioning female veterans. It uses a holistic mind, body, and spirit approach to address their specific mental and physical challenges and empower them to achieve overall wellness as well as financial and housing stability.

HAVEN Women works in tandem with Impact Services, which since 1974 has been a vital part of the Philadelphia community in housing, job training and addressing veteran homelessness. Together the organizations provide a host of supportive services and therapeutic activities. HAVEN’s perimeter is a safe, sober and respectful environment in which female veterans thrive. The transitional housing program provides a safe place for female veterans to rebuild their lives and return as productive members of the community.

Staff and volunteers implement military tools of structure, discipline, integrity and commendation, and work to restore self-confidence in the residents. HAVEN assists with their career and life goals while addressing their challenges; provides avenues to gain solid employment and secure permanent housing. The holistic approach emphasizes the camaraderie that is ever-present among the veteran population, while providing a structured path for our residents to receive the medical, mental health, and financial literacy training to achieve independence.  HAVEN Women strives to be the foundation upon which female Veterans can begin to rebuild their lives.


Founded in 1918, the Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 900 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit

For HAVEN Women interviews, please contact Nicole Amelio-Casper, 610-809-8012,

For Philadelphia Foundation interviews, please contact Betsy Anderson, 215-863-8109,