Our History

In 1978, the Women’s Advocacy Center (WAC) was formed by Carolyn Ankenny, Stephanie Davis, Kathy Adams House, and Debbie Morelli:

Formed WAC in an effort to provide counseling and other services to battered women.
A grant from the Youth Project, a private foundation was given to WAC.
Ms. Morelli worked as the director of WAC.

WAC on-call volunteers assisted victims of domestic violence by providing them with support and counseling:

Volunteers accompanied victims to the emergency room, advised them of their legal rights, and often paid for motel rooms when there was no place for the victims and their children to stay.
Shelters existed for men and not women at the time, so finding a shelter for battered women became apparent
In 1979, Reid House, a United Way agency, provided space at its daycare center to house victims of domestic violence
After about a year and a half, the lack of funds caused the shelter to close.

WAC and the Further Board members tried to combine, but fail to do so:

With the support of the Further Board, Stephanie Davis raised funds for a shelter
A suitable facility was located in North Charleston and Ms. Davis named the shelter “My Sister’s House”
In November 1980, the Further board, with Dr. Frank van Aalst as its president opened the doors of My Sister’s House in December 1980

In July 1981, a separate board for My Sister’s House was formed:

Dr. Elise Davis-McFarland became the president of the board
Additional funds and strengthening the organization was sought

Ms. Calhoun was the shelter’s director and was successful obtaining funds for the shelter:

Funds from the Department of Social Services and United Way were approved
There was a surplus of funds from the first year of operation

The original facility was not large enough due to the demand of women and children seeking help:

In Spring of 1982, city property was available which was suitable for My Sister’s House

Shelter Directors after 1982:

Martha Towle (1983-85) Lou Anne White (1985-86) Connie Doperalia (1987-88)

Phyllis A. Malchano became executive director in 1988:

A larger and more efficient shelter was purchased The focus was on implementing technology and programs that assisted women and children of domestic violence

Elmire Raven became executive director in 1991:

The shelter expanded to become even larger An endowment fund was established in 1993 Family court advocacy program was established in 1997 (support for victims in family court) Shelter location’s mortgage was paid off In August of 2002, an administrative office was acquired which serves as a follow up of clients, donation drop off site, volunteer interviews, and training.

Services of My Sister’s House, Inc.:

Empowerment of women Providing basic needs to abused women and children Addressing psychological needs of abused women and children