Board Archives | Sojourner House


Maelene Myers to be 2019 Pearl of Hope Recipient

Maelene Myers, 2019 pearl of hope recipient

For someone who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, Maelene Myers has been nothing short of a lighthouse in the East End community for more than two decades.  And for Sojourner House MOMS, Myers has played a pivotal decision-making role forming and developing Sojourner House MOMS since it opened in 2004. As a matter of fact, Myers, who is Executive Director of East Liberty Development, Inc. has sat at the helm of the Sojourner House MOMS board as its president for a decade.  She plans to step down from that role after next week’s MOMS board meeting adjourns.

When asked why she has taken on Sojourner House MOMS as a decades-long project she holds close to her heart, Highland Park resident Myers said the following:

“Providing safe and stable housing is very important during recovery. The fact that this is permanent housing, which creates even more stability, allows the family to heal on their timeline and not with those restrictions set by other programs, due to short-term funding criteria,” said Myers.

Myers, a Cleveland native, has worked at ELDI for 22 years, and her stellar reputation often proceeds her, as an article commemorating her time at ELDI exhibits. (  Accolade after accolade for her many projects – from low-profile to very high-profile —  to improve Sojourner House MOMS, East Liberty and the surrounding areas made choosing Myers as Sojourner House’s 2019 Pearl of Hope recipient an easy decision to make.

“Maelene Myers has been a vital instrument in creating and sustaining Sojourner House MOMS, a program that provides housing and services to families in recovery.  Without her commitment and gifts of her time, 42 families would not have the beautiful apartments that we call “MOMS” – Motivation, Opportunity, Mentoring and Spirituality,” said Sojourner House Executive Director Joann Cyganovich. “She has served for many years and our community is so grateful for the lives she has changed. The opportunity to succeed has been provided for future generations to come through her work.”


25th Annual Strawberry Festival

Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s 25th annual Strawberry Festival, which took place on June 8 on the lawn of the church, was once again an evening full of great fun and great camaraderie. Proceeds from the event have benefited Sojourner House for the past eight years. Read all about the festival in the Summer 2018 of issue of Shady Ave magazine.








































Thank you, 14th Annual Victorian Tea Supporters!

At Sojourner House’s signature fundraiser, the 14th Annual Victorian Tea, 350 guests attended the on Sunday, April 15, 2018, raising over $60,000.  The event was chaired by Nancy Davis, Sojourner House board member.  Special thanks to honorary chair, Karin Mayr, Founder and CEO of Sabika Jewelry.  This year’s Pearl of Hope recipient was Lynne Chadwick, CAO and Director of Risk & Compliance at BNY Mellon, and long-time Sojourner House supporter.  Shannon Perrine, reporter for WTAE-TV’s Action News, was the event emcee.

The event featured a silent auction, basket raffle, and program that included a poetry reading from a Sojourner House graduate, and a live musical performance from Eric Granata and Nina Sainato.  The program also included a proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh presented by Henry Horn-Pyatt on behalf of the Office of Mayor William Peduto.  Guests were among a unique audience to view the debut of a new video, “Words Without Walls Poetry Reading“.  Post Script Productions, LLC, a silver sponsor of the Tea, filmed and produced the video.

Below are a few photos from the event, please check out our Facebook page for more.



































Words Without Walls Poetry Reading Video

Please check out our new video!   This video had its debut at the 14th Annual Victorian Tea.

Sojourner House opened its doors to Chatham University’s Words Without Walls program in 2012.  During Words Without Walls, MFA students visit Sojourner House each week to teach creative writing.  At the end of each semester, our residents present their work to the public during readings at local art galleries.  Please watch the video to hear excerpts from the most recent Words Without Walls poetry reading.


You’re Invited! 14th Annual Victorian Tea Tickets Available Now!

Tickets are now on sale for Sojourner House’s 14th Annual Victorian Tea! (Please note the early-bird ticket special offer!)  Please help us celebrate the successes of our families and to support us as we continue our fight to keep families together so they can become healthy, productive citizens of our community.

Please click here to purchase tickets

We look forward to seeing you in April!


Sabika founder/CEO Karin Mayr named Victorian Tea honorary chair; long-time supporter Lynne Chadwick named Pearl of Hope recipient

Sojourner House’s 14th Annual Victorian Tea – to take place Sunday, April 15, 2018, 2-4 p.m., at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory – promises to be a very special afternoon, thanks to supporters of Sojourner House, new and old alike.

14th Annual Victorian Tea Save the Date

Karin Mayr, founder and CEO of nationally renowned company Sabika Jewelry which is based in Pittsburgh, will be this year’s honorary chair.

Karin’s story is an inspirational one. She started Sabika from her kitchen table, in Pittsburgh, during a time of financial need for her family. She was determined to build a company that connects women from all walks of life. She focused on creating beautiful, artisan-made jewelry rooted in her 20 year experience as a successful trend forecaster. She has since offered an entrepreneurial opportunity to thousands and has seen Sabika transform lives. Today, Sabika is sold by independent Sabika Consultants, both women and men, through Sabika Parties across the U.S. and helps bring out the individual beauty of those who wear it.

“I want to support Sojourner House, because helping children is an essential part of their program. I have always been an advocate for children,” said Karin. “At Sojourner House, you give these children and families hope and structure when they need it most.”

Long-time Sojourner House supporter Lynne Chadwick will receive the 2018 Pearl of Hope Award.

Lynne, who is CAO, Director of  BNY Mellon Risk & Compliance,  has dedicated significant time and energy to Sojourner House for nearly a decade. She served on the board for two terms, taking on such roles as board president and governance committee chair. She also served on the tea planning committee for eight years, including serving as tea chair in 2010. In addition, Lynne has hosted multiple meetings and fundraisers to attract contributions for Sojourner House.

“Having Lynne Chadwick as a supporter of Sojourner House has been a true blessing and a godsend, She has offered so much on so many levels to help Sojourner House grow into the successful organization it is today. She is most deserving of this recognition,” said executive director Joann Cyganovich.

PLEASE NOTE: The 1-2 p.m. social hour will include a meet-and-greet with our honorary chair.  Tickets will be available for purchase, starting on Jan. 15.  For more information about the event, please email  To learn more about Sojourner House and to view photos from the Victorian Tea from previous years, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Sista to Sista Picnic & Memorial Service 2017

Cool temperatures didn’t keep the Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS family from celebrating in a big way at its annual Sista to Sista Picnic on August 24, 2017, in Highland Park.  Lots of fun and lots of food was had by all.

The afternoon also included a heartfelt memorial service remembering loved ones the Sojourner House/MOMS family has lost this past year.









Alex + Ani “Charmed by Charity” Fundraising Event to Support Sojourner House

Attention, back-to-school shoppers! You’re invited to Alex and Ani Pittsburgh’s “Charmed by Charity” event to support Sojourner House … in Shadyside AND at Ross Park Mall!

We hope you can stop by Alex and Ani Pittsburgh’s “Charmed by Charity” event Wednesday, Aug. 23, 3-5 p.m., at 5505 Walnut St., Shadyside, and at Ross Park Mall. Enjoy refreshments and explore the newest Alex and Ani collections while supporting a wonderful cause  … 15 percent of all proceeds will be donated to support Sojourner House!

A Sojourner House representative will be on hand to share information about this amazing organization. Please contact to RSVP or for more information.


Cyganovich Celebrates 10 Years as Sojourner House Executive Director

Sojourner House has experienced a stellar past decade of growth, and an increasingly well-regarded reputation. Much of that can be attributed to Joann Cyganovich, who celebrated her 10th anniversary as Sojourner House’s Executive Director, in July.

Joann has dedicated the majority of her career to helping thousands of people throughout the Pittsburgh-region – namely, women and children – improve their lives. Her reputation has been built on competence, compassion, knowledge, and commitment. Joann’s influence reaches far and wide, not only to residents, but staff, board members, volunteers, colleagues, and other supporters outside of Sojourner House’s walls.

“I don’t feel like I “chose” this career path but that it was chosen for me. The path opened and I went down that path,” said Joann. I especially love Sojourner House because the mission serves the entire family, not to mention that some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met are those that surround Sojourner House – what a wonderful community.”


Negley Place Community Day 2017

A crowd of 75 people enjoyed great company, a delicious potluck picnic and cool jazz on a summer afternoon when Sojourner House MOMS residents and their neighbors celebrated 27 years of community-building, at its Community Day on July 30. Sojourner House MOMS has been a part of its neighborhood community since it opened in 2004.  Please check out our Facebook page for more photos.






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