Sankofa Open House

Blue skies and sunshine greeted over 70 guests who gathered on May 6 to celebrate the grand opening of Sojourner House MOMS at Sankofa.  Valerie McDonald-Roberts, Chief Urban Affairs Officer for Mayor Peduto’s administration, cut the ribbon at the event, culminating three years of extensive planning and community support.

Attendees included Joe Lagana and Bill Wolfe of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Marge Petruska of The Heinz Endowments, Sylvia Fields of Eden Hall Foundation and numerous other community partners.  Deputy Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Reginald Young, and Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, Castor Binion, also attended.  Additionally, Dr. Norma Raiff, founding executive director of Sojourner House, participated in the event. Generous supporters of the Adopt-an-Apartment campaign joined other guests in touring the units they helped furnish, while Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS staff, residents, and board members answered questions about the new programs.

The historic expansion of Sojourner House MOMS from 21 units to 42 units would not have been possible without an outpouring of support from the Pittsburgh community. The Allegheny County Department of Human Services and Pittsburgh’s foundation community contributed more than 1.2 million to finance the renovation of Sankofa and Open Arms.  Adding to this generosity were numerous churches, civic groups and individuals who helped furnish Sankofa’s 12 new units through the Adopt-an-Apartment campaign.

“We are extremely fortunate to live in a community that cares so deeply for the most vulnerable of its citizens,” noted executive director, Joann Cyganovich.


If you would like to schedule a personal tour of the newly renovated Sankofa facility, please contact JoAnn English, MOMS Program Manager, at 412-361-1213.

Valerie McDonald-Roberts, Chief Urban Affairs Officer of Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration, cuts the ribbon marking Sankofa’s grand opening on May 6.  Please check out our Facebook page for more photos!