WDG has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono architectural and design services to organizations in the community. Samaritan Inns—a local Washington, DC-based nonprofit established in 1985—provides housing and recovery services to individuals struggling with substance abuse. They recently opened The Clark Inn, a renovation project located on Harvard Street, NW, focusing specifically on women with children; a place where mothers can receive treatment, while establishing a solid framework for long-term independent living without the fear of being separated. The building was named after the late A. James Clark of Clark Construction Group for his years of commitment to the organization.  

Alice and Courtney, wife and daughter of the late A. James Clark, cut the ribbon of The Clark Inn, flanked by Larry Huff, SI President, and Mike Alto, SVP of Clark Construction Group. Photo:Chelsea Hudson

There are nearly one thousand homeless families in the Nation’s Capital, half of which are headed by addicted mothers. Samaritan Inns partnered with WDG and Clark Construction Group to create The Clark Inn, a place that can successfully address the challenges facing this very large and underserved population. The four-story row house and detached carriage house were renovated to serve families by keeping women and children together. The Clark Inn offers family-style living quarters for up to 12 women and 16 children, and provides on-site child care, as well as individual and group counseling.

Entrance of The Clark Inn

Carriage House entrance

The row home was redesigned to accommodate the program recipients and support staff. The master bedroom was reconfigured into three smaller bedrooms and a security room was created on the main floor within the living room. All floors were reinforced and the staircase railings were raised to protect children from falling over.  

The carriage house was particularly challenging as it had severely weathered over time. Once used as a storage attic, the team worked with structural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers to change the roof line and increase the height of the second floor, creating a suitable counseling space. Windows were added to bring in more natural light and open up the space. The main floor was cleared out and repurposed as a day care facility. Interior modifications in both the row and carriage house included upgraded appliances, adding backsplash tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, and fresh paint on the walls and staircases.

Renovated staircase and kitchen in The Clark Inn

The official opening of the Women with Children Program was on June 16, 2015. “Understanding the organization’s mission and the purpose of this program made the project even more gratifying,” said Bob Keane, Managing Principal at WDG. “It was imperative for us to create a comfortable and functional place for the women and children served; a place they will be pleased to call home.” WDG is proud to have worked with Clark Construction Group and Samaritan Inns, and wishes the organization continued success.

Members of the WDG project team in the administrative offices in the Carriage House