Celebrating Every Win!

Hello Friends,  

Just like the seasons, Marian House is abuzz with change, growth and transition. New women are entering Marian House I full of hope and anticipation. Several women completed their first in-person mock interviews with over 8 interviewers from corporate partners since COVID. Ladies in Marian House II are achieving goals, gaining financial stability, and pursuing their dreams.  

With your support, Marian House helps residents to develop the skills to achieve their independence and move into the world with confidence. Phyllis is a prime example; she has grown stronger everyday since she started with us. She is a living of example of “not looking like what she has been through”. Lisa (Lisa Shifren Photography) and Donna Maria took stunning photographs of over 20 women and children of Marian House at Christmas. Please read Phyllis’ encouraging story in the Resident Spotlight. She is one of many women supported by your love and generosity. (We have also shared a few holiday photos on page 4). 

On April 12th, we celebrated 42 years of ministry and service. To celebrate, we held an online day of giving and celebration. In May, our Ravens Raffle Ticket sales begin. Take a chance to win season tickets with us. Also, we are returning Blingo! You can play Bingo and win jewelry and accessories valued over $100. Tickets are $50 per person. Blingo is being held on May 10, 2024 at Notre Dame Preparatory. Details on all these events are inside.  

We are in full swing planning for our 16th Annual Race to Embrace Independence on Saturday, September 28, 2024. Early bird registration begins soon for the reduced price of $40. We hope you will partner with us, sponsor our race, and join the festivities. As always, we need volunteers, sponsors, and runners. I can’t wait to celebrate all great things happening with you in person. We are going to have a great time! Thank you in advance supporting our events and activities.  

The biggest news to start the season – Marian House was among more than 250 awardees from across the country selected by MacKenzie Scott through the Yield Giving Open Call to receive $2 million dollars! We are overjoyed and overwhelmed with gratitude! There are not enough words to express our thanks for their vote of confidence in us and their investment in our work in Baltimore through Mackenzie Scott’s Yield Giving (Read full Press Release on our website). We will steward your gift with love and wisdom, as we house and lead women and their families on their healing journey. 


In leadership, gratitude & joy, 

Katie Allston LCSW-C 

President & CEO 

Resident Spotlight – Phyllis

“Marian House taught me love, accountability  and new coping skills.”

Phyllis entered Marian House in March of 2020. After completing Marian House I successfully, she lived in Marian House II, and plans to move with her family at the time of publication. Phyllis, who was battling stage 3 colon cancer, bravely stands with us today to tell her story—now cancer-free.

How did you feel when you first entered Marian House?

I was really hopeful. God orchestrated this new direction for me, so I was excited, and expecting great things. It was my turn.

What led you to Marian House?
Over four years ago, I lost my husband of 40+ years. I used alcohol to cover-up what was really going on inside of me. It was my Band-aid, but I knew I needed some serious help with that and my mental health. I ended up losing my house to property taxes. I had to change my life. While I was in Nilsson House, the ladies at Marian House came to visit and told us about the requirements for the program—I knew Marian House was where I wanted to go. I was qualified and ready.

What has been the most helpful to you at Marian House?
The group meetings, all the support as far as how to cope with life without drinking, and how to acknowledge
anything that is unusual. Getting to know the other ladies, we were able to express how we really feel and even now
that I’m exiting Marian House II to live with family, I can recognize I’ve learned a lot from that, and I know how to
handle myself. I must say that I’m really proud of myself, especially with this colon cancer that hit me. Marian House
helped me connect to my health benefits to even figure out that I had stage 3 colon cancer. With the drinking and
everything, I wasn’t eating properly, and so stuff started to develop. Marian House was my support team, and the
doctors and the nurses I dealt with—they were awesome.

What is something you learned at Marian House that you’ll take with you wherever you go?
Marian House taught me love, accountability, and new coping skills, being mindful of what I do. I think there’s a lot
that’s with me. I love the women that are here, the women that I came up with. And I’m proud of myself.

When people support Marian House, what are they supporting?
Actually getting the right counseling and what you need to know how to cope. Marian House is very beneficial
especially to those who can’t afford healthcare, it helps us to better our life, going to school, and getting jobs. I’ve
been trying for years to get back to nursing, and in February of last year I did.

If you could talk to your younger self (5 or 10 years ago), what would you tell them?
Nothing is impossible. It could have been worse but you’ve been through plenty, so you got this. You can be stubborn, but if you have a desire to accomplish and overcome you, that’s the first part. Nobody is going to force you to do anything.

16th Annual Race to Embrace Independence Marian House 5k Run and Walk

Save the Date 

September 28, 2024

GET READY! Our 16th Annual Race to Embrace Independence 5K is approaching! Please join hundreds of us for a delightful run/walk that begins and ends at Marian House. Our 2024 race will offer both virtual and in-person options. Registration is open April through May for $40. Regular price is June through July $45. Create a team and set a fundraising goal! Remember the virtual component allows you to select teammates from across the country, and the world! Last year we had runners in France! Let’s go worldwide – virtual and in-person.  

Help us meet our goal of $100,000 in sponsorships! Sponsorships are still available from $250 – $10,000—a great team building event for local companies. Call us for more information at 410-467-4250. 


Meet Carol Gorsuch

Carol Gorsuch’s history with Marian House goes back to when renovations began on Independence Place in 2017. As a Preconstruction Engineer at the local general contracting firm, Urban Built, Carol and her dedicated team took on the monumental job of helping renovate the Mercy and Notre Dame Residences of Independence Place, which now provide transitional supportive housing for women and families. Carol’s involvement did not stop there—through a Marian House Instagram story, she learned that volunteers could adopt a woman, or multiple women, and provide gifts for the holiday season. For Carol, her husband, Tim, and their family, Christmas is a time to give back in memory of their son, Tim Jr., who passed away at 23 while he was serving in the Navy. With a very open heart, Carol asks, “How do you take somebody passing and turn that into keeping their light shining?”

Timmy’s brightness shines on as Carol and Tim connect with each woman through their wish lists, every request
deepening their understanding of specific interests the women have. From baking sheets to Harry Potter Xbox
games, Carol and Tim make it their mission to check off every single item. In 2023, they adopted 18 women. We
thank them immensely for their dedication, and for recognizing and empowering each woman at Marian House.
Carol believes in the power of assisting people of all ages and backgrounds. She expresses, “If you’re only going
to support one type of organization, you’re missing an opportunity to meet some really neat people.”

To volunteer alongside Carol and her family, please visit our website at: marianhouse.org/how-you-can-