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Women's Lunch Place Inc.

 67 Newbury Street
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 449-7190
[F] (617) 267-6803
Lorraine Levine
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2514148

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Women's Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming daytime shelter for women experiencing poverty or homelessness. We offer a supportive and dignified community, healthy meals, and individualized services to empower women to make positive changes in their lives.

Mission Statement

Women's Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming daytime shelter for women experiencing poverty or homelessness. We offer a supportive and dignified community, healthy meals, and individualized services to empower women to make positive changes in their lives.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $3,042,135.00
Projected Expense $3,031,841.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Advocacy and Resource Center
  • Daily Guest Services
  • Meals Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Women's Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming daytime shelter for women experiencing poverty or homelessness. We offer a supportive and dignified community, healthy meals, and individualized services to empower women to make positive changes in their lives.

Background Statement

Womens Lunch Place (WLP) was founded in 1982 by Jane Alexander and Eileen Reilly, who volunteered in overnight shelters in Boston. They witnessed that women needed a safe place to go during the day when many overnight shelters were closed. They opened in 1982, serving lunch three times a week; breakfast service started in 1985, and by 1996 we were open six days a week. In 2011, a thorough renovation of the shelter allowed us to accommodate the growing needs, and resulted in a beautiful welcoming community center that reflects our commitment to dignity and healing. We initiated Homelessness Prevention program in 2014. This year we hired two outreach advocates to address the needs of women struggling with mental illness and/or addiction. We continue to remain true to our vision of providing refuge, hearty and delicious meals, and dignity. There is no formal intake or requirements to receive any service. We welcome every person who identifies as a woman, and serve over 1,400 women a year, providing a comprehensive range of services to meet immediate needs and address long-term challenges. In the 2015 guest survey, 98% reported that WLP has made a positive difference in their lives. Guests are adult women from the Greater Boston area, of all ages and backgrounds. Approximately half of guests are homeless while others live in transitional or low-income housing. Many struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other serious life challenges. Staff and volunteers are trained in trauma-informed care, and as a small, community-based organization, we develop trusting relationships that result in women being open to accept services and work towards self-sufficiency. One guest told us, “I can sit and do work and I am not just a number to be pushed around. I feel the love, the care that they have for us -- you can even taste it in the food.” 

Impact Statement

The accomplishments of WLP are possible because of the generosity of donors, volunteers, staff, guests, and local organizations and businesses. With their commitment, we are prepared to offer services to every woman who comes through our doors. In FY 2017, we prepared and served 104,625 meals, the highest total in our organization's history, increased 17% from 89,389 in the previous year and 85,575 the year before. This year we anticipate serving well over 110,000 meals. We are able to prepare and serve high-quality, filling meals each day because of partnerships with Greater Boston Food Bank and Lovin Spoonfuls.  Effective strategic leadership from WLP Board, Executive Director and staff assure we meet all of our financial goals.    We continue to help women reach personal goals and overcome homelessness and poverty. In the past year, 28 women moved from shelters into housing, and 60 women stabilized their at-risk housing situations. We witness small and large accomplishments every day. For example, “Harriet” has been a WLP guest for years, struggling with mental health problems. She joined a WLP support group last year and slowly began to realize that her life does matter and that others care about her. Harriet now has positive relationships with staff, volunteers, and other guests. We are inspired to see her personal transformation. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive range of services that improve the quality of life for women without housing or the means to cover basic necessities. We seek to meet immediate needs while coordinating and delivering support services designed to help women achieve stability and self-sufficiency. As we do so, we foster a community of women who encourage and celebrate one another on the journey towards hope, healing, and recovery.

Needs Statement

In the communities of Greater Boston, hunger and homelessness continue to rise. Our guests are acutely affected by the high cost of living, and the difficult job and housing markets. We serve over 225 women each day, a 50% increase since 2013. The work to be done is daunting and we always need the following: 1. FINANCIAL DONATIONS. WLP receives no funding from the government so we are most grateful for the generosity of private individuals, corporations, foundations, faith-based groups, and other donors. 2. VOLUNTEERS. Last year, the number of volunteer hours equaled 15 full-time staff. We could not do all that we do without the individual and group volunteers staffing shelter programs, administrative, and fundraising needs. 3. EVENT SUPPORT. Corporate and individual sponsors are crucial to the success of two annual fundraising events, Spaghetti Dinner in the fall and eat LUNCH give in the spring. 4. IN-KIND ITEMS. We are appreciative of all the donations and are always in need of new undergarments, socks, travel-sized toiletries, and other basic necessities.

CEO Statement

The opportunity to lead the WLP and to work for and with women in need is truly a blessing. I am committed to raising awareness of the many challenges facing poor and homeless women and the financial resources to support the mission of Women's Lunch Place. I have met women of amazing resiliency and grace. They are appreciative of the delicious meals, showers and air conditioning. Staff and volunteers have a can-do attitude and every day welcome and strongly encourage each woman to use the wealth of resources available. Working together, Women's Lunch Place remains a haven where dignity is everything. It is a privilege to work with and feed a community of women seeking to improve their lives one day at a time. For over 33 years, Women's Lunch Place has been a haven for women experiencing homelessness or poverty, and tragically today, their numbers and needs are greater than ever. The food and services we offer feed and heal over 225 women every day who are hungry, homeless or hopeless. We give them a place to heal, to dream, and to believe they can improve their lives. Our philosophy recognizes each woman for who she is and where she is on her lifes journey. We treat her with dignity and respect in a trauma-informed manner so we avoid causing any additional stress or trauma. We are a community of women taking caring of each other and finding joy and satisfaction in knitting, painting, reading, napping or working with an advocate to find a job, housing, or other pressing concerns. We are committed to helping every guest find safe permanent housing and to always be their home wherever they may be on their journey.

Board Chair Statement

The Board of Directors and I are dedicated to the mission of Women's Lunch Place and committed to assuring that the Executive Director and staff has the funding needed to meet the growing needs of our guests. We believe that every woman should be treated with respect and dignity and encouraged to take steps to improve her life. Together we are increasing awareness of the challenges facing women experiencing homelessness or poverty, and to raise the funds critical to offering every woman dignity, healing and hope. The successful $3.2M capital campaign in 2011 resulted in a light and cheerful dining room and state-of-the-art kitchen open to the guests. We have rooms dedicated to Creative Expressions Program, yoga and dance classes, computer classes, and so much more! I am very proud and enthusiastic to be a longtime donor and current Board President.

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
Located on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay, the Women's Lunch Place provides services to every woman who comes through our door, most of whom are from the Greater Boston area, including Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Chinatown, Cambridge, Somerville, Lynn, Chelsea, Revere, and Quincy.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash)
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


Advocacy and Resource Center


WLP provides a range of services for women seeking to resolve immediate and long term challenges. Our approach is to advocate for women to heal and restore their dignity by offering resources and options. We seek to empower them to be their best selves, to make their own decisions and plans of action.

Advocates provide expert guidance with housing, domestic violence, mental health, finances, and other critical concerns. We have four full-time advocates, including a bilingual advocate (Spanish and English),  plus two volunteer attorneys. We also initiated the outreach advocacy program in the shelter dining room with two trained staff engaging with guests with serious mental illness, addiction, and chronic homelessness.

The housing advocate triages with guests and other agencies to help women find and keep their own homes. We have an emergency assistance fund to cover urgent expenses, such as back rent or utilities, so that women are not evicted due to inability to pay a small bill.

In the Resource Center, women self-advocate with the help of computers, computing classes, telephones, personal voice mail, a postal box, office supplies, reference materials, a library, and staff and volunteer support.


Budget  $578,358.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Females Homeless Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 


For women with serious life challenges and a history of trauma, seeking help is an important first step. Staff engages guests in the dining room to learn of their challenges and to encourage them to meet with advocates and or use the Resource Center.

In the short term, advocacy outcomes include stabilizing at-risk housing situations, initiating treatment for substance abuse and mental illness, getting help for legal issues, and enrolling for benefits. We partner with dozens of agencies to assure women receive the best care and results.

Short-term Homelessness Prevention achievements begin with a housing search, paying back rent or utilities, and obtaining household goods. Successes for the Resource Center include learning how to use a computer, learning about services available to them, and accessing job and housing postings.



Program Long-Term Success 

Advocacy and Resource Center services give women the resources, guidance, and care they need to address challenges and ultimately achieve stability and independence. For guests who have struggled with chronic homelessness, the process may take years and we support women through each step. Many guests return for follow-up assistance after they have secured housing or income. We take a holistic approach to helping women resolve long-term challenges, rather than focusing on a single goal.

Over the long term, the Homelessness Prevention program helps women find and keep safe, stable, affordable housing. We support them after they have been housed, so that they stay on track with positive life changes such as mental health treatment or substance abuse recovery.

Program Success Monitored By 

We measure Advocacy and Resource Center successes from the results of the annual program evaluation and a database. The database tracks number of and reason for the visits, along with outcomes. This includes housing stabilization, women leaving the streets into a shelter, transitional housing or a home, completion of classes, and results of crisis intervention.

Examples of Program Success 


Advocates provided 2,490 visits with 560 women in FY 2017.

In FY 2017, we helped 31 women move from the street to a shelter, 15 move to improved and safer housing, and 96 to stabilize at-risk housing situations.

In the 2017 guest survey, 84% of guests who used Advocacy services reported satisfaction, and 86% of Resource Center visitors reported satisfaction. A guest wrote, “My housing advocate has been enormously supportive and encouraged me to be persistent.”

“Angela” is a retiree with chronic health issues. She came to WLP for help after her apartment was condemned through no fault of her own. After months of effort coordinating with multiple agencies, Angela moved into an apartment in a building that accommodates people with mobility issues. She is finally in a safe and affordable place of her own.

Daily Guest Services


WLP provides essential daily services to restore the well-being and dignity of women with few resources. We provide shower facilities, laundry machines, and a 10-bed nap room, as well as emergency toiletries, emergency clothing including winter items, and referrals to area clothing providers. Free on-site medical care is provided by doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals from Health Care Without Walls and the Department of Mental Health’s Outreach Team.

Community activities include health and wellness workshops, group outings, yoga, support groups, meditation, haircuts, and music performances at the shelter.

Our healing and rewarding Creative Expressions program offers classes in painting, photography, dance movement, knitting, sewing, creative writing, and a variety of other creative outlets.

We create family and community by celebrating monthly guest birthdays, Mother’s Day, holidays, and other festive occasions.

Budget  $658,866.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Females Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 


For women without homes or material resources, WLP’s daily guest services are critical for them to maintain personal hygiene, obtain medical care, and reduce isolation.

Guests tell us how much they appreciate the clean and dignified facilities. One guest told us, “WLP is one of the only facilities that has beds for you to sleep in the daytime.” Many women seek medical care at WLP because they are uncomfortable seeking care at hospitals or other larger healthcare providers. Women participating in Creative Expressions activities benefit from the social interaction and ways to express themselves in a safe environment.

During the year, we distributed thousands of containers of soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tampons, and sanitary pads. We provided new underwear, bras, and socks. This past year we began a partnership with Dignity U Wear, an organization which provides donations of new underwear and bras, helping us to save on expenses.




Program Long-Term Success 

When basic needs of hygiene, health, and safety are met, women regain their dignity and self-worth. They are able to begin using other WLP services and feel confident interacting with others. With clean clothes and a hot shower, they can interview for a job, enroll in a class, or pursue other long-term personal goals.


Women develop friendships when taking Creative Expressions classes and participating in group activities. Guests present their art work at shelter events and local art shows. They support each other and help each other to maintain positive life changes. In the words of one guest, “WLP is a community for me. I can help and be helped.”

Program Success Monitored By 


Guest services are tracked each day in the program database, compiled monthly and aggregated at the end of each fiscal year. We conduct an annual guest survey regarding usage and satisfaction. Staff members speak with and observe the guests on an ongoing basis.

Examples of Program Success 

In the 2015 guest survey, the following percentages of women who used WLP’s daily guest services reported satisfaction with the service: 69% satisfied with nap room, 80% with showers, 80% laundry, 84% medical care, and 81% social activities.


In FY 2017, we provided facilities for 4,556 showers, 3,928 naps, and 3,855 loads of laundry. 3,172 medical visits were provided and Creative Expressions activities logged attendance of over 1,594.

The most meaningful program successes resulting from these services are not easily quantifiable. “Violet” struggled with years of mental illness, unemployment, and homelessness. She came to WLP determined to improve her life. As she searched for a job, she took showers and did her laundry at WLP so that she could look presentable at interviews. “Any step I had to take, I would come here,” she said. Now she has a job and apartment of her own. She told us, “I wouldn’t have gotten this far without this place. It’s even better than family.”

Meals Program


WLP prepares and serves nutritious breakfasts and lunches to approximately 225 women each day, Monday through Saturday, year round. The breakfast buffet is open from 8 am to 10 am, and lunch is served restaurant-style at noon, followed by a buffet line until 2PM. The meals are hearty and delicious and served in a warm, welcoming community. In FY 2017, we served a record number of 104,625 meals.

Each meal includes high-quality, nutrient-rich ingredients: lean protein, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, and herbs from our own garden. Meals are the core of our mission to reach women and help them to begin to heal. Food is the main reason for women to come to WLP.


Budget  $765,218.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Females Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 


Over the short term, the Meals Program meets the daily nutritional needs of women with little or no other access to healthy food. Going beyond basic hunger relief, the program helps to restore guests' dignity and self-worth.

To increase nutritional diversity, we serve over 90 different types of produce each year, over 85% of which is fresh instead of canned or frozen. We accommodate dietary needs whenever possible, including a vegetarian entrée option at every lunch. While 28% of guests report that they do not eat fruit and vegetables outside of WLP, when eating at WLP 96% eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetables.

Most if not all of our guests have experienced significant trauma, so women are served in a trauma-informed manner. The kitchen is open so guests may interact with staff and volunteers. Women do not have to wait in a long line for their food, and no one is turned away.

Program Long-Term Success 


By providing a reliable daily source of healthy meals, we are helping to prevent and alleviate diet-related medical conditions over the long term. Our guests have little or no other access to enough healthy food. A recent guest survey showed that their top health concerns are high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.

Staff and volunteers develop trusting relationships with guests at meal times. After a well-cooked meal in the company of people who care about her, a woman is much more likely to trust others and seek other services to address long-term life challenges such as unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. The 2017 guest survey showed that 61% stay at WLP between breakfast and lunch in order to use other services and participate in the community. One guest told us, “It is a calm and safe place to go for the day and there are lots of great resources.”


Program Success Monitored By 

We track the success of the Meals Program in an annual program evaluation and data is collected daily. The program evaluation is based on a guest survey of demographics, satisfaction with services, how and why they use services, narrative feedback, and areas for improvement. The database is updated each day with the number of meals served and statistics from the database are compiled at the end of each month and aggregated at the end of every fiscal year. We use this data to plan food purchases and maintain necessary inventory.


As a small, community-based organization, we are able to have regular conversations with guests to discuss their progress and the individual impact of WLP programs.

Examples of Program Success 


The 2017 guest survey showed overwhelmingly positive feedback. Eighty-seven percent are satisfied with breakfast, and 80% are satisfied with lunch. Comments included: "My resources are so limited. It is nice to get out and have a nice lunch. Your kindness is overwhelming." One guest wrote, “I eat here and save on groceries. I couldn’t pay my rent otherwise.”

In FY 2017, we prepared and served 104,625 meals, a 17% increase from the previous year, and we reached this level of service without turning anyone away. To assure that enough food is prepared and in a timely manner, we are managing the kitchen operation to be more efficient, and we have scheduled more volunteers.

One senior woman told us that before she learned about WLP, she had to choose between medication and food. Now she eats breakfast and lunch with us most every day. She said, “I’ve found a couple of true friends that I really like. The whole WLP means so much to me. Not only did it help me by coming here to eat lunch, it’s helped me to open up. I’m just so appreciative.”



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

WLP works diligently to make sure that the daily needs of our guests are met promptly and with as much personal attention as is necessary  Since we see a large number of women with very diverse needs, the challenge is to not only be efficient in the delivery of our sources, but also to be well-connected with other premium service providers in the area.  Our staff advocates actively use all community resources available to us to connect our guests to the external resources they may need in order to be uplifted from their daily challenges.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Judy Beckler
CEO Term Start Dec 2018
CEO Email
CEO Experience Over the course of my career I have held many of positions including the president of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. I have developed evidenced based programming for women, children, adolescents and families that led to improved outcomes in key areas including healing from trauma, reduced isolation, increased housing stability, improved education and employment outcomes. Over the past 18 months, I have had the opportunity to work with Women's Lunch Place as a consultant. So, I step into this new role with knowledge and deep respect for the work of the team and the courage displayed by women struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Elizabeth Keeley June 2013 Nov 2018
Ms. Sharon Reilly July 2007 Feb 2013

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Nancy Armstrong Director of Operations Nancy Armstrong manages the human resources as well as oversees the fiscal management of Women's Lunch Place.  She supervises the Meals Program and assists with external events to benefit the shelter fundraising.
Ms. Lorraine Levine Director of Development

Lorraine has been at WLP since 2013. Prior to WLP, she was Assistant Director of Development at Jewish Family and Children’s Services and brings a wealth of fundraising and event planning experience.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Successful collaborations with other organizations are crucial for us to reduce duplication of existing services, meet specific guest needs, and participate in our wider community. We are committed to maintaining and building external relationships across all of our program areas. Some of our closest partnerships are with Health Care Without Walls, Greater Boston Food Bank, Tech Goes Home, job training programs, and local shelters. Annually more than 500 caring, well-trained volunteers serve WLP which enables us to maintain low operating expenses. Approximately 150 volunteers come in on a weekly basis, while others volunteer for special events and group opportunities. Over 120 volunteer groups work with us each year, including Boston Cares, school groups, faith-based groups, companies, and other organizations.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Women's Lunch Place is staffed by dedicated individuals with proven expertise in their fields. Our caring shelter, kitchen, advocacy, and Resource Center staff members are trained in trauma-informed care, and develop trusting, respectful relationships with guests. Our development, finance, and administrative staff are seasoned, talented professionals who work to ensure funding and contribute to the successful management and operations of all aspects of our organization. Staff members bring a high level of commitment and energy to work each day. As one guest told us, “If you ask staff about doing something, the'll find a way to help you get it done."

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 19
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 500
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 88%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 24
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Kay Calvert
Board Chair Company Affiliation Kay Calvert Consulting
Board Chair Term July 2018 - June 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Sally Bachman Boston University School of Social Work Voting
Clemia Brittenum The TJX Companies Voting
Anne Bromer Bromer Booksellers Voting
Kay Calvert Kay Calvert Consulting Voting
Mary Carty Consultant Voting
Kate Cook Esq. Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. Voting
Janine Danielson Litman Gerson Associates, LLP Voting
Kate Gallivan Citizens Financial Group Voting
Megan Hall Consultant Voting
Eileen Hsu-Balzer Consultant Voting
Linda Kreisel Community Volunteer Voting
Anthony Leonard Liberty Mutual Voting
Mark Lippolt Hammond Residential Real Estate Voting
Michelle McGee Esq. Kearney, Donovan & McGee Voting
Sandra O'Connor Korn Ferry Voting
Glenn Quirion Sweet Tooth Bakery Voting
Derri Shtasel MD Mass General Hospital Voting
Randy Wertheimer MD Cambridge Health Alliance, Ret. Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Pamela Abeiga C & W Services Voting
Ms. Jane Callanan Community Volunteer Voting
Donna Fessler Berkshire Hathoway Home Services Voting
Ms. Ashley Irez Eastern Bank Voting
Ms. Todd Jackowitz Jackowitz & Co. Voting
Ms. Michele Kessler Community Volunteer Exofficio
Ms. Joyce Kosofsky Brattle St Bookstore Voting
Ms. Kathy LaPoint Chair Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Angela Menino Community Volunteer Exofficio
Ms. Mary Moscato Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Thomas ONeill III O'Neill & Associates Voting
Ms. Jill Phillips Lord's & Lady's Enterprises Voting
Ms. Eileen Reilly M.D. Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Voting
Ms. Jodi Slifka Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Eike Traina Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Roberta Weiner Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Tim Wigon Haemonetics Corporation Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 16
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 15
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • --
  • Board Governance
  • Community Outreach / Community Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

WLP is extremely well-served by our Board of Directors.The diverse professional expertise of our Board members has strengthened our effectiveness as an organization. All members played key roles during the successful short-term Capital Campaign we conducted in 2011. Because they worked closely with staff, as a team we were able to raise $3.2M in eight short months and were able to meet the cash flow needs of the shelter renovation project. As we work to meet the changing needs of our community and plan for the long-term sustainability of our programs, our Board members continue to serve as capable, committed guardians and ambassadors of the Women's Lunch Place mission.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $3,808,699 $3,682,105 $3,507,105
Total Expenses $3,709,162 $3,462,542 $3,494,869

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $783,971
Government Contributions $0 $0 $1,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $1,000
Individual Contributions $1,881,263 $1,932,325 $752,598
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $125,126 $51,686 $-10
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $777,879 $807,367 $878,265
Revenue In-Kind $1,024,431 $890,727 $928,499
Other -- -- $162,782

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $2,893,029 $2,764,089 $2,950,793
Administration Expense $189,498 $212,818 $139,394
Fundraising Expense $626,635 $485,635 $404,682
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.06 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 78% 80% 84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 24% 18% 17%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $4,246,427 $4,143,135 $3,955,344
Current Assets $1,944,895 $317,755 $236,965
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $119,166 $115,411 $147,183
Total Net Assets $4,127,261 $4,027,724 $3,808,161

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose 2011 Capital Campaign: Shelter renovation
Campaign Goal $3,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2011 - Aug 2011
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $3,200,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 16.32 2.75 1.61

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Despite the increasing needs, WLP’s finances are sound due to prudent financial decisions made by our Board and management over the past several years. Our Board finance committee, led by the Treasurer, meets monthly and provides expert oversight of the WLP budget.

Each year our financial records and reports are audited by an external audit firm that reports to the Board of Directors after the end of the fiscal year. We always receive the highest recommendation possible for audited financials.

In 2011, we successfully financed a $3.2M capital campaign. We provide employees with competitive salaries and benefits, offer flex time that encourages self-care and retention of qualified employees which ensures an effective team. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The mission of Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) is to provide a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, and supportive services to women experiencing poverty or homelessness in Greater Boston. Our maxim is “Dignity is Everything.” Our belief that every woman is worthy of being treated with dignity and humanity encompasses every aspect of how we provide services. From the moment a guest first enters our door, we recognize her value and strive to help her feel worthy. We are prepared to respond to her critical immediate needs and after those are met we collaborate with the guest in reaching longer-term goals. First we feed the body then we feed the spirit. We support her desire to find a home, a job, or to seek treatment for a mental illness or substance abuse. Staff and volunteers are trained to offer and provide care in a trauma-informed manner. We are always open to building a trusting relationship with each woman and offering personal attention to assure she is supported in the decisions she makes to recover and thrive. Since 1982, WLP has been a refuge for women seeking a respite from the streets or in search of a welcoming community. We have remained true to our mission and continue to provide opportunities for women to restore their dignity and belief in themselves. We understand that poverty and homelessness happen to women for reasons often out of their control. We strive to give them back control of their lives, working with each woman to become whole again no matter how long it takes. We do not judge but offer hope, healing, and dignity every step along her journey.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

To accomplish these goals, WLP offers a comprehensive range of services in a supportive community setting. Studies confirm that women are relational and prefer to work collaboratively, and being in stable relationships increases the opportunities for long-term outcomes. Resources and options are there for every woman and we encourage her to make the decisions thereby empowering her for the future. We do this in a supportive and safe community where there are no requirements to receive help. The Meals Program is at the core of our mission, with daily breakfasts and lunches that relieve hunger, improve nutrition, and enhance overall health for women with little or no other access to healthy foods. Meals are often the entry point for many of our guests to begin accepting services to improve their lives over the long term. Our meals are designed to be low in salt, fat, and sugar, yet high in nutrients and flavor. Nutrition education classes provide women with knowledge to eat and prepare healthier meals, and many are experiencing positive changes in their overall health as a result. In addition to the meals, our shelter offers a nap room, shower and laundry facilities, and emergency clothing and toiletries. Free on-site medical care is provided by Health Care Without Walls. The Creative Expressions program offers classes in painting, photography, sewing, dance movement, and a variety of other creative outlets. WLP advocates offer personalized assistance with housing, substance abuse, mental health, finances, domestic violence, and other critical concerns. The Resource Center offers computing and financial workshops; computers, a phone bank, a library, reference materials, and work areas. Our Homelessness Prevention initiative offers targeted assistance for women working towards sustainable housing. Community activities involve group outings, monthly birthday celebrations, yoga, wellness workshops, and holiday parties. The welcoming community relieves the isolation and stress of living with few resources, and provides the social supports needed for women to maintain positive life changes.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

We are well-known and respected in the social services community as a leading provider of high-quality successful services for women. Our dedicated and experienced staff and volunteers are led by Elizabeth Keeley, our Executive Director since July 2013. She is a dynamic and effective leader in our outreach, fundraising, and program initiatives. Prior to joining the WLP, for over twenty-five years Elizabeth advocated for women and children as a trial prosecutor and executive in two public agencies. Our committed and trained volunteers are essential to the caring and warm atmosphere of the shelter and help to lower our overhead expenses. The WLP’s Board of Directors and senior management staff provide expert oversight and leadership of our finances and long-term sustainability. Staff members are skilled in their fields and participate in trainings and ongoing education. We consistently receive high guest satisfaction ratings and positive feedback about staff and services. Successful collaboration with other organizations is paramount to meeting the myriad of needs of our guests and to avoid duplication of services. We are proud of and committed to maintaining and building external relationships across all of our program areas. The Greater Boston Food Bank is our largest food supplier, and we have strong ongoing partnerships with Health Care Without Walls and many other local organizations.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

WLP conducts an annual program evaluation based on a guest survey of demographics, satisfaction with WLP services, how and why they use services, and suggestions for improvement. The survey is conducted in four languages and involves a satisfaction rating system, narrative feedback, and small focus groups. Using the guests' responses, we assess the impact of WLP services. We track program outputs and outcomes through a program database, updated daily and aggregated monthly. This database tracks the numbers of all services provided each day. Outcomes tracked include housing, employment, material assistance, and crisis interventions. As a community-based organization, we evaluate outcomes through informal and anecdotal methods. Our staff members have regular conversations with guests about their progress and their feedback regarding WLP services. We regularly ask for feedback from our volunteers, staff, and guests about how programs and services are working, and when appropriate we make changes to improve them.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Our most significant accomplishment in recent years is successfully meeting the needs of an increasing number of women who seek our services. In FY 2017, we served 104,625 meals, the highest annual meals total in our organization's history, increased 17%  from 89,389 in the previous year and 85,575 meals the year before. The numbers are rising in all of our program areas, and we are working creatively and flexibly to provide high-quality services within our budget and without compromising our standard of care. We have made significant progress in helping women achieve stability and independence. The Homelessness Prevention program started in 2014 has helped over 260 women to find and keep safe, affordable homes of their own. We help women to avoid evictions, utility shut-offs, and other obstacles to dignified housing. In 2011, we successfully accomplished a $3.2 million capital campaign for a thorough renovation of our shelter, kitchen, and program spaces, completed on schedule and on budget. The renovation allowed us to accommodate larger numbers of guests, including guests with limited mobility as we modernized all infrastructure systems. There are now classrooms, medical suite, and a restaurant-grade kitchen facility. The dark basement of the church is now a well-lighted, freshly painted, beautiful place that our guests can call home. In 2012, we implemented a three-year strategic plan to ensure we stay on mission and have reliable sources of funding and an effective allocation of resources. The goal of maintaining a committed Board of Directors and a highly skilled staff is always ongoing. This year we are creating a new strategic plan to address shelter capacity issues and allow us to continue serving Greater Boston's most vulnerable women for years to come.