St. Anne’s House seeks donations for next steps

Greg Herberger, far right, a St. Anne’s House Committee member, talked with parishioners about the demolition efforts made to the house so far during an open house June 25. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

A house with a storied past that sits on Our Mother of Sorrows Church’s campus, 747 Harrison Ave., is ready for the next stage of its new life.

St. Anne’s House Committee has been responsible for gutting the house — a former brothel — over the past few years. The committee now seeks donations to fund its next steps: turning the house into apartments for trafficking victims.

Our Mother of Sorrows purchased the house from its former owner, Anna Haines, in the 1960s. In 2020, pastor Father Philip Erikson shared his vision of repurposing the house to serve trafficking victims, renamed the building St. Anne’s House and created the committee. On June 25, Our Mother of Sorrows and the St. Anne’s House Committee hosted an open house for parishioners to view how much work has been done already to prepare the home to be turned into four one-bedroom units.

The committee hopes to raise $250,000 and is looking for corporate sponsorships to be able to complete the renovations. 

Cabinetry has been donated, committee chair Dutch Boehnlein said, and the Airport Authority Noise Mitigation Program is assisting with windows, doors and air conditioning. 

Following Mass the morning of June 25, Our Mother of Sorrows parishioners were invited into St. Anne’s House, next door to the church, to view demolition efforts that have taken place over the past few years. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

“We’re making a one-time ask to folks for donations,” Boehnlein said. “It sounds like a lot but we think it’s really manageable.”

St. Anne’s House is partnering with Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Bahkita Empowerment Initiative and will rent the apartments to the initiative to create housing stability for trafficking victims.

The Bahkita Empowerment Initiative offers comprehensive services to those who have been victims of labor or sex trafficking. Amy Nace-DeGonda, the initiative’s director, said most of the people the initiative helps face housing instability.

“If you don’t have housing stability, you can’t get stability in other parts of your life,” she said.Those who wish to donate can send checks, made payable to Our Mother of Sorrows, to 747 Harrison Avenue, Louisville, KY 40217. In the memo line, write “St. Anne’s House.” For more information, contact Boehnlein at 938-2930 or dutch@familyrealty.com.

Kayla Bennett
Written By
Kayla Bennett
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