Interim House, Inc.
Interim House was founded in 1971 by Clara Baxter Synigal, an African-American woman who lived in Mt.Airy and was a recovering alcoholic. In 1971, residential treatment programs in Pennsylvania (and on the entire East Coast), served only men or men and women. Ms. Synigal's vision was to develop a program for women only due to the difficulty many women experienced in mixed gender settings.
Since 1971, Interim House has evolved in order to meet the changing needs of our women. In 1989, Interim House became a subsidiary of Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a non-profit public health organization that is committed to improving the health of the community through outreach, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services. Around this time, the program re-located from its’ original location on Tulpohocken Street to its’ present location, the former convent of St. Madeleine Sophie Church, which is across the street.
In 1993, an outpatient program was developed on site to provide women with continuing services upon completion of the residential program. In 1998, the outpatient program was expanded to include intensive outpatient services – with the goal of sobriety maintenance, job training and placement. In 1998, the program began accepting women from the criminal justice system, in 1999, the program received funding to provide psychiatric services, in 2001, the program implemented The Sanctuary Model, a trauma-sensitive philosophy to assist women in the healing process from violence and abuse and in 2002, we received funding to provide family services specific to mothers and their children. Since that time, Interim House has incorporated Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) via funding from Pew OMG, a Job Readiness and Educational Program funded, in part, by The Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as a biking and therapeutic knitting program.
Over the years, Interim House has been recognized as a leader in the treatment field and has been the recipient of The Philadelphia Foundation’s Williams Award for Organizational Excellence and Glaxo-Smith Kline’s Community Impact Award. We are proud of our history, our courageous alumnae, our dedicated and talented staff, and look forward to continuing to be a beacon of hope for all who come through our doors seeking help.