Lucille Raines Residence for Women

Lucille Raines Residence for Women, at 947 North Pennsylvania Avenue, originally served as a home for young women 17-25 years of age who were working or attending school in the Indianapolis area.

Its forerunner, Esther Hall and Deaconess Home, had begun operating at 1241 North New Jersey Street in 1935 and had served as many as 20 young women at a time.   By the mid-1960s, it was obvious that the original facility was inadequate. "A new building is needed, probably in a new and more desirable location, housing 70 to 100 young women, in order for Esther Hall to be self-sustaining," a committee concluded. The new organization was to be a not-for-profit corporation operated by representatives of the Women's Societies of the three Conferences in the Indiana Area.

Costs to build and open the new facility were expected to range from $385,000 to $500,000, with about $200,000 on hand in 1967.  WSCS organizations were asked to pledge 50-cents per member the first year, and other gifts were sought.

Funds were indeed raised, and in 1969 the Nottingham Hotel on North Pennsylvania Avenue was purchased. The renovated building was consecrated and occupied on January 28, 1970, and given its present name in honor of the wife of Bishop Richard C. Raines.

In the late 1970s, when young women ceased to want a highly structured kind of living, the Raines Residence changed its ministry to match the community's needs. The residents became women and men who had completed substance-abuse treatment in medical hospitals, people in counseling for emotional and psychological problems, women in work-release programs, women in crisis, and sightless people engaged in mobility training.

The Lucille Raines Residence program, sponsored by the United Methodist Women of Indiana, remains a successful operation and can be visited and toured by arrangement.

GPS: 39 46 49.40, -86 09 20.19

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