Mary Elizabeth Inn is a public 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a more than 100-year history of providing safe and affordable housing and crucial services to women in our community who are in need.
It all began in 1914 when Mrs. Lizzie Glide, who had lived her entire adult life dedicated to helping others, learned of the need for safe and affordable housing for young working women in San Francisco. Mrs. Glide used her personal resources to build the 92-unit home-away-from-home, The Mary Elizabeth Inn, named after two of her daughters. In the 1930's, Mrs. Glide donated the building to the National Office of the United Methodist Women (UMW), and established the public nonprofit organization, Mary Elizabeth Inn (MEI). The UMW and its predecessors had been established since 1869 and began when eight women in Boston travelled to India to address the desperate needs of women there. Upon their return to the states, these eight women continued to organize and grow, and establish mission centers to respond to the needs of underserved women and children. When Mrs. Glide donated her building to the UMW it became one of the nearly 100 National Missions Institutions serving women and children throughout the United States.
Established for the sole purpose of serving women, for the past century - since its beginning and until now - Mary Elizabeth Inn has provided housing and services for women in need.In 2009, the management of MEI expanded the housing programs for formerly homeless and low income women to a second building, Hotel Verona.Through partnerships established with the Department on the Status of Women (DOSW) and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) of the City and County of San Francisco, MEI is able to provide permanent supportive housing at affordable rates for homeless women in San Francisco. Additional partnerships with community based organizations such as La Casa de La Madres and the San Francisco Food Bank enable Mary Elizabeth Inn to offer vital supportive services and food programs to residents.