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SOWN’s mission is to strengthen community support networks, reduce social isolation, and improve the well-being of older adults (especially women) and their families. They offer a range of programs focused on supporting grandparents raising grandchildren, so they are better resourced, prepared and emotionally supported to enable the children to be successful. Community building to reduce feelings of isolation and the sense of a lack of peers is a critical aspect of their services.

Founded in 1984 to create community-based networks to enable older women to live healthier lives as they aged, SOWN began by providing peer support groups for older women in convenient locations. Today, they have over 20 community-based partner sites in the city. Twenty years ago, SOWN developed a telehealth model in which professionally trained staff facilitate telephone-based support groups for isolated seniors and families. With COVID-19, all SOWN group services became telephone based. Because of their history of providing telehealth services and staff expertise, this transition occurred seamlessly. SOWN provides additional supports such as individual counseling, educational workshops, digital literacy, information and referral, and advocacy for their clients.

In 2002, SOWN expanded their mission to include the well-being of the many Philadelphia families in which children are being raised by their grandparents because parents are unable to do so. SOWN provides a comprehensive array of services to support the stability of these families.

Year Awarded: 2022

Grant Type: Core Mission

Focus Area: Family

Grant Amount: $100,000