I had long wondered about the place. Then recently I met Montonya Sauls and Laurie Reno outside Smart & Final, where they were collecting donations. We got to talking and they invited me to make an appointment to come by.
Quoting Wikipedia: "The Walter Hoving Home is a non-profit, faith-based rehabilitation center serving women 18 years and older who have been involved in drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution and other life-controlling problems."
But it's not a rehab facility, says Associate Director Teresa Wolf. "It's a home." The women who live there are her "sisters." Dad and Mom are John and Elsie Benton, who founded the home in 1967 and named it for Walter Hoving, the one-time Tiffany and Company chairman who funded their work. (Incidentally, a couple of Mr. Hoving's descendants are named Petrea.)
The Walter Hoving Home is actually three homes: the original in Garrison, New York, another in Las Vegas, and the Pasadena branch, housed in what was originally Pasadena's Mira Monte Hotel.
The tour Teresa gave me began at the front door where you approach the reception desk (personed by a resident). To the left of the photo frame is a sign that greets you with your name on it. "Most of the women who come here have never been important enough to have their name on a sign," said Teresa. My heart warmed at seeing my name there, but I didn't photograph it for the sake of the privacy of the others listed. I probably could have, though. Nobody seemed to mind my presence, nor that of my camera. They welcomed me.
Teresa watches over lunch set-up in the dining room.
The residents do all the work, from cleaning to cooking to chores. It's a lovely house, and for a while, it's their home.
Part 2 tomorrow.