Our history

The Linda Vista Project is a community-based nonprofit organization located in the city of Dayton, OH. The Linda Vista, Inc. provides housing to single women and mothers who are homeless. Our vision for The Linda Vista Project began with two women, Carmen Gooden and Shari Rogers, who were motivated by their desire to help women and their children improve the condition of their lives.

Our life-empowering tools are on-site groups that help women improve in the following areas: social skills, parenting responsibility, job readiness education, health and wellness, and money management.

Carmen Gooden
Shari Rogers

The Linda Vista Story

Beginning with a dream in 2002 and the rehabilitation of an eleven-unit apartment building in 2003 to provide support for women who find themselves in the crises that often follow violent trauma, our co-founders Ms. Carmen Gooden and Ms. Shari Rogers got to work with a goal to provide high-quality services to homeless women and children. A few of you took a chance on our vision and supported our mission through a miraculous combination of grassroots efforts and local foundation contributions so that in December of 2005, we were able to open our doors.

With great gratitude and humility, we continue to say thank you for the investments in people that have been and continue to be made through The Linda Vista. Every person who has said yes in some way has placed invaluable bricks in the building of the village that supports this great work. We also recognize that it is only through the continued intentionality of this community that we can continue to support women and children across the threshold from chaos, hopelessness, and pain to purpose, skill, growth, and contribution.

While we are extremely proud of both the partnerships, we’ve created with all of you to do this incredible work and the stories of restoration that we continue to develop together through your generous partnerships, our organization is at a crossroads. It is no secret that the pandemic has negatively impacted the reach of many organizations, and Linda Vista is no exception.

We believe that the resources needed to continue to champion the cause of restoration are still out there. We believe the capacity to do the work that transforms women and children from victims to victors with vision is just on the other side of a clarified intention to persist in this good work.

In fact, now that we have the perspective of 18 years of service and the long view that comes with seeing the incredible lives our participants are building despite where their stories started, we are more excited about the next 18 years than we’ve ever been. We are more convinced now than ever that there is providence in the work that we’re doing and cause for celebration.

The evidence that a focus on the health and stability of women in a community is an indicator of the health of the entire community is mounting. The evidence that it’s nothing short of revolutionary for children who start their lives surrounded by violence and addiction to then experience the warm embrace of a community that wishes to see them thrive is becoming undeniable.

From the words of a graduate who articulates dreams, goals, education plans, and a positive outlook after living in a constant cycle of addiction and abuse to the great insights of our alumni, we are re-energized to re-engage with our beloved community of champions. Your partnerships and contributions are turning real lives into stories of triumph like the one below. Every success story is directly connected to you, our village, our community our family! Thank you, and here’s to another 18 years of wonder and awe!

A Letter from Olivia

Before coming to Linda Vista, my thoughts were filled with hopelessness and negativity. Professionally, I would have to say there was a lack of thought on this life area due to the despair I felt. I didn’t believe a “professional” life was possible for me. I was mostly concerned with what my child and I were going to eat next. My thoughts towards others were antisocial in nature. I felt isolated from the world and had a hard time relating to others. This isolation expanded the already existing negative thoughts I had about myself. I was unable to see any good in myself because of the shame I felt from my past choices. These negative thought patterns left me unable to treat others and myself with respect.

If I was unable to get into the Linda Vista program, I doubt I would have been able to be the person I am today. I would still have the same negative mindset that used to steal my hope and threaten my sobriety.

When no one else was able or equipped to help me, things looked bleak for me. Linda Vista was like a sunrise after the darkest hour. I believed Linda Vista could help me simply because they were the only ones with an open door when I was out in the cold when I needed help most. Linda Vista took a chance on me and my family when no one else was there.

When I came to Linda Vista, I began to learn habits and skills that gave me a little confidence, which was new. I found hope for the first time and started to believe that I could be a productive member of society and a mother to my children. Linda Vista made it possible for me to focus on my education to begin the career of my dreams.

My relationship with Linda Vista directly led to me being able to obtain certifications through the state of Ohio for counseling. I obtained a career, a home, a car, sobriety, spirituality, and a loving family since leaving Linda Vista, and the story of restoration I experienced goes directly into the hope I now share with my patients.

Other women would benefit from this program for most of the reasons I did. It is a place women can go to be safe and rebuild the family. They can have the opportunity to be fully supported while finding meaning and purpose in their lives. They can develop the belief to dream again and set goals while receiving the support to achieve them because of Linda Vista.

People who could help Linda Vista would be satisfied to know that any resources given to this program will go to families and women that are working to radically change the trajectory of their lives. You are giving women and families an opportunity to break the unhealthy patterns that are often passed through generations. My family and I would not be in the position to now contribute to our community without individuals willing to support the work that Linda Vista does.

From my family and the lives and futures, we can now access because of your generosity,

Thank You!