Growing strong communities, one safe and thriving family at a time.

FCC will invest approximately $9.5 million in the redevelopment of the former St. Rita’s school. Nest will provide the community with a hub for leisure and wellness within a revitalized and well-kept campus, while continuing in the spirit of the work that has been central to St. Rita’s parish for so many years.

The former St. Rita’s School

The once vibrant St. Rita’s School was a cherished Dundalk institution spanning eight decades. Since closing its doors in 2006, the site has remained vacant, while previous efforts to redevelop the property have been unsuccessful. What remains is an increasingly blighted eyesore that is now home to all-too-frequent crime and loitering.

Our plans for Nest

One of the lowest-density uses ever considered for this site, Nest will be thoughtfully envisioned and designed to avoid local traffic and parking impacts while adding visual appeal and community-serving amenities where the former St. Rita’s School now sits empty.

The newly renovated, 43,000 square-foot campus will include 12 apartment units, coupled with a range of programs and services that will provide individuals who call Nest home—and the community at-large—with robust pathways to prosperity and wellness. Our goal is to help families develop and sustain the skills necessary to cultivate enduring community presence and contribution.

12 2-4-bedroom apartments with private baths and full kitchens that enable families to continue their journey with safety and dignity

Community-serving open space and gardens.

A community center that includes mixed-use spaces, bringing in partners for art classes, yoga and other health and wellness services.

Office space that will house the new Prevention Center and Safe Futures Baltimore Collective impact initiative.

Highlighted Plans for the St. Rita's School Redevelopment

More about Nest residences and residents

Apartments will be priced consistent with the surrounding area and leased to parents and children who have demonstrated steady progress toward their goal of self-sufficiency.

Residents will be responsible for 100% of rent costs and prior to program admittance are actively supported in acquiring work, connecting to sufficient childcare and accessing other resources.

What is “next-step” housing and how is it different from FCC’s “emergency shelter” services?

Emergency shelter is just one part of the necessary housing continuum that survivors need to thrive. While FCC’s existing facility space in Dundalk will continue to anchor all crisis response services, Nest will provide the essential and life-changing time, space and support that survivors need post-crisis to regain independence, rebuild their lives and put down roots in a welcoming and safe community. Without programs like this, survivors may have no other option than to return to their abuser’s home or face homelessness. At Nest, we’re making a difference in the lives of children - and their future children.

Did you know?

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. As such, survivors are not outliers, but instead they are us – and among us in our communities and workplaces every day. They are people who, just like all humans, want to feel safe and secure – to protect their children from harm and find a path back to financial freedom.

Creating community, serving community

Nest will be a community hub, providing resources, services and activities for local residents to use and enjoy.

  • FLEXIBLE MEETING SPACE for community events and group functions. Families and organizations alike can take advantage of new options to come together for important conversations and to celebrate milestones in fully renovated spaces.
  • INNOVATIVE AND MEANINGFUL PROGRAMS that support healthy relationships and family wellbeing.
  • COMMUNITY-CENTERED OUTDOOR GREEN SPACE to enhance community views while reducing overall density.
  • COMMUNITY GARDENS that promote neighborliness and sustainability while enhancing neighborhood value.
  • CONVENING AND TRAINING SPACE and group meeting rooms.

Did you know?

Survivors of domestic violence often face significant barriers when trying to find housing. Many have not had access to the family finances, have been prohibited from working or have had their credit scores damaged by an abusive partner. For others, it is often the perfect storm of bad circumstances that leads them to our doors. Layoffs, unforeseen emergency circumstances, and Covid-related crises are just a few of the factors that can be at play.

Art created by children staying in a shelter - sharing their vision of life after the traumatic impacts of domestic violence.

The Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County is a part of the Dundalk fabric

FCC is a private, non-profit agency founded in Dundalk in 1979 with a bold vision for a future in which every home is safe, families are thriving and communities are strong. A regional leader for more than 40 years, we have safely and compassionately assisted more than 40,000 families as they navigate the challenges of their new day-to-day life, while supporting their long-term growth and development.

Our work at FCC has been rooted, since day one, in our role as a community member and partner - doing our part to help Dundalk families thrive. The organization was born over forty years ago by a caring group of people from the Dundalk Church of the Brethren who sought to assist teenagers struggling to stay in school. In working with these teens, volunteers learned that most of the youth came from families experiencing high levels of conflict and family violence, which at the time was rarely a topic of conversation. Their work evolved to provide a thoughtful alternative that met the diverse needs of individuals —and their families members—experiencing violence at home.

Since then, we have worked in the community to help people better identify and respond to domestic violence, assisted individuals and families to grow healthy relationships and worked with community partners to create pathways that help victims access safety and foster ongoing stability. Most importantly, we have brought hope and a new way of life to hundreds of local families.