On the Rise Membership Profile

Martha Sandler is the Executive Director for On the Rise, a day program set in a victorian home for homeless and formerly homeless women near Central Square in Cambridge.  Often, the homeless women being served comment on how nice it is to be in a less institutional setting.  Sandler and her team are looking forward to a time when there is less homelessness, and for those who were formerly homeless to have their chronic needs addressed more effectively by being sheltered and empowered.  On the Rise program attendees often identify as trauma survivors, and knowing this Sandler works to keep barriers to entry low and an open agenda that establishes the basis for a long standing, trust-filled relationship.  She describes this approach as being, “open to the women being the experts in their own destiny.”  Charyti Reiter, Director of Programs at On the Rise, outlines the two main programs at the organization, including Safe Haven and Keep the Keys.  The Safe Haven Program is a daytime program for homeless women, and Keep the Keys is a housing stabilization program.  Sandler credits the locals business owners for keeping their eyes and hearts open as they “see the issues we’re trying to address playing out right outside their front doors.  These are people who really care about what it feels like to live and work and survive in Cambridge.”  Like these women, independent business owners work hard to keep a place they can call home.