Arrowstreet worked with The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP), Back Bay Boston’s only day shelter for homeless women, to take a historic church basement, last renovated in the 1950s, and turn it into a warm, inviting space that the guests can think of as home. A safe, comfortable community resource for homeless and poor women, the WLP was providing over 200 meals a day as well health services and work skills training without proper facilities. The design team found additional space by exposing the historic brick piers and rubble foundation and used that space to create a modern, display-cooking, restaurant-quality kitchen open to a new dining area that serves the non-profit’s guests and accommodates shelter fundraisers. The team also created new space for guest services including dedicated medical space, counseling offices, skills training, and a guest library.

Project Details


Boston, MA


The Women’s Lunch Place


13,000 SF




I just finished a tour of the new  Women’s Lunch Place…and wow!  What a fantastic job you did.  We now have a facility that shouts dignity and hope to our guests.  None of this would have been possible without your great efforts.
– Larry Fish, (former) CEO, Citizens Bank

Photos by Ed Wonsek ArtWorks Inc.

Architectural Plans / Process