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A House of Light: Celebrating 40 Years at The Northwest Center

By Jeff Syblik

“There’s still so much shame in unexpected pregnancy . . . which is so sad. When can we rejoice in pregnancy, no matter what it looks like?” — Susan Gallucci, executive director of The Northwest Center

It’s just one house. Was Google Maps wrong? I expected a campus with rolling hills, not a three-story, six-bedroom townhouse in the middle of Washington, DC.

In 2020, The Northwest Center at 2702 Ontario Road, NW, in our nation’s capital helped close to a thousand men and women with pregnancy. Facilities today include a floor where pregnant mothers receive options counseling and referrals to community resources. Upper floors house five expectant mothers ages 18-30 for an 18-month stay. The center and its clients’ success stories show the nation that it is the depth of connection with families that matters in pro-life victories.

For 40 years, The Northwest Center has been a figurative house of light in a dark alley of Washington, DC.

In honor of this anniversary, we want to celebrate with a look back at this charity’s four-decade history.


In the early 1980s, the realization struck some Georgetown University alumni that there were few pro-life services for pregnant women in the DC area. Furthermore, they understood that the discovery of pregnancy often leads to homelessness for unwed mothers. “Generally, they [would lose] their homes,” shares Kelly Marcum, director of development for the center.

One of two unaffiliated pregnancy centers serving the DC area, The Northwest Center houses single, expectant mothers and helps set them up for success. According to Marcum, “We’re the only maternity home in DC that takes in women at any point of their pregnancy.”

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To read inspirational and educational pro-life articles, visit the Celebrate Life Magazine website at