Anna Louise Inn Women’s Shelter Forced To Sell Property To Hotel Chain

The women’s shelter called the Anna Louise Inn was forced to sell their property, even though it was not for sale, to the Western & Southern Insurance Group.

The Anna Louise Inn is a women’s shelter in downtown Cincinnati which helped thousands of struggling women for over a hundred years. The location is in Lytle Park, far from the more dangerous parts of the city where it’d be easier to be tempted by old habits.

The Anna Louise Inn started in 1909 as a place to stay for newcomers to the city during the boom times. Over time, the Anna Louise Inn became a women’s shelter that supported prostitutes, drug addicts, and helped women leave abusive husbands.

Western & Southern executives offered to buy the Anna Louise Inn women’s shelter for $1.8 million several years ago, less than half its value. The women’s shelter declined the offer and raised $12.6 million in tax credits to renovate the home. But then before the renovation could begin Western & Southern sued over a zoning issue and a judge stopped construction on Anna Louise Inn.

Cincinnati Union Bethel, the nonprofit that runs the Anna Louise Inn, tried fighting back against Western & Southern in court. But after several years they were forced to give up and sold the women’s shelter to the hotel chain for $4 million.

“Western & Southern had the money to fight and the Anna Louise Inn didn’t,” said Robin Howard, a current resident at Anna Louise Inn. “When you have that much money and you want something, eventually you’re going to get it.”

The only good news in the Anna Louise Inn being forced to sell to Western & Southern is that executives are allowing the women’s shelter to remain open to its residents until a new building is completed in about two years. Unlike Lytle Park, the new location is said to be in a “shabby neighborhood” right off of a busy street.

What do you think about the Ann Louise women’s shelter being forced to sell to a hotel chain?