Care Net has headed west.
On Nov. 20, the headquarters of the network that supports more than 1,000 anti-abortion pregnancy centers across North America officially settled in Lansdowne.
"We were in Sterling for several years," Kristin Hansen, Care Net's vice president of communications, said. "We just outgrew the space at our Sterling location."
While Care Net was searching for a suitable location, leaders were contacted by Prison Fellowship International and invited to move into its new campus on Riverside Parkway in Lansdowne.
"They are similarly an evangelical organization with a Christian mission," she said. "They wanted to extend their building to people with similar a mission."
Care Net's new space on the campus was formerly occupied by the nonprofit, We Care America. Krista Obitts, public relations director for Prison Fellowship, said.
"We had been aware of [Care Net] for quite awhile and had worked with them on projects before," Obitts said. "And we were looking for another nonprofit."
CARE NET was founded in 1975 in response to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision two years earlier. In 1980, it opened its first pregnancy center in Baltimore, Md. Care Net and its pregnancy centers operate based on a Christian philosophy and help women facing an unplanned pregnancy, Hansen said.
Similarly, Prison Fellowship International is a Christian organization, focusing on programs that work with prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. Founded in 1976, by former Richard Nixon aid Charles Colson, the organization moved to the Lansdowne campus in January 2005.
"Care Net is a leader in protecting the sanctity and dignity of human life," Mark Earley, the Prison Fellowship president and CEO said in a press release. "We could not be more delighted about Care Net's move to Prison Fellowship's Lansdowne Campus."
Hansen said Care Net was equally excited by the opportunity to be housed on the 95,000-square-foot campus.
"While their facility is smaller than we were originally looking for, we were excited about the idea of being located with them," she said.
It was important to Care Net's leaders to stay in the Washington, D.C., area, where the organization's headquarters have always been located, Hansen said.
"We have many staff members and families in the area," she said. "We wanted to stay around here."
THE PRISON Fellowship Campus will also offer Care Net many things it has never had before, Hansen said. In addition to having a five-year lease on 6,500 square feet of the campus' office building, Care Net will have access to a guest house, which board members or visitors can stay in overnight. Care Net leaders also believe being surrounded by other Christian ministries will give their organization intangible benefits.
"The facility offers numerous, high-quality amenities, which will enable us to better train, equip and serve our now 1,000 pregnancy center affiliates," Kurt Entsminger, Care Net's president, said in a press release.
The 95,000-square-foot office building will offer Care Net access to several state-of-the-art resources, including Webcasting abilities, several large conference rooms and meeting rooms, a prayer room and a radio broadcasting and recording studio. All of the new resources will help Care Net in its support of pregnancy center, Hansen said.
"We would like to invite any residents to come and visit our new facilities and learn about us," she said.