Cincinnati Union Bethel is celebrating its past and its future.

After marking its 180th anniversary in 2010, the community and family services agency is looking forward to a $12.4-million renovation to the Anna Louise Inn to begin in 2011.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has approved 10 years' worth of tax credits totaling $10 million toward the project. "The Anna Louise Inn was built in 1909 to provide housing for women, and has been full to capacity since opening its doors over 100 years ago," says Development Director Brittany Ballard.

President and CEO Steve MacConnell says the renovation will convert dormitory-style living into 85 apartments with private bathrooms and kitchens. "The building is 101 years old, and it could really use a facelift," MacConnell says.

"The renovation will create a much better living environment for the same cost to the urban women living there. Right now each woman only has enough space for a bed, dresser, and a desk; the upgrades will give the women more privacy, areas to cook, and their own bathroom."

The building will continue to house the organization's administration and the Off the Streets program, which helps prostituted women leave the streets.

The agency also provides early childhood education at four Head Start preschools as part of its mission to support urban women, children and families.