The year before they earned their graduate degrees, GSSW classmates Toni Schmid (MSW ’86) and Katheryn Carfrae (MSW ’86) had already founded The Gathering Place, Denver’s first day shelter for homeless women and children. Carfrae stayed on as Program Director for three years, and Schmid served as Executive Director until 1990. Their many accomplishments included growing the program’s budget from the $6,000 they initially raised as seed money for their storefront operation, to over $1 million in grant funding for operations, capital acquisitions and renovation of a 10,000-square-foot building to house the program’s ever-expanding services.
Both Carfrae and Schmid helped a third classmate, Jossy Eyre, with the expansion of The Women’s Bean Project, a non-profit Eyre founded in 1989 to serve a similar client population (see related story on p. 8). Carfrae volunteered as a member of the Project’s Board of Directors for five years, and Schmid worked as a consultant to Eyre and her Board for three years.
Today, Carfrae is a social worker and family advocate for the grant-funded Community Child Health Foundation at Children’s Medical Center in Denver. Schmid founded another innovative non-profit in 1997, Work Options for Women, one of Denver’s first “welfare to work” job training programs for women living in poverty, where she served as Executive Director through 2009. Among Schmid’s most distinctive professional tributes is the Women’s Bean Project top-selling product that Eyre named in her honor: Toni’s Ten Bean Soup Mix.