An article Monday reported incorrectly that the newly opened Bethany Women's Center is the only day center for homeless women in the District. (Published 6/3/87)

A newly renovated Bethany Women's Center, the only day center for homeless women in the District, was dedicated yesterday during a small street party in Northwest.

The center, at 1335 N St. NW, will become the hub of what is being called an "urban oasis" of six shelters for homeless women that are operated by the Luther Place Memorial Church, said Bethany center director Erna Steinbruck.

Her husband, the Rev. John Steinbruck, pastor of Luther Place, said the shelters serve about 50,000 people annually.

"Bethany will provide casework, including job training, connections to {public} benefits and medical attention," Erna Steinbruck said.

The center is designed to fill a void for homeless women in the city: what to do during the day.

"All of the shelters in the District close their doors at daybreak," she said. Bethany will just be opening.

The trilevel complex is decorated with works of art by homeless women.

In addition to counseling, the center's staff of three will conduct classes in arts and crafts and aerobics.

Yesterday's dedication was attended by about 100 people and culminated a nearly two-year fund-raising effort followed by "a total gutting and remodeling of the interior of the building," Erna Steinbruck said.

The $110,000 for the renovation was raised from a cross section of the public and private sectors, including religious organizations, corporations and the wives of Cabinet members in Washington.

Erna Steinbruck estimates that the center will serve 50 to 75 women a day.

The community of homeless women in this city, though significantly smaller than that of the men, is a rapidly growing and particularly vulnerable community, John Steinbruck said.

Most of the women served by the shelters that line the 1300 block of N Street are physically or mentally ill, he said.

"They . . . come for a safe sleeping space and a little security," he said.

He said these women are often preyed upon by men, one reason that most of the programs offered by the church are off- limits to men.

The community of shelters that serve these women began as an aid center for victims of the riots of 1968 that shrouded much of the area, John Steinbruck said.

It evolved into 37,000 square feet of hospice for women aged 18 to 82.

The complex is composed of the Harriet Tubman Shelter, St. Peter's Shelter, Sarah House, Carol Holmes House, Wallenberg House and Luther Place Shelter.