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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing

Mission: The Women's Center & Shelter began in 1974 in the kitchen of a volunteer's home. It has expanded to become one of the most advanced and recognized domestic violence agencies in the nation. Services for domestic violence victims include a 24-hour hotline, safe shelter, non-resident counseling, legal, medical and housing advocacy, children's programming and community education. In 1998-99, WC&S sheltered 305 women and 325 children, provided Legal Advocacy to 5,549 individuals, and counseled 8,666 hotline callers.

Programs: WC&S's programs include a 24-hour hotline, safe shelter, non-resident counseling, a Follow-up program for women who have moved beyond shelter, children's services. We also offer legal, medical housing and TANF advocacy, in addition too systems advocacy throughout the various system in which victims interact, including welfare, justice, law enforcement. WC&S's educational program include Hands are Not for Hurting, a school-based violence prevention curriculum which is separated into five age-appropriate curricula.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh provides a vital service and is a valuable asset to our community. The staff creates a caring, safe environment for all of the women and children that they serve. It is a privilege to support this sanctuary.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first interaction with Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh was in 2006. I went there to learn more about intimate partner violence as part of my training/education in the social work field. I was immediately impressed by the passion of staff members and volunteers working with women and their children and to end intimate partner violence--it was palpable and energizing. The second thing I noticed was how comforting and welcoming the environment was--from the people who greet you when you arrive, the professionals working there, and the home-like and relaxing decor. Despite the fact that this is a confidential and high-security building, it is warm and open energetically. Thirdly, I was amazed to find that I was gaining education and experience about intimate partner violence from an agency that is a known leader in the field. Their work has always been cutting edge; they provide services that are trauma-informed and they follow best practices in all they do. Since my initial training at Women's Center and Shelter, I have had the opportunity and privilege to continue learning from them. I am thankful to report that they have continued to improve since 2006 and are continuing to do better, and better work. I am very thankful this service and agency exists.

Kimberly L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WC&S is one of the best nonprofits in Pennsylvania. It is a sanctuary in which every one feels emotionally and physically safe. I have been particularly impressed by the degree of training that all volunteers are required to undergo. We are trauma-informed, women-centered advocates. That means that everyone who works here, for free or for pay, has been educated to understand the terrible trauma that women survive when their partners have battered and abused them. Everyone is informed about the effects of trauma on the brain and body. Everyone is trained in active listening techniques. Everyone I have met here displays remarkable compassion for people who have been abused. All departments are well-organized and led by extremely competent people who would earn much more money with their skills in a different, profit-based workplace. People work and volunteer here because they passionately care about social justice. It's a wonderful place.

1 disillusioned

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met a woman about ten years ago who was very isolated socially, depressed, being abused by her husband and living in the horrible conditions he caused; finally I begged her to go to this women's center and shelter for support, and finally she did! At first she didn't like the groups but she liked the counselor; after awhile she dropped out, but now she's going back again and LIKES the groups too. She is doing better and is more assertive and has reached out online to support groups where she has made friends and is subscribing to some things with hope that someday she can get away totally. Life is still hard for her, but she is developing self-esteem and sometimes uses her power to stand up for herself and to take breaks from the bad situation. I'm very grateful to this nonprofit as it may have saved her life.

4 JME04

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization provides a vital service to our community – and it’s a great place to volunteer! I’ve worked in the children’s room at the shelter, and always left wishing I could stay longer. The children are always so excited to have someone new to play with – it’s a great opportunity to have an excuse to be a kid again! The staff of the shelter is kind and dedicated, and they make volunteers feel at home. Even more important, the staff creates a caring, safe environment for all of the women and children that they serve. The Women’s Center and Shelter is a great asset to the community!