Mission: Our vital programs serve over 2,000 underserved and at-risk women annually from Greater Boston and across New England. Our programs target women with the least access to resources and support services, with particular emphasis on low-income women, immigrant women, and women of color. Located in our supportive and encouraging women's space, our vital programs go far beyond direct service - building women's self-esteem, breaking through isolation and hopelessness and teaching skills that foster personal growth and community change. Most of the women served by the Women's Center have histories of child sexual abuse or domestic violence, and are low-income. We provide direct services (a safe space, support groups, informational workshops, counseling, etc.), educational resources, and advocacy projects to women free of charge. Using our services, victims of violence and oppression become survivors - healing and rebuilding their lives.Founded in 1971, The Women's Center has led the way for groundbreaking community projects serving thousands of people in need. In 1973, the Women's Center developed the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), which has grown into its own independent organization. The Women's Center was intricately involved in the founding of Transition House - the first battered women's shelter in MA, and to this day provides free services to Transition House to keep their clients safe from their batterers. The Women's Center was also instrumental in the founding of Finex House (the first wheelchair-accessible shelter in MA) and the Elizabeth Stone House (a shelter for battered women and women withaddiction and/or mental health issues). In 1980 Incest Resources, the first organization for survivors of child sexual abuse, started at the Center, and is still providing a facilitated support group and many other resources to survivors of child sxual abuse. The Women's Center is the only organization in the area with such an extensive array of FREE services, including a 55-hour per week helpline and drop-in space, where homeless women and others can use the kitchen, computer lab or sit or rest in a comfortable room.
Programs: Educational and support programming, 3410 women attended over 200 free groups, workshops and trainings in 2014
drop-in resource and support center, 5900 logged visits in 2014
information and crisis helpline, 3800 logged calls in 2014
The Women's Center provided a safe place for me to slowly come to terms with my sexuality by providing a space for a group of women with similar situations as me (in a straight marriage, questioning our sexuality) to come together and share our stories, struggles, and celebrations. All of us felt like we were the only one in that situation, until we walked into that meeting group. Since that time and still currently, I occasionally use the Center to meet and discuss with other queer women for a sense of community. I've also used it's library resource and it's computer center resource. Thank you, Women's Center!
The Cambridge Women's Center was/is a warm and welcoming space. It became part of my introduction to a variety of social and exciting women engaged in interesting, meaningful and FUN activities. I'm not sure I would be the person I am today without having such a supportive place to go to.
I've been regularly attending lesbian discussion groups at the CWC for about 3 years. The CWC is a great space for such discussions, the living room is spacious yet cozy. It's a welcoming place, and we are able to hold our discussion group there free of cost to us, which speaks to how much the CWC seeks to provide a space for women of all means to gather. The CWC and the discussion groups I've attended there have had an enormous impact on my life... in fact, I met my partner there about 2 years ago and we are getting married in October! So, we love the CWC!!
The Women's Educational Center has been an invaluable resource for myself and countless other women. I started going there in the 1970's as a young woman trying to make my way in the world, and the classes, 12-step meetings, networking, and resources provided by the Center were integral in shaping the woman I am today. I'm so grateful for the fact that it's still there and is constantly expanding its programs to meet the needs of young women today. There are so few places like it, and such a need for it! I love the Center with all my heart and hope it continues to provide support and services for many years to come.