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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

San Francisco Women's Centers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Civil Rights, Community Coalitions, Human Services, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: The Women's Building is a women-led community space that advocates self-determination, gender equality and social justice. The world continues to be a treacherous place for women and girls. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, women have to fight against physical, economic, political and professional barriers, assaults, and forms of discrimination. Therefore, we are committed to providing a safe and welcoming place that focuses on the well-being of women, girls and families.

Results: We have been able to keep our bi-lingual programs and services strong despite the tough economy. Our Community Resource Room has seen an increase in the number of women and their families looking for services, especially our Job Search Assistance Program and our Food Pantry for Immigrants. Both of these programs have seen a 30% or more increase in need. To meet the increased need, we have added 15 hours/week to our basic services program and Saturday hours as well. Our Building continues to be full with 9 other nonprofits that serve the needs of women and girls. This includes domestic violence services, advocacy and activism, after-school programs and volunteer opportunities. We look forward to another year of responding and providing services to our community.

Target demographics: Women, girls and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of women and their families use the wide variety of services all located in one building.

Programs: The Women's Building's programs focus on the personal, the community and the political: - Women can improve the quality of their lives and of their families by using our social services. - The well-being of women and girls is improved by our social justice advocacy. - Community Groups, including our In-House Organizations, strengthen their community work by interacting and partnering with us and each other in a vibrant, socially progressive and affordable space. Our Community Resource Room provides critical bi-lingual connections to resources for employment, housing, health care, domestic violence, childcare and parenting, sexual harassment, and legal services. We place particular emphasis on serving the needs of very low- income women, such as homeless women and those at-risk of being homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed. The Women's Building is also home to 9 diverse community groups that offer services across a broad spectrum of issues affecting women and children. And to our larger community, we provide affordable one-time or ongoing meeting and event space supporting cultural events, educational forums, advocacy meetings, and support groups. In addition, we partner with community groups on activism projects that affect our community. The Women's Building is also well-known for it world-famous MaestraPeace Mural. Covering the outside of the building, this enormous and magnificent mural celebrates the accomplishments and importance of women in our world, history and spirituality. This 5-story mural inspires people to re-imagine a world where women and girls stand tall and hold their space. Well-known by the City’s residents, the Mural also awes visitors from around the world since it is listed in countless guide books and is part of all the City’s mural walks.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Women's Building is important because it serves the community directly with: job search assistance, providing food, tax and legal advice, affordable event space, and offers resources and referrals for everything from shelters to childcare. It provides women with an opportunity to become leaders in their communities by offering the necessary tools and resources. it also serves as a historical landmark that attracts people from all over to see its beautiful mural. I'm proud to serve as a board member for this amazing organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm honored to be a board member at this important and historically significant organization. The Women's Building is known for its incredibly beautiful structure and location in the Mission District. I invite anyone and everyone: women, men, children, families, and individuals of any economic or racial background to step inside The Women's Building. From tax prep and legal assistance to food to yoga and dance classes to artist's events to rental space, there is something for everyone in a safe, gorgeous, and welcoming environment.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Women's Building is a vital component of the Mission neighborhood and beyond. It serves the needs of many people by providing basic training and resources. The staff is dedicated to making sure every man, woman and child has the tools they need to be successful at home and in the workplace. The Building is also a beautiful landmark reminding us of the neighborhood's legacy and inspiring hope for the future.

1 craig newmark

Advisor

Rating: 5

Hey, the SF Women's Centers provide a really good umbrella org and space for a whole bunch of efforts that help people. I'm particularly interested in and supportive of their community computer lab, which helps people connect to find their own voice, and to get everyday stuff done, like finding a job.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The folks at The Women's Building are doing great work to help out women and girls in need. It's a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-service center for women and girls in the Mission district in SF.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The women's building offers so many different services for the women of our community! They offer everything such as lawyer services, help with tax preparation, healing workshops, fitness classes, case management for many different things such as sexual assault, housing, free peer counseling, etc.

There is always something going on and a great place to find resources about happenings in the community. There are plenty of resources for great yoga classes, healing workshops, lectures, forums, and much much more.

Every person I have had the pleasure of meeting has been genuine and helpful. The place exudes empowerment and love. I'm feel privileged to be associated with them and thank them for many of the resources I have used in the past.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I felt at home in the Women's Building, from the moment I walked in to be trained as a volunteer for SFWAR many years ago. I still love being there -- the building is vibrant with activities and happenings. I so appreciate that there is a place for a community supporting women and girls. I always find all the people there to be committed, caring, and kind -- even as they attend to their many endeavors. I feel grateful to be part of it all. SFWAR, the group I volunteer for, does an outstanding job of being a support network and service for victims of sexual abuse. It would be devastating if this organization did not exist and it would be a huge loss if the Women's Building did not exist. The Women's Building is a unique contribution to the life of San Francisco and the Bay area.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's building is a great resource for several underrepresented communities in San Francisco. It is also the home to several organizations such as SFWAR who work tirelessly to better the lives of women and minorities. It provides a safe space for various events, such as meditation classes, self-defence classes to be organized at low costs.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The women's building supports women and girls growing and offers a loving community and a great Celebration of Craftswomen fair that supports craftswomen and the building

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have found the Women's Building to be a priceless gift to my healing and relationships due to the thoughtful and hardworking staff and board members. I've been able to volunteer there for a short time and was able to feel the rewards of being a part of something so valuable!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I feel so blessed to have access to something like this Women's Building. I can't believe how amazing the concept is, and all the work that goes into providing resources for the community. I have performed various times at this site, and also received services, I have sought the resources of the various organizations housed there and been able to facilitate my work with youth at the Women's Building. The mural around the building brings life to the neighborhood and makes me happy to walk in there!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Women's Building is an incredible resource for women and girls in San Francisco. The staff and volunteers here are amazing and powerful women committed to improving the community. The Resource Center at the Women's Building offers caring and kind volunteers providing job search assistance, free tax preparation, a food bank program, and an unlimited set of referrals to other services in San Francisco.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended some classes at the Women's Building as well as doing some volunteer work on occasion and donating money when I can. The work that is done there is so valuable to women from all walks of life. We, in San Francisco, are blessed to have such an organization in our community with so many dedicated people working to improve the lives of women, children and families in San Francisco. Roseann G.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Women's Building makes a difference in the lives of women and girls in San Francisco in so many ways. You can get job search help, or tax preparation, or even legal help in the Resource Center. The build ing offers space to rent for events, conferences, and parties. There are also 11 other non profits who call the beautiful 4 story building home.
Come visit and take a yoga class, get help or just enjoy our beautiful
murial.

Review from Guidestar

Virgie T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a self-defense class a while back at the Women's Building. It was such a wonderful and inclusive space! I appreciated that there were women in support of each other, and that it was free to all.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

the Women's Building is a powerful resource for everyone in the Bay Area! They provide office space for social change and support organizations (like SFWAR and The Riley Center), they offer legal, exercise and wellness and other workshops that are free or very low cost, and provide centralized meeting spaces that are affordable. I am grateful every time I get to go to the Women's Building, and not just because of the gorgeous murals that adorn the walls, both outside and in -- but also because every time I walk through the front doors I know I'm part of a network of support, change, and care for the community. The Women's Building is a vital resource for all people in the Bay Area - women, children, men and those who prefer other gender possibilities.

Chandramaa

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Women's Building's commitment to community is evidenced in the day-to-day work and support it provides to those in need. Seeing first-hand what this organization accomplishes for women, girls and low-income families has deepened my belief in the power of a small group of people to create social good on a much larger scale. The programs and services they offer change lives, inside and out.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Women's Building is one of the reasons I live in San Francisco. It is a phenomenal organization, which provides much-needed services to a huge swath of the public, especially those who are most often under-served. Many of the services they provide are only available at the Women's Building, and are critical to the advancement of women. They provide everything from legal consultations, to food donations for immigrants, to free yoga classes for those who often can't afford such crucial services, and so much more. This is an amazing group of people doing some of the city's best work. To many, they are the heart of the Mission, and the face of the neighborhood.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Getting involved with The Women's Building changed my life. I found a community of people who believed in me, and supported me to succeed. I've seen the same thing happen for many other women, whether they came into the drop-in Community Resource Room looking for help, joined a project as a volunteer, or came into the building to connect with one of the other kick-a** organizations housed there.

Review from Guidestar