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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Transitional Programs for Women

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs

Mission: Transitions sponsors and initiates programs which in faithfulness to the mission of Jesus foster the personal growth and wholeness of women and children in need.  Transitional Programs for Women pursues this mission through the operation of EduCare, Miryam''s House, the Women''s Hearth, and Transitional Living Center.  Our values state: Respect for Human Dignity      We believe in the dignity and inherent worth of individuals and respect their right to self determination. Community      We believe that the fullness of each person is realized in relationship with others. Growth/Wholeness      We believe each individual is a work in progress on a journey toward the integration of mind, body, and spirit, with the hope of emotional, physical and spritual peace. Justice      We believe in advocating for what is right, honest and moral both for whom we serve and with whom we serve.

Programs: The Women’s Hearth is a day center in Spokane, Washington that serves 100--150 homeless and low income women per day. At the heart of the services is a safe welcoming community.  Multiple services are offered in this hospitable environment: showers, food, clothing, 1-1 individual attention, and access to resources and referrals;12 step groups, life skills classes, and art activities .Renter Responsibility classes Legal Preparedness project ; three transitional apartments off site where women receive ongoing case management A job training program in the food service industry   

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I am updating a previous review. After nearly 20 years as a volunteer and participant at the Women's Hearth, I have found that I must part ways with Transitions. New staff has brought changes that are not in keeping with the organizations mission & values. I can no longer support an organization that greets me with their back to the door and habitually kicks out mentally ill women it advertises itself to be a resource for. For those who have nowhere else to go to keep out of the sun or the cold it's tolerable, I'm sure. But things have changed and not in a good way. I leave so distressed every time I go. I loved visiting with the women and it I miss them tremendously, but I must keep my visits far and few between in order to maintain my own sanity. The staff just has no interest in the clients at all anymore.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 3

I have been involved with the Women's Drop in Center, now the Women's Hearth 15+ years in a variety of capacities including, client, volunteer and fundraiser. When I first arrived, the place had a warmth & glow about it, noticeable the moment I walked in. Staff, volunteers & clients alike, demonstrated a warm, caring & accepting attitude toward one another. Everyone had a sense of hope no matter how old the chair they were sitting or difficulty in their circumstances. As the building & the organization (Transitions) have grown this sense of caring & closeness is less apparent. The Hearth still provides many of the same groups and services such as showers and a hygiene closet, but the coffee is not always on, snacks are rarely provided and it's a big deal to ask staff to start another pot. I still volunteer and attend some groups but I don't feel the warmth as I used to. 10 years ago, I would have given this organization a 5 star rating & really hope I will be able to do that again some day.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I visited the Women's Hearth and saw how well it was used and respected by those that used it. It gave the womeon a place to make contact using the phone and computer. It provides a safe haven and fellowship.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I walked into the Hearth thinking that I would pass my wisdom on to the women who used the facility. I had just graduated from Gonzaga and was eager to share my knowledge of the world with these low-income, often mentally ill women who were facing many obstacles during this period of their life. I never imagined that it was I who would be taught. I found women who smiled in the face of extreme hardship, women who sang despite the stares of onlookers and women who spoke out against the wrongs of this world regardless of the reactions of others. I witnessed heartbreaking stories and tears of sorrow but through such adversity I also saw great strength and kindness and the kind of hope that speaks to the incredible spirit of humanity and the resilience of the human soul. The Hearth offers many things to the women who walk through its doors. There are art classes, food and hygiene items, processing groups and hot meals. If you look closer, however, listen a little harder and observe a little longer, you will also find women who have learned to deal with some of Life's most difficult adversity. They don’t always do it with finesse and they often do not have a lot of tact, but they are surviving. Through these women, are many lessons to be learned!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is a wonderful program serving a need for members of our community that fall could easily fall below the radar if Transitions wasn't here. The Board, Staff, volunteers I have met are exceptional. Big hearts, warm smiles and a true passion for helping those women in need.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From 2001 to 2003, I volunteered weekly or bi-weekly at the Women's Hearth (then Women's Drop-In Center), providing "floor support," and teaching beginning Spanish classes to the members. Then I moved away from Spokane but kept in touch, and in December 2008 had the opportunity to return and volunteer at the Hearth daily for a month. This program is unique, welcoming, and wonderful enough that it was worth a month away from home and a trip from California to Washington in the winter. The Hearth serves all women, meeting any pressing needs that they have. Some participants only hope for a cup of coffee and a warm room on a winter day. Others come to make the most of creative opportunities offered at the center. Some women attend recovery groups. Still others consider the members of the community at the Hearth their best friends and only family. I have seen many women "come into bloom" at the Hearth. Two stories especially stick with me. A schizophrenic woman found consistency, friendships, and an outlet in creative writing. She attributes her success in living independently to the support received at the Hearth. Another woman sat in a chair facing out the window for weeks, reacting angrily to anyone who tried to engage her. Out of the blue, she realized that she was in a safe place. One day she participated in an art group, trusting the people around her a bit more. The next day she helped in the kitchen and shared some of her hard life story while she worked. She was soon on a waiting list for Section 8 housing, thanks to the help of case managers at the Hearth.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My name is Katherine, I moved to spokane,w3a homless witout a support or a place to belong. Through the women's hearth I found frieneds and wonderful classes such as coffee house and the wrtting class. For five years I learn to grow and be nurtured and to believe in myself. I will always be indebetd to this wonderful place where the teach you to fly. God bless Katherine Hert

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard of Transitions during college, both Miryam's House and the Women's Hearth are popular places to pick for a service learning project. Coming into a new setting can be intimidating, especially when there's an established routine. Volunteering for Transitions is not like this, as all the staff and the women they help are very welcoming and understanding of others.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women's Heath provides a positive environment for women from all walks of life. It's a safe place where the women can just sit and relax, yet it also provides many programs for helping each woman where she is at to move onward and upward. The women who work there are compassionate and knowledgeable.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If it were not for Transitions and Miryam's House our daughter may well have beeen a statistic for homelessness or a name on a tombstone. Several years ago she was going through her own personal hell due to alcoholism, anorexia/bulemia and an incompetent counselor. After being released from a treatment facility she spent quite some time at Miryam's House where she found the unconditional love of strangers and staff to be what she needed to begin her journey to becoming the amazing person she is today. God bless you all!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in a variety of roles with the Transitions programs for more than 20 years. They truly help women to wholeness as they overcome the devastating affects of addiction, homelessness, and abuse. They provide atmospheres where hope, a sense of worthiness and self respect can grow. They help women as they reach for their highest potential.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Transitions is a wonderful program and so needed in Spokane. I have worked with many of the women from the Hearth and they are all so giving of their time and energy. I went on a tour of Miryam's house over the holidays and what a great place. New Leaf Bakery is amazing. If you haven't stopped by yet to check them out you need to. The mini coffee cakes are amazing. Thanks for all you do!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a board member for many years, I understand the wonderful work that this organization does for the marginalized women and children that are served in Spokane. The programs support women emotionally with respect and purpose. They also teach women life skills that will aid them in their recovery from abuse, addiction and poverty. This is one of the best run programs for women and children that I have ever seen.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always been impressed with the amount of work this organization can do with the funding they have. They know how to stretch a dollar and achieve results.

3

Former staff

Rating: 4

I worked at the Womens Hearth for a few months when I was a college student. One thing that I thought was very important about the Hearth, and Transitions overall, was that they focused on ways to truly help women in helping themselves. They provide lots of tools and opportunities for the women to improve themselves and learn skills that can help them in becoming more independent.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Transitions is one of the best-run programs I've seen for women trying to get back on their feet in the wake of abuse, homelessness, addiction and other challenges. Transitions facilities such as the Women's Hearth, Transitional Living Center and Miryam's House are filled with a strong sense of hope and empowerment. I've personnally witnessed the awesome and dramatic changes women have undergone in Transitions' care and can testify to the power of its work.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Much needed services for all women, being a volunteer to a childrens crisis services this too is very much appreciated by all that give their time to a good organization

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for two years at this organization, and the experience was life changing. The organization really lives its values, and the staff truly cares for the women they serves. It is creative in its approach to the womens´issues, to fundraising, to community-building, and much more. I am honored to have been a part of this community.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Transitions at their annual luncheon/breakfast. The stories of the women were inspirational and encouraging. Since my first luncheon, I return every year to support this ministry to hear the stories of the women and their challenges and successes. I will continue to support this ministry financially and with other needed items to help the women on their journies.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've participated with fundraising for Transitions. The staff is so dedicated and a wonderful group of people. Their annual golf tournament is a lot of fun.

3 Ginny O'Bryen Edwards

Client Served

Rating: 5

I walked in to the Women's Drop-In Center (now The Women's Hearth) 7 years ago, a broken, homeless, parolee, with many mental-health and physical disabilities. I have never been the same since that day...I attended all the groups, participated in community service projects, art projects, poetry writing and publishing and many other opportunites that were presented to me. I have been blessed in more ways than I ever dreamed possible, from becoming outspoken in the community, to becoming an apartment manager, to graduating from mental health therapy (who'da thunk it?), to being able to be a positive example to others and able to 'be there' when called upon; whether it be to participate in the Regional Task-Force on Homelessness, speaking to colleges and universities, community service groups, national groups, or just being a listening, understanding, non-judgemental ear for another woman in flux. I have been encouraged to go beyond my comfort zone and discover the potentials that God had planned for me. I have been blessed to be part of a teaching/learning program about meth addiction and recovery with a book out on Amazon! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the wonderful, exciting things I GET to do in this new life. God bless everyone at Transitions who were there for me and who continue to be there for others in need. Miracles happen there every day and I've personally seen them for myself. I am a miracle too. To anyone wanting to know more you can contact me at THE WOMEN'S HEARTH via MARY RATHERT, or at Transition's help4women.com. I will be more than delighted to share my experiences. This is the most worthy program I know of.