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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Human Services, Job Training, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: The Women’s Center promotes self-determination for women and families by providing professional services that build confidence, strengthen connections, and create positive change.

Results: Thanks to community and volunteer support, we helped: o 948 individuals connect with a counselor, job coach, financial adviser, or divorce specialist. o 192 lower-income clients with 2,300 sessions of personal counseling, problem-solving and advocacy at fees they could afford. o 540 callers with 852 community resources that they qualified for – such as dental services, housing, legal aid, primary care – in addition to our own. o an estimated 467 children, who benefited from the improved emotional and financial health of their mothers. Workers spent 104 hours in-person or on the phone in crisis counseling, suicide prevention, safety planning, and resource navigation.

Target demographics: Women, transgender folks, men, and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Daughters, mothers, sisters, friends who experienced inequity related to gender, race, disability, income, and/or immigrant status.

Geographic areas served: Seven counties in the Southeastern Michigan area

Programs: Low-cost personal counseling, job and financial coaching, divorce support services, and help with community resources

Community Stories

118 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been an admirer of the Women's Center since it's embryonic days. I had the good fortune to serve two terms on the board, and have recently served as co-chair of an event that celebrated one of our nation's heroines--Jean Ledwith King--and the center's new name. In my years working with and on-behalf of the center, I've worked closely with the executive director Kim Cumming, gotten to know the staff and interns, and have seen first hand the powerful impact the center has made on our community. Drawing from its feminist values, the center is a fount of creativity, good will, brilliant management of limited resources, and unflinching dedication to the women, girls, and families in our community. The Jean Ledwith King Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan embodies the values and deep commitment to justice that Jean King's life exemplifies. I am proud of the Center and hold it out to all of us as benchmark for non-profits that truly 'walks its talk' and makes good things happen.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the front desk volunteer I see many women (and some men) come in for counseling looking glum or apprehensive and leaving with a smile on their faces. Clearly something is working right during their sessions.

The Women's Center also offers financial counseling and my heart goes out to the clients when I hear their needs requiring financial help. The Jobs Workshop also serves many people each week with help regarding resumes and job searches.

I am glad to be able to help such a worthy organization.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to The Women's Center when I was a mature student in a Master's of Social Work program with an idea for a program the community didn't have, information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and the assistance to help folks access this important tax credit for the working poor. A few years later I was hired and now am a staff member. The program is in it's eighth year, has a stable group of committed volunteers and scores of loyal and new clients every spring. This year we are establishing year round access to income tax preparation assistance. Individuals and families can electronically file current taxes with the support and encouragement of a knowledgeable, committed volunteer. Although it is a little more difficult we assist folks file past year taxes as well. I serve as the volunteer coordinator and we literally could not run our agency without our loyal, responsible, generous, and committed volunteers. I cannot say enough good things about them. I have been a social worker for over 30 years and this is one of the most responsible, concerned, committed agency I have ever worked at. I feel lucky to be employed at The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan. We help women change their lives everyday and I find great joy and gratification from that fact.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at the Women's Center of SEM a few years ago, and I was a little nervous about working the front desk where calls would come in from sometimes desperate women who needed help; help with living expenses, help with a divorce or abusive spouse, help with taxes, help with a legal problem,help finding a job. You name it,the Women's Center received the calls. But there are so many resources out there, and if the Women's Center staff, volunteers and counselors couldn't actually provide the help needed, we were able to connect callers up with someone who could. It was very rewarding work, and I often left for the day feeling like I had really helped someone in need. I think the staff is fabulous and very caring, and they show every day how much they value volunteers. It's gotta be the best place in town to volunteer!

8

Donor

Rating: 5

The women were a delight to work with and really appreciate our support. I just know that the money we raised is going to an amazing cause. I see the results first hand with new programs such as the free legal clinic for women.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped the staff and other volunteers get the Center's new space ready in the summer of 2009, largely by helping with painting. This brought me into informal contact with Center staff and volunteers. The center has attracted a very high-quality and high-energy staff and volunteer following! As this is a Women's Center, I myself am not part of their audience, but I can see from the people that are collected there that they bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to their tasks and goals. If I were a woman and in need of the services provided at the Center, I would find the opportunities, support and people breath-taking, I have to say.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to watch the Women's Center grow over the past6-7 years. They have touched the lives of many people in a positive direction, including myself. The Women's Center has a staff of some truly amazing people that are there out of the goodness of their hearts to help people. The Women's Center is an honest hard working organization that is affordable and gives people hope and a chance that they thought they didn't have. I will continue to support the Women's Center anyway that I can.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My sorority supports the mission of The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan. I was the Vice President of Philanthropy. I organized girls working in their office and organized a silent auction for their orgainzation, where we were able to raise 20,000 dollars. I was so motivated by working at their office once a week for 2 years that I was determined to make as much for them as possible. They have a wonderful office that services a great deal of struggling women.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked on financial statement audits of Women's Center for several years, and have always found them to be good stewards of donated funds. They take internal controls seriously, and have implemented our suggestions for improving controls.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I felt that the Women's Center was a comfortable and enjoyable environment where anyone who came would feel welcome. The people I volunteered with were very nice and always helpful. The women and men walked out of the Women's Center relieved and happy at what they had accomplished with the help of the tax coach.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteers assist individuals and families in doing their own tax returns to take full advantage of all the available deductions and credits that they are eligible for. Teaching them how to use Turbo tax so they can complete their own return in the future. In some cases correcting prior year returns to get the largest refund available and getting clients caught up with all their tax refunds. Empowering clients to learn this skill to use in the future.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's Center is a wonderful organization. My perspective is that of a current clinical intern but I have learned so much and the supervision/clinical experience provided by The Women's Center has been exceptional. The greatest part is to see the impact that The Women's Center has on clients in the community. The Women's Center offers a variety of services and really is a very important resource in the community. To see how clients are helped and empowered by The Women's Center has been truly amazing! It's difficult to imagine this community without this vital resource.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's Center provides much needed and affordable services to women and their families and is a wonderful place to volunteer. Both clients and volunteers are treated with great respect and regard. Programs are in place to help low-income women navigate the complex modern world, including personal, financial, legal and divorce counseling. A tax program helps clients complete their income tax returns every year.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan for the past eight years. During that time I have been involved with the the tax program, flower pick up & arrangement, & in 2009 was a hostess at the May fundraiser. I am honored & enlightened to be involved with such an exemplary, efficient & outstanding non-profit agency providing a host of services to the men, women & children in our community.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan is an amazing resource for our community! I learned of this resource through a colleague who volunteers her time with the Center, and I was immediately impressed by the professionalism and kindness of all of the volunteers, staff members, and Board members that I met. I helped organize a fundraiser for the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan, and through this experience had the opportunity to meet even more members of this wonderful organization. I was treated to a tour of their lovely new facility, and, again, was continually impressed by the dedication and true kindness of everyone associated with the Center. I look forward to volunteering with the Center soon!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The income tax program provides income tax preparation for clients via free Turbotax. Counselors assist clients with tax questions, running the program and filing electronically or by mail. Time spent with the client is not limited. Counselors will work with the client until taxes are finished. Refreshments and a friendly atmosphere add to the experience.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan changed my life, and it also changed how I view and treat other women. I felt like I could trust everyone from the counselor who helped me to the receptionist who greeted me every week. In order to do the work that they do you have to be extremely devoted to you job and to the people that you help. The Women's center goes above and beyond devotion.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

A wonderful experience for me being part of this hard working and seriously focused group of people striving to make The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan flourish and grow. This is presently a local group in Ann Arbor helping women find a new direction for their lives from professional staff and many volunteers.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this organization to be totally dedicated to helping women from all walks of life: poor, well-off but controlled and helpless before domineering men; deeply depressed, scared, threatened and helpless. They have come out of the Women's Center feeling more confident, knowing what to do, taking control of their lives and also willing to help others. They have found out information, and they have found camaraderie and support. It's a fabulous organization.

4

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff, interns, and volunteers at The Women's Center were very helpful and welcoming. The Center's mission is wonderful, and it inspired me to seek employment in a similar agency after my internship was finished. The community support of The Women's Center is a testament to its mission and efficacy.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women’s Center offers hope and so many important resources. I have seen people at the end of their ropes who came to TWC and found an empathetic listener, resources they didn’t know existed, or even just a place to take a deep breath and regroup. Some have said they could not have lived without it. What a difference TWC makes in women’s lives. I also had the honor of working with clients on a long term basis. Being part of a clients cathartic transformation through hard and persistent therapeutic work was a truly rewarding experience for me as a clinician, one I will not forget. Through the help they seek out at The Women’s Center many women discover they have choices in their lives, sometimes for the first time. I have been witness to the fact that the ability to make seemingly simple decisions can have a great impact on the power a woman feels she has in her world and what she can do with that power. I have also witnessed women find a more concrete sense of themselves, who they are and what they have to offer the world from a more empowered point of view. Simply put The Women's Center changes lives.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Women'Center of Southeastern Michigan is an awesome agency! First, they serve clients in a caring way that is rarely seen in public agencies these days. Second, they offer our counseling students wonderful opportunities to work with clients, to receive ourstanding supervision, and to experience all levels of how an agency functions. They are remarkable!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to the Woman’s Center when I helped out with an auction a couple of years ago. My friend was working at the time and asked if I could give a hand. I was instantly blown away by the kindness, dedication, and authenticity of not only every member, volunteer and employee of the Woman’s Center, but also by the entire goal and purpose of the organization as well. Since then, I’ve volunteered multiple times and helped others utilize their services. As a high school teacher working with at-risk students, I often refer kids to the Woman’s Center for counseling knowing full well that each individual will get thoughtfully placed with an effective match, and that regardless of insurance, they will find a way to get these students the help they need. I’ve also maintained contact and dialog with the staff (particularly their wonderful director), and the advice, tips, and encouragement I’ve received for working with at-risk students has been invaluable. I’ve seen, and worked with, a great deal of non-profit organizations throughout the years, but never have I been so impressed and moved by the grassroots work done by the Woman’s Center. Quite simply, they are passionately dedicated to helping others, they give hope to those in need, and they truly make the kind of difference that changes lives. I am honored to have been a part of the Woman’s Center of Ann Arbor and look forward to helping out in any way I can for years and years to come.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former intern of The Women's Center, I can personally attest to the welcoming and professional environment that is offered to all who come in. The interns are always very impressive and the staff is truely amazing.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

The Women's Center of Southeast Michigan has been a great partner in my sorority's philanthropy. The volunteers and staff of the center have always done their best to work well with our members. They have also always shown amazing gratitude for our gifts.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an easy place for both women and men to get help, even though the programs are designed specifically to empower women. I first came to The Women's Center because I was feeling stuck. Over the years, I have seen that this is not unusual. Many of us feel stuck for any number of reasons: relationship problems, care-giving challenges, strained finances, overwhelming responsibilities, and limited decision-making power. The results are the same: Emotional paralysis. Anger. Depression. Anxiety. Identifying our strengths is the first step in getting "unstuck." Women's Center volunteers and staff are committed to helping people build on their best qualities, and this encouraging attitude is evident in their relationships with program participants and with each other. Many volunteers are former clients like myself, who know how critical low-cost, accessible support can be.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What makes The Women's Center so special is the show of respect paid to all who pass through the doors. What this kind of respect looks like in service delivery, is holding an awareness of clients as so much bigger than their particular problem. From the amazing staff to the dedicated volunteers and student interns, clients passing through these doors experience, many for the first time, a sense of their own worthiness as human beings. What a way to begin healing.

5

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's Center truly allows people in need to receive not only practical support, but respect and dignity at a time when they may feel alone and hopeless. I remember my time at TWC with only fond memories of being able to be a part of something SO much more than just an internship that I was doing to get my hours. It was a place where I grew professionally and personally. Support abounded and allowed me to become who I am today in the work world AND in my life as a whole. I was only there for a year, but I feel that year has allowed me to go into the mental health field as a graduate and have a good perspective regarding our work. I constantly draw from that experience on my job today, sometimes without even realizing it. I see the importance of empowering clients and remembering that we are not "above" them but assisting them, working together, in ways that allow them to reach their full potential - the potential that they are now able to see and want for their own lives. I am grateful for this perspective because this is a challenging field to work in and it is easy to see how people can get 'burned out' after awhile. The staff at TWC are extremely dedicated, sincere and a joy to know. The clients are able to come to the Center and find what they are looking for - be it food, career clothing, tax assistance, counseling...the list goes on. At TWC, I saw how important it can be to have someone who will listen to you - which we may sometimes take for granted. Many of us may not realize just how much having a nonjudgmental, caring person to talk to can open up parts of ourselves -- open up ways of understanding and new perspectives that may have never occurred to us without a safe place. I recommend The Women's Center as that 'safe place' to prospecting interns and women in our communities alike. It is truly an inspiring environment in which to grow. Thanks to The Women's Center for all they do for the people in our communities and our aspiring social workers/counselors.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's Center is one of those organizations that is forever in touch with its mission to help women and their families. They live it, they breathe it. There is little hierarchy. Clients, interns, staff, leadership are all invited to participate in making sure that services are being performed to the best of their abilities. Whether it is how the phones are answered, how the specific needs of a client are attended to - such as practical services, clothes for an interview, the type of therapy that would best suit them, tax help, a variety of support groups that are found no where else in the county, books to check out, or having a cup of coffee - the staff works to make sure that all are supported and empowered as much as possible so that they can get to a better place. I learned so much as an intern there and it has made me a better counselor today.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a 65 year 'young' woman who has had the good fortune of a good life, but it wasn't always this way. When I needed urgent help and long-term guidance, there was no such organization around. Later, when I had the opportunity to participate in creating an organization that helps to empower women and girls, I jumped on the bandwagon (10 years ago). I am very proud of The Women's Center - last year, we assisted over 700 women providing counseling and referral services through a unique method of working with our local academic institutions educating social workers, psychologists, etc. who need training. We leverage our Master's level social worker employees who supervise the work of the trainees. We are actively engaged in the community and work collaboratively with many other organizations to effect change.

7 twcsupporter

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an organization that really "walks its talk" and lives true to its mission. I am continuously impressed by how much they do on so little, in large part because of the multi-talented, incredibly dedicated staff, and in large part because of its incomparable volunteer cadre - including its deeply committed board of directors. I continue to be inspired by The Women's Center's dedication, professionalism, integrity, and commitment to living its values.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

this is the finest organization of its type in the area. and lots of people depend on their services. it's friendly, homey, and professional all at the same time. they deserve a 5 star rating. and the staff is the utmost, with quality people everywhere. can't say enough about this facility. very caring, sharing, and fabulous . even to the point of bring a dog in for a therapy session with a client that wouldn't speak to humans!!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

it is a very warm, welcoming place. Provides a great raaprt with other women. A truly inspiring place and am proud to supprt such an organization

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff and director of the Women's Center I met are dedicated, talented and persistent in their work to improve the lives of their clients. They have a range of services and expertise to help with anything from obtaining life skills in areas such as job hunting to counseling, to empowerment workshops. It provides a great launchpad for a woman looking to improve her life.

5

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Women's Center and it's director, Kim Cumming, set a standard for me. I spent a year working as an intern therapist while in graduate school. During that time, I learned not only the skills to become a good therapist, but also gained an image of the ideal. The Women's Center is the kind of organization that allows interns, clients and staff to feel empowered, respected and important. As my supervisor, Kim taught me how to empower people to change their own lives. I learned that this allows for lasting change, rather than the impulse to provide for or