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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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