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Women's Center and Shelter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing

Mission: The Women's Center & Shelter began in 1974 in the kitchen of a volunteer's home. It has expanded to become one of the most advanced and recognized domestic violence agencies in the nation. Services for domestic violence victims include a 24-hour hotline, safe shelter, non-resident counseling, legal, medical and housing advocacy, children's programming and community education. In 1998-99, WC&S sheltered 305 women and 325 children, provided Legal Advocacy to 5,549 individuals, and counseled 8,666 hotline callers.

Programs: WC&S's programs include a 24-hour hotline, safe shelter, non-resident counseling, a Follow-up program for women who have moved beyond shelter, children's services. We also offer legal, medical housing and TANF advocacy, in addition too systems advocacy throughout the various system in which victims interact, including welfare, justice, law enforcement. WC&S's educational program include Hands are Not for Hurting, a school-based violence prevention curriculum which is separated into five age-appropriate curricula.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kimberly L.


Rating: 5

WC&S is one of the best nonprofits in Pennsylvania. It is a sanctuary in which every one feels emotionally and physically safe. I have been particularly impressed by the degree of training that all volunteers are required to undergo. We are trauma-informed, women-centered advocates. That means that everyone who works here, for free or for pay, has been educated to understand the terrible trauma that women survive when their partners have battered and abused them. Everyone is informed about the effects of trauma on the brain and body. Everyone is trained in active listening techniques. Everyone I have met here displays remarkable compassion for people who have been abused. All departments are well-organized and led by extremely competent people who would earn much more money with their skills in a different, profit-based workplace. People work and volunteer here because they passionately care about social justice. It's a wonderful place.

4 JME04


Rating: 5

This organization provides a vital service to our community – and it’s a great place to volunteer! I’ve worked in the children’s room at the shelter, and always left wishing I could stay longer. The children are always so excited to have someone new to play with – it’s a great opportunity to have an excuse to be a kid again! The staff of the shelter is kind and dedicated, and they make volunteers feel at home. Even more important, the staff creates a caring, safe environment for all of the women and children that they serve. The Women’s Center and Shelter is a great asset to the community!