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.
Professional with expertise in this field
My first interaction with Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh was in 2006. I went there to learn more about intimate partner violence as part of my training/education in the social work field. I was immediately impressed by the passion of staff members and volunteers working with women and their children and to end intimate partner violence--it was palpable and energizing. The second thing I noticed was how comforting and welcoming the environment was--from the people who greet you when you arrive, the professionals working there, and the home-like and relaxing decor. Despite the fact that this is a confidential and high-security building, it is warm and open energetically. Thirdly, I was amazed to find that I was gaining education and experience about intimate partner violence from an agency that is a known leader in the field. Their work has always been cutting edge; they provide services that are trauma-informed and they follow best practices in all they do. Since my initial training at Women's Center and Shelter, I have had the opportunity and privilege to continue learning from them. I am thankful to report that they have continued to improve since 2006 and are continuing to do better, and better work. I am very thankful this service and agency exists.