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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Women's Educational Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Counseling, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health, Unknown, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: Our vital programs serve over 2,000 underserved and at-risk women annually from Greater Boston and across New England. Our programs target women with the least access to resources and support services, with particular emphasis on low-income women, immigrant women, and women of color. Located in our supportive and encouraging women's space, our vital programs go far beyond direct service - building women's self-esteem, breaking through isolation and hopelessness and teaching skills that foster personal growth and community change. Most of the women served by the Women's Center have histories of child sexual abuse or domestic violence, and are low-income. We provide direct services (a safe space, support groups, informational workshops, counseling, etc.), educational resources, and advocacy projects to women free of charge. Using our services, victims of violence and oppression become survivors - healing and rebuilding their lives.Founded in 1971, The Women's Center has led the way for groundbreaking community projects serving thousands of people in need. In 1973, the Women's Center developed the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), which has grown into its own independent organization. The Women's Center was intricately involved in the founding of Transition House - the first battered women's shelter in MA, and to this day provides free services to Transition House to keep their clients safe from their batterers. The Women's Center was also instrumental in the founding of Finex House (the first wheelchair-accessible shelter in MA) and the Elizabeth Stone House (a shelter for battered women and women withaddiction and/or mental health issues). In 1980 Incest Resources, the first organization for survivors of child sexual abuse, started at the Center, and is still providing a facilitated support group and many other resources to survivors of child sxual abuse. The Women's Center is the only organization in the area with such an extensive array of FREE services, including a 55-hour per week helpline and drop-in space, where homeless women and others can use the kitchen, computer lab or sit or rest in a comfortable room.

Programs: Educational and support programming, 3410 women attended over 200 free groups, workshops and trainings in 2014

drop-in resource and support center, 5900 logged visits in 2014

information and crisis helpline, 3800 logged calls in 2014

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Melinda T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the lesbian chats here and the fact that I can use the computers and eat there as well as meet other queer women.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the Cambridge Women's Center. It is one of the best free places that I have found which offers great services to its community. Women have free access to borrowed books on a variety of topics, a kitchen where they can cook and eat, free computer with internet access and cheap printing, and a meeting room where they can many types of meetings that benefit those who attend them. The staff is friendly, never ask for anything, and professional. I have used the center for years ever since I got divorced, realized my attraction for women, and attended lesbian groups there where I made acquaintances and friends, learn and have a great time. I can't say enough good things about this place. Please help it open because we women truly need and love it including me!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Three years ago when I went to the Incest Resources monthly drop-in discussion group at the Women's Center, I was scared. Even if I didn't talk, just walking into a room that was only for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse was a huge step. I was declaring publicly that I had been sexually abused. Breaking the silence. Discussing the taboo. I couldn't believe I was going to do this. I felt like a freak. Like I didn't deserve to be there. But I went anyway. A room full of twenty women that society wouldn't expect to be together. Different educational and socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and beliefs. All of us sexually abused as children. But it was more than our traumas that connected us. It was a desire to heal. To help others. To break silence and speak truth. After being traumatized, abused and ignored for decades, I was finally seen and heard. It was the first time I felt my authentic self emerge from the ashes of my trauma. If that space hadn't been there, I wonder how much more time I would have lost in my healing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cambridge Women's Center hosts Lesbian Conversation and Lesbian Chat at no charge to the Boston Lesbian Women's Group. Those are in-depth conversations that have profound impact on our lives. The Center is always welcoming and has worm inclusive atmosphere. I am thankful for being able to come to these events.

Amanda24

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the Women's Center in Cambridge, MA. I love the staff, the volunteers and the community it serves. It is a great resource for women in general. In particular, I have gone to the Friday night chats quite a bit here. Mairic, the volunteer organizer for this is such an amazing role model.

trinityjpb

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've attended the Cambridge Women's Center's Lesbian Chat nights. It's great that they make the space available to our group and they have so many other support groups and ways that they offer support with very little staff and resources.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I needed supportive resources to help me rebuild my life in the aftermath of years of violence, the Women's Center answered that need in extraordinary ways.  The Women's Center helped me to find a skilled and sensative therapist who steadfastly walked with me throughout my process of recovery.  The Women's Cente also gave me access to three high-quality support groups where I met others navigating the road to recovery in the wake of sexual violence.  These support groups are sacred places where women come to share, to grieve, to celebrate living and to empower one another in the wake of violence.  These groups and the safe space the Women's Center provides helped me to develop into the healthy, empowered, life-loving person I am today.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended many groups at the Women's Center and I have also facilitated groups there. It is a very welcoming, accepting place and is a vital resource to the community. Furthermore the management of the Women's Center is stellar!! This organization provides a homey atmosphere to many underserved and disenfranchised women - and to all women seeking support and crucial information on all kinds of local services.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cambridge Women's Center is an amazing resource in this community, with a variety of classes, workshops, groups, as well as the resources that are always there for drop-ins (computers, the full kitchen where there's always something to snack on, and the kick-ass volunteers). I can honestly say that without the support I've received there, my life would look very different, and I'm grateful every day to just know that they're there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The cambridge women's center has been an amazing resource for me year after year and now decade after decade. I have gone there to connect with darius support group over the years. Whenever needed they have been a fabulous resource for housing jobs and even legal services . They have always kept extensive updated resource manuals on just about any subject imaginable that you might need to find. It has been a place for support, for socializing, for learning etc. Their technology resource center is invaluable. The staff of volunteers is always immensely helpful and friendly. I have been considering a move to a warmer state for health reasons And 1 of the first things I look for is a womens center in that area. They don't seem to be many and the few I've found don't seem to be of the same caliber and I may not be able to leave boston just for that reason. Knowing that the resource of the cambridge women's center is always that Caring supportive home 1 always hopes to find.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The center was there for me when i needed to feel a part of a group and in need of guidance.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Women's Center provided a safe place for me to slowly come to terms with my sexuality by providing a space for a group of women with similar situations as me (in a straight marriage, questioning our sexuality) to come together and share our stories, struggles, and celebrations. All of us felt like we were the only one in that situation, until we walked into that meeting group. Since that time and still currently, I occasionally use the Center to meet and discuss with other queer women for a sense of community. I've also used it's library resource and it's computer center resource. Thank you, Women's Center!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cambridge Women's Center was/is a warm and welcoming space. It became part of my introduction to a variety of social and exciting women engaged in interesting, meaningful and FUN activities. I'm not sure I would be the person I am today without having such a supportive place to go to.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been regularly attending lesbian discussion groups at the CWC for about 3 years. The CWC is a great space for such discussions, the living room is spacious yet cozy. It's a welcoming place, and we are able to hold our discussion group there free of cost to us, which speaks to how much the CWC seeks to provide a space for women of all means to gather. The CWC and the discussion groups I've attended there have had an enormous impact on my life... in fact, I met my partner there about 2 years ago and we are getting married in October! So, we love the CWC!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a member of Mairic's Lesbian Chat. She is an awesome person and chat is a great event. I have always felt at home at the center.

Michele24

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Women's Educational Center has been an invaluable resource for myself and countless other women. I started going there in the 1970's as a young woman trying to make my way in the world, and the classes, 12-step meetings, networking, and resources provided by the Center were integral in shaping the woman I am today. I'm so grateful for the fact that it's still there and is constantly expanding its programs to meet the needs of young women today. There are so few places like it, and such a need for it! I love the Center with all my heart and hope it continues to provide support and services for many years to come.