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Emma’s Take: A Tour of Downtown Women’s Center

Recently, our intern Emma had the chance to visit one of Home For Good’s partners, Downtown Women’s Center. Before she finished working with us, she was nice enough to share her experience at DWC in this blog below.

LE Tour 2013_DWC 3As a new addition to United Way, I was lucky enough to join the Loaned Executives on their visit to Downtown Women’s Center last week. 

The minute I stepped in the building, I saw smiles on the women’s faces and immediately knew DWC was an amazing community.  DWC Development Manager Audrey Kuo began our tour by telling us that “at Downtown’s Women Center, we strive to bring women back into the community.”  Not only does DWC offer meals women in need, but also provides job training, training and support groups, and a health clinic for all women in the area. 

As we went through the building, we were greeted by a woman who lives at DWC. In her six years of residency, she has discovered an impressive writing ability, and just published her own poem in the local paper.  In the five minutes we stood in the beautifully decorated lobby, we witnessed her excitement at this event; not once, but twice did she insist on getting a staff member their own copy of the newspaper. 

The next resident we met is going on her tenth year at DWC.  After living alone on the streets for almost seventeen years, she felt as if she would never recover.  Now, she is forever grateful for how DWC has transformed her life.  She is a member of the DWC Residents’ Club and with them, puts on a different activity each month.  When asked what she most appreciated about her new life, she told us that DWC had made her into a new, happier person with a sense of responsibility, leadership and compassion.

Not only does Downtown Women’s Center give women a permanent home, but it provides them with a supportive family.  Anyone can read about what a place like DWC does and know it provides amazing help to those in need; once one actually sees the excitement and gratitude of the women, that person will know that DWC gives those most in need a new and hopeful life.

We ended our tour in the Made by DWC store, where the women get experience and training in various day-to-day jobs such as sewing, baking, selling, marketing and packaging.  I purchased two handmade, stuffed animal key chains to always remember these women and the beautiful transformations they went through.

This trip showed me the impact a home and community can have on a person’s life, and convinced me that together we can end homelessness and turn even the biggest frowns into smiles.

A big THANK YOU to Emma for all her hard work!

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