WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER

 
 

The Women’s Resource Center was developed in 1997 to provide women a supportive and spiritual environment to access pastoral, social and education services. The Center itself is in a comfortable, neighborhood setting where the women of Southwest Baltimore can drop-in as they feel the need.

 

The main purpose of the Women’s Resource Center is to foster a sense of self-worth and dignity in each and every woman that visits the center, and to help empower them to realize their full potential. Some of the issues that the Center confronts with these women are domestic and criminal violence, depression, sub-standard living arrangements, unhealthy diets, unemployment and high dropout rates.

 

The Center responds by connecting women with the services they need that are available in the area. The staff acts as an advocate for each woman with agencies in order to obtain the required services. Domestic abuse victims are put in touch with the House of Ruth. Job readiness skills are acquired through the Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc. In partnership with Mercy Supportive House, the Center helps obtain a healthy living environment for those without. Mothers receive parenting classes through the assistance of Parents Anonymous. With the Baltimore WIC Program, the Center helps mothers and children by providing foods high nutrients.

 

A typical day at the Women’s Resource Center includes breakfast by 10am. Laundry facilities are available Monday and Friday (two loads per week), along with showers, use of a telephone including messages received, and women can use the address to receive mail. Clothes are given away from a clothes bank every third Thursday of the month.

 

In addition to the basic living necessities, the Center celebrates birthdays with the women, a simple yet important part of everyone’s life.

Along with social and education services, The Women’s Resource Center puts women in touch with essential health care services, either through Bon Secours Hospital or other agencies.

 

Verna Gentry, director of the Women’s Resource Center, shared the story of one woman who visits the center and feared she may have contracted the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Center facilitated several tests and the woman did learn that she was HIV positive. HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening infections.

 

Verna and her staff helped this client deal with the stigma that is still attached to an HIV positive diagnosis. They also her in obtaining the prescription drugs she needs to keep the virus under control. A WRC partnership, this time with St. Martin’s Church helped this client pay for her prescriptions.

 

The Women’s Resource Center partners with many local and national agencies to help their clients get out of their current situation and deal with the issues that are keeping them from achieving their potential.

 

  • 417 women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness benefited from one or more of the services the Center provides.
  • 840 breakfasts have been served.
  • 35 women received bus tokens to assist with transportation needs.
  • 251 individual counseling sessions were conducted.
  • 11 women participated in the Job Readiness 5-week course to prepare for employment.
  • 63 residents received financial assistance to prevent eviction.