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The Republic | azcentral.com | April 10, 2012
Hope Women's Center needs clothes, other items
Hope Women's Center in Apache Junction needs a variety of items to help with its mission of providing abused women and teen girls education and life-skills training to meet their needs.
The center is seeking community groups, businesses , churches, and individuals to sponsor a monthly Hope Train Drive to restock its Women's Resource Room.
At Hope Women's Center, women participate in classes and mentoring sessions and receive in-house credit that may be used to obtain items from the resource room. Classes, taught by volunteers, include prenatal, parenting, finance, health, craft and job skills instruction. Needed items include gently used women's and children's clothing, household cleaning and laundry products, toiletries, diapers, linens and towel sets.
The incentive-based program increases each woman's sense of economic self-sufficiency and contribution to her personal and family needs, center leaders said.
Last year the center recorded 5,000 visits from clients and 1,300 "shoppers" in the resource room. All resource room materials are provided by the community.
HOW TO HELP To help start a Hope Train Drive, call Terry at 480-983-4673. Hope Women's Center is at 252 N. Ironwood Drive. Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Donations can be made during operating hours.
Apache Junction - Gold Canyon News | April 9-15, 2012
Hope Women's Center Seeks Community Aid
'Hope Train Drive' would bring needed items for clients
Located in Apache Junction and serving the East Valley, Hope Women's Center is a non-profit organization that engages, encourages and equips vulnerable women and teen girls with education and life skills programs that support their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
A wide range of classes, taught by Hope Women's Center volunteers, as well as members of the community, are available to Hope Center clients and include prenatal, parenting, finance, health, craft and job skills classes. The women who participate in these classes and mentoring sessions receive in-house credit that may be used in the on-site Women's Resource Room.
The center is actively seeking community groups, local vendors, churches, and individuals to sponsor a monthly 'Hope Train Drive' to assist in restocking the shelves of the on-site Women's Resource Room each month.
Center clients accumulate their in-house credit to "purchase" items that are offered in the Women's Resource Room including gently-used women and children's clothing, household cleaning and laundry products, toiletries, diapers, linen and towel sets. The incentivized program increases each woman's sense of economic self-sufficiency and allows her to provide for her personal and family needs.
One hundred percent of the Resource Room materials are provided by the local community.
In 2011, Hope Women's Center had over 5,000 client visits to their eduction and mentoring program and 1,300 shoppers in the Women's Resource Room.
Please contact Terry, (480) 983-4673, to participate. Hope Women's Center is located at 252 N. Ironwood Dr., Apache Junction. Center hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Donations are always appreciated and may be made at the center during operating hours.
The Republic | azcentral.com | Aug. 3, 2011
Hope Women’s Center Expands in trying times
By Caitlin McGlade
Volunteers at Hope Women's Center in Apache Junction have seen state budget cuts cast their shadow this summer. A record number of women have turned to the Apache Junction non-profit for help because they have been dogged by homelessness, abused by a partner or surprised by a pregnancy.
But unlike many philanthropic agencies, the recession didn't get this donor-fueled organization down: Hope Women's Center is expanding.
About 40 to 50 volunteers served 432 women in 2010. They saw 365 clients the year before.
"They're getting beat up by the world one way or the other," said center board President Melissa Sheller of the clients. "We really want women to know how extraordinary women are, and a lot of our clients don't know that."
The center does not enforce feminist values, but rather takes a religious approach, ascribing to the belief that God gave all humans dignity and power and in turn they have the ability to find strength.
Thus, much of the counseling centers on the Bible, and the center follows an anti-abortion philosophy.
But some classes are secular, and crisis pregnancy counseling does not ignore the option of abortion, said Terry Smith, executive director.
Volunteers raised enough money to open four days a week rather than three, and will also stay open one Saturday of the month.
At least 25 partner churches and community organizations and countless private donors help keep the center going. It opened in 1985 as a crisis pregnancy center but Smith and Sheller expanded its mission a few years ago.
They noticed that problems surrounding unplanned pregnancies ran deep and wouldn't be solved with diapers or advice. Smith and Sheller believed a pregnancy all too often came from a host of hardships.
Now, crisis pregnancy services make up about 20 percent of the center's work. The rest involves classes about anything from forgiveness, to parenting, to money management to nutrition and other topics.
Book clubs meet regularly. Occasional parties host women needing to take the night off from responsibilities and build relationships with each other.
"We give women an opportunity to grow spiritually and encourage them to be good friends," she said.
Services are free, but women have to work for the resources.
The back room of the center is a store, full of clothing, car seats, toiletries and other items. Each object is worth a certain number of in-house dollars, which women earn by going to classes. They can save their dollars by attending various classes and then spend their earnings in the store on products that food stamps don't cover.
Julie Hammond, a 41-year-old Apache Junction resident, doesn't have a vehicle and has only the support of her fiancé's job to raise her toddler. Having depended on the women's center for a few years, she has found solace in spiritual classes and help in resources.
Stressed from previous relationships and strained by finances, times were tougher for Hammond before she found the center.
"We were really broke and I was pregnant, and we were living in a trailer with no utilities," she said. "I used to hang out at Walmart just to enjoy their air."
When she linked up with the Women's Center, it helped her with utilities. She started taking classes on abuse healing and setting boundaries and now attends book clubs and socials. Many of her supplies come from the in-house store.
"I don't feel like I have to be in a rut, or if I feel emotionally weak," she said. "I just have to go down and talk to someone and get a vote of confidence."
The Community Alliance against Family Abuse, a domestic violence safe haven in Apache Junction, has also fielded an influx of women in need. This summer, the shelter's 20 beds have stayed full. State funding covers about 70 percent of the budget, and cuts have forced volunteers and staffers to do more with less, said Courtney Kleinebreil, the executive director.
"There's been a higher demand as the economy gets worse; abusers who are losing their jobs are stressed out and they are coping with it in negative ways," she said. "Right now we have a combination of really bad heat and a really bad economy."
Read more: Here
Apache Junction / Gold Canyon Independent | Nov. 17, 2010
Community Cooperation Aids in
Hope Women’s Center Program Expansion
At a time when almost all state funded social service providers are cutting back on the services they are able to provide to the community, Hope Women’s Center is expanding its services. As a non-profit organization that relies on contributions from private donors, churches, civic groups, and local area businesses, Hope Women’s Center has been able to broaden its programming to continue to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of an increasing number of vulnerable women and adolescent girls.
Beginning in the spring of 2011, Hope Women’s Center will be hosting two new programs at their 252 N. Ironwood location that address the serious issues of women and substance abuse. With the intention of providing an aftercare program that supports clients in relapse prevention and recovery from drug, alcohol and lifestyle addictions, a Celebrate Recovery program will be offered to women. Celebrate Recovery is a nationally recognized program that is designed to help those struggling with serious hurts, habits and hang-ups. Unlike other 12 Step programs, CeIebrate Recovery stresses the strength of regular accountability and the loving power of Jesus Christ to change lives. In addition to the weekly Celebrate Recovery group meeting, concurrent substance abuse mentoring opportunities will be available to women who want additional one-on-one encouragement, counsel and decision making skills that will guide them toward achieving long term sobriety.
Offering expanded client services during an economic downturn is only possible because of the supportive partnerships that Hope Women’s Center has developed with local area businesses and social service providers in the area. A collaborative effort with CAAFA, Banner Baywood Hospital, the Lutheran Thrift Shop, Zoelle Hair Salon, the Salon at Gold Canyon, Modern Woodmen of America, the Apache Junction and Gold Canyon Soroptomists, Women of Faith in Business and Actors Youth Theatre encourages imaginative programming and resource sharing to maintain very needed support services for women and teen girls in an increasingly difficult economic environment.
By building supportive relationships and capitalizing on one another’s strengths, Hope Women’s Center, along with other area agencies, businesses and non-profits, can continue to focus on the real needs of women and teen girls in the local community even when funding is scarce. The decrease in federal and state resources for social services will mean that many more clients will be accessing the free services at Hope Women’s Center. A strong synergistic community of support services can help ensure that services and support will remain available. Hope Women’s Center is open Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 9am-8pm and Thursdays, 9am-5pm. Visit them on the web at hopewomenscenter.org.