On April 10, ACTS' Housing Program held a special open house to celebrate all the work that was accomplished at our Women's Empowerment Center. Members of the community, the ACTS Board, and the Trade Partners that made the feat possible were invited to attend, and a reception followed. The renovations will bring some big changes to the programs offered there, but...
Just what is the Women's Empowerment Center?
The Center is a special part of ACTS Housing Services. It is designed specifically to help women who have been homeless transition into stable living on their own. When a single woman, or even a woman with kids, becomes homeless, friends and family will often take her in for the short term. However, long term stability can be difficult to find. More often than not, the woman may lack the resources to make it on her own right away. The Center is designed to help provide those resources, whether she needs parenting, financial, or work skills, or if she needs help recovering from trauma. Our goal is for her to learn the tools she needs to be independent, not because they were simply given to her, but because she learned them by doing for herself.
What renovations have been made?
The entire basement has been finished to provide office space for the staff who work with the women in the shelter and space for all program services to be delivered.
What goals will be met from the renovations?
We strive to provide a safe, stable home where women can address the issues that contributed to their situation of homelessness or keep them from being independent. This has always been the case. However, it is difficult to feel at home when your counselor or case manager is eating lunch in your kitchen or running a group in your living room.These renovations will provide for a clear distinction between "home" and the place they receive help. This should make their stay more therapeutic and give them a greater sense of pride in where they live and prepare them for them for being own their own in the future.
How will these change the programs?
Previously, staff used one of the bedrooms as an office, and all services were provided in the living room or kitchen. Now, the first and second floor can truly be the home it was intended to be, and the services residents need will be provided in nicely finished work space in the basement. This will enable the women and their children to feel at home. The place where they eat, sleep, and watch TV is not part of some social service "program;" it is where they live.
We can't begin to thank the following Trade Partners enough who generously contributed to the renovation!
Alliance Contracting Group LLC Atlas Plumbing LLC B&K Distributors, Inc. Buhl Electric Company, Inc. Builders Floor Service Color World Paint & Drywall Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
Miller & Associates N&B Paving Railing Systems Scot Engineering Sight and Sound Systems, Inc.
Ethan Vick is the Administrative Coordinator at ACTS. He attended East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in the field of English Education. He has been with the organization since October of 2015, and was originally employed with the Thrift Store. He now contributes to ACTS' blog, as well as provides weekly editorials for ACTS' staff called "What Up Wednesdays."