Founded by Sister Mary Jo Gasdorf, SC, a Sister of Charity,
The Women's Connection
has served a rapidly evolving Price Hill neighborhood since May 1997.
The mission of the neighborhood center, located on Glenway Avenue in Price Hill, is “to empower women and girls to make choices that lead to positive change in their lives,” says Aimee Shinkle, executive director.
From the beginning, the center has provided services to all ages of women and girls. The center also functions as a clearinghouse of sorts, directing its clients to supplementary centers and service providers in the community.
In 2011 alone, The Women’s Connection provided referrals and/or some form of direct assistance to more than 2,100 women and girls, Shinkle says.
And yet, keeping up with demand is only part of the story. Shinkle says that because the center’s clients, like Price Hill as a whole, comprise an ever shifting range of demographics and diverse backgrounds, the center has had to continually clarify its intentions and modify its programs.
For example, to serve a growing influx of Latino residents in Price Hill, the Center first offered a lot of translation services and notarization of documents. These days, however, given the maturation and assimilation of the Latino community, the Center helps Latino who are evolving into permanent members of the community.
As other demographics groups in the neighborhood have undergone their own changes in the last several years, the Center has reconsidered its vision and services. Its new vision statement addresses the need for leadership development among women and girls, while its new mission statement paves the way for new and comprehensive programs for both girls (Journey) and women (Hope) in the community.
Shinkle calls the Hope program, “a cohesive, progressive program which is constantly growing and evolving.” The Center works with each female client to create a program of customized services and assistance.
?Shinkle attributes the program’s successes, longevity and ability to adapt to the its center’s volunteers. "We're a small staff with a small budget and we have to rely heavily on our volunteer staff,” she says. “We've really come to appreciate their efforts."
• Facebook it
. Like The Women’s Connection on Facebook to find out the latest news and see event photos.
• Save the date
. Plan to attend and/or support one of The Women’s Connections upcoming events, including the 2nd Annual Mom and Me Fun in the Sun Party, Aug. 4, at Seton High School.
. The Center hosts monthly volunteer sessions where you can learn more about its programs and services as well as upcoming volunteer needs.
By Michael Kearns