The Center for Women in Transition provides housing and supportive services for families experiencing homelessness or who are victims of domestic violence. This is an incredibly important service, especially this time of year. Though we have been experiencing a very mild beginning this winter, everyone knows Illinois weather can turn in a snap. Getting these women and their children in a safe, warm environment for the night is so important. While providing these completely necessary services in the community, it’s important to note these challenges the Center for Women in Transition faces:
- There is no year-round emergency homeless shelter in Champaign-Urbana for women and children. From January through April, The Center works with a local church to operate an Emergency Women’s Shelter, but arrangements have to be made to house the children elsewhere for the evening. Mothers and their children are separated every evening.
- There are no programs in Champaign-Urbana to house women with a male child over the age of 14. None of the programs have enough space to provide privacy for families with an “adult” male. Again, women are forced to separate from their children for overnight shelter and services.
- There are no facilities in Champaign-Urbana to house homeless intact families. Families are forced to split up between multiple facilities in order to be able to utilize temporary housing services.
Currently The Center provides services through four programs: Domestic Violence Services, Homeless Services, Permanent Housing, and the Retail Store. The store, Transitions in Lincoln Square Mall, provides a unique plan to help the women participating in the program. Transitions offers a program for participants to receive customer service training, experience in retail sales, merchandising, and inventory control. Staff also offers help with resume writing and interviewing techniques. Additionally, residents of The Center for Women in Transition also receive vouchers to procure clothing from the store in order to look professional for interviews.
In addition to accepting monetary donations directly on their website, they also have a wish list of items they can use at the shelter, and the resale store is always accepting donations of gently used clothes, shoes, purses, and other accessories. Clothing donations can be made during store hours, Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm. Local ladies, when you’re clearing out your closet this January to make room for all the boss threads you received at Christmas, please consider donating to Transitions.