The Women’s Center of Beaver County has grown from a small grass roots organization to an emergency shelter, counseling and advocacy Center that has expanded into three facilities. Each year, more than 2,000 survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and the homeless utilize our services.
In 1976, our founders faced many obstacles, not the least of which was controversy that domestic and sexual violence is a public issue and a community concern. An idea and a passionate call to action were brought to fruition by a local volunteer task force.
Community volunteers began housing women needing shelter in their homes. They faced many challenges, “to finance, staff, publicize and operate a women’s center in Beaver County”; however, they were driven by their energy and passion for the cause.
The Women’s Center moved from its first facility, in Beaver Falls, to Rochester in 1978. There it began providing emergency shelter for 15 women and children, and crisis hotline for rape victims. In 1981, the Center was able to purchase a larger facility housing up to 24 women and children and moved to its current location in Beaver, Pennsylvania. The Center secured grants in 1990 to purchase and rehabilitate a second building into office and counseling space which was completed in 1992. We acquired our third facility in 2001 and launched our transitional housing program.
As women identified their own domestic violence and sexual abuse, they gave voice to countless others. They demanded not just help and services for victims, but issued a wake-up call to our society to end the abuse and stop the violence.