BRANCH OF THE VINCENTIAN FAMILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT: Sisters of Charity Cincinnati
NAME OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE PROJECT: Women’s Connection
PROJECT ADDRESS: 4042 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45205
CONTACT PERSON: Sr. Mary Jo Gasfdorf, SC
LENGTH OF TIME THE PROJECT/PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE: 1997
PROJECT WEBSITE: http://www.thewomensconnection.org/
The Women’s Connection is a neighborhood center providing support for change by educating, empowering and enriching women, children and families.
The Priorities Are:
- To be a welcoming place
- To connect women and children with available resources
- To provide educational and personal growth opportunities that respond to community needs
- To initiate and promote collaborative programs and services in the community
Following the completion of a yearlong study regarding the needs of women and children in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sr. Mary Jo Gasfdorf, SC, founded The Women’s Connection. With a grant from the Sisters of Charity Ministries Initiatives Fund, she listened to residents in the neighborhood and learned what their needs were. Price Hill was noted as one large area of need in the city. As a diverse and rapidly changing urban neighborhood, the Price Hill community deals with differences in race, income, education, and culture. The assessment revealed “more single moms in Price Hill than anywhere in the city of Cincinnati”. Services were developed to respond to identified needs including: leadership and employment skills, health care, support groups, counseling for abused women and children, parenting skills, mentoring, GED assistance, mental health services and appreciation for diversity.
The personnel at Women’s connection realized that they could not meet all of the needs of those who came for services, but what they could do was collaborate with other organizations and together they could address the needs community members identified.
Women’s Connection has become a catalyst in the neighborhood. Services continue to expand as new needs are identified by the women who use the center. Through initiating collaborative efforts with other neighborhood institutions women who were formerly isolated now have access to multiple resources. Their social involvement has increased and through participation in educational and job-training workshops they are given a chance to change not only their own lives, but those of their families as well.