Assisting Non-Profits: WomenShelter of Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)

The Story

WomenShelter of Long Beach (WSLB) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate domestic violence through compassionate intervention, education, and personal empowerment. Since 1977, the organization has helped thousands of families overcome the trauma caused by domestic abuse, as they assist victims and their children by providing safe shelter and supportive services including 30-45 days of emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, social services support, legal and health advocacy, and much more. The Domestic Violence Resource Center was the first such facility in the Greater Long Beach area; and every year, WSLB serves over 1,100 victims and children through its programs.

The 1926 building in which WSLB is housed is simply insufficient for their needs, presenting some immediately-needed repair items and some longer-term challenges. The former included a broken lock on a security gate, installation of a security screen, and repairs to a back fence that was partially broken down by a would-be intruder. These needs RTLB responded to immediately, as maintaining the safety of its clients is an absolute imperative for WSLB.

The longer-term challenges include these: The kitchen is tiny, equipped with appliances suitable for residential, not institutional, use. The dining area is so small that clients and children are forced to eat in shifts. One of the bathrooms is not up to code and almost unusable. Finally, the facility lacks adequate handicap access. To begin to address these challenges, RTLB Board Member Bill Leisy held a series of discussions with WSLB administrators. Together, the group will retain an architect to draw up a master plan for these major renovations. Separately, both RTLB and WSLB will seek out funding opportunities to accomplish this work over the coming months. In his Site Visit notes, Bill commented “I would say unequivocally that this is a group that we should help in any way we can” – and the rest of the Board whole-heartedly agrees. We plan to work closely with WSLB staff to help them attain a safe, secure, and healthy environment for their clients and their employees.