Since 1981, the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau has helped over 350,000 people in Northeast Indiana. Their mission is to ‘Advance women through advocacy, education and economic empowerment’. Led by the new (as of July 2013) Executive Director, Kathleen Alter, the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau achieves their mission through three different programs.
Transitions is a residential program which has 24/7 supervision for women who are pregnant or have young children to help them maintain a life free from drugs and alcohol. Transitions is the only program in the area that has intensive inpatient substance abuse services and allows women to bring their children. In 2013 the program earned a 3-year accreditation (highest score possible) from CARF (Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).
REACT (Respond, Empower, Advocate, Collaborate, Treat) is there to help victims of rape and help to prevent rape through education and awareness. This program began in 1981 as the Rape Awareness Program. This program is the only one in the state that has a staff educator and education curriculum for people with disabilities. They offer individual and group therapy. REACT staff are members of Mayor’s Commission Task Force on Sexual Assault, Indiana Sexual Primary Prevention Council, FWPD Victim Assistance Committee and others.
Dress for Success Fort Wayne is a new program for the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau as of May 2013. As part of the global organization, it is the only affiliate in NE Indiana. The goal of this program is to not only provide professional attire for disadvantaged women, but to offer a network of support and career development. The Career Center (second phase) opened in February 2014 and offers assistance with resumes, cover letters, and job searches.
One of the biggest events to help sponsor the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau is ‘Walk a Mile In Her Shoes’ which took place this year on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Headwaters Park West. This walk not only helps raise funds but raises awareness to the very ugly topic of sexual assault and violence. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault which means someone you know and care about has likely been a victim. Be sure to check out this local event.
The next upcoming event is still quite some time away but will be so much fun and help with your holiday shopping. It’s a shopping trip to Chicago on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The cost is $50. You will need to call the Women’s Bureau for more information.
You can always volunteer. Dress for Success is looking for volunteers for any amount of time you can donate. They do require all volunteers to attend a volunteer orientation session before working with their clients. You can get started now by filling out their volunteer form.
Other ways to help is to make a donation. Your donation will go to help all the programs offered by the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau. A new way to support the Women’s Bureau is to shop at AmazonSmile and 0.5% of the purchase will go to the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau. You have the opportunity to donate merchandise to the Dress for Success program at the boutique location from 10am-4pm every Monday or at Crazy Pinz anytime during operating hours.