Since its birth in 2005, the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing has advocated for women. The center offers computer training classes, support groups, yoga and many other social and health improvement tools.
“Whatever we don’t have here, by way of resources, we give in referrals,” said Cindie Alwood, co-director of the Women’s Center.
In addition to the opportunities the Women’s Center has already given women in need, they started a women’s health care discussion series in March that they plan on holding monthly.
“If there’s a topic that interests someone, we’d love to hear it,” said Alwood. “We’re still small enough to be responsive to people’s needs and turn things around fairly quickly.”
According to Alwood the Women’s Center serves about 125 women per week.
“It’s a really supportive atmosphere,” said Alwood. “We start at the very basic levels with people.” The Women’s Center is supplied with 11 grad students who are currently interning and providing the bulk of the counseling services that the center offers. Alwood noted that a lot of times, the counseling is job related.
“We’re still placing people with jobs, it just takes a little longer,” said Alwood. “We’re looking at about an eight month turn around, so it’s tough to keep spirits up.”
In terms of counseling, clients are welcome to as many hour-long sessions as necessary.
“It’s the first time some of these women have had anybody to talk to,” said Alwood. “The whole point is to help women realize their potential.”
Fees for counseling sessions are determined on a sliding fee scale; the bottom of the scale is $5.
“What we’re doing a lot of times is saving people’s lives, because we’re usually the last place women find, not the first,” said Alwood.
Volunteers are coveted to assist in staffing, cleaning and presenting at various workshops. Donations are always appreciated as well. Their needs consist of printer ink, paper and non-perishable goods, among other items.
The Center is also always looking for business clothes and accessories to stock their NuUnion Professional Women’s Clothes Closet. Some staple items they always take are black pants, white blouses and black shoes.
Their signature event, the Dream, Girl! Benefit Gala, will be taking place Friday, May 14, at the home of Frank Biocca, the surviving husband of the third co-founder of the Women’s Center, Zena Biocca, who passed away in 2006. The house is located on Belmonte Circle in East Lansing. Tickets to the event are $100 each.
Tags: cindy alwood, counseling in lansing, Dream, Frank Biocca, Girl! Benefit Gala, lansing nonprofit, non-profit, NuUnion Professional Women’s Clothes Closet, social health, Women's center, women's center of great lansing, Zena Biocca