Women Shelter was started in 1977 when Dr. Virginia Corbett, a psychologist and activist, donated a 4-bedroom, 11-bed house as the first emergency shelter for victims. It has grown to encompass a resource center offering counseling services for adults and children (including group therapy sessions) and many other supportive services including health referrals, supportive services, and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and their children. It also operates a 24-hour hotline. Women Shelter now has two stand-alone emergency shelters. The second shelter was actually added this year during the pandemic!
Each year WSLB’s hotline receives more than 1,500 domestic violence crisis calls. Trained advocates are available to respond to crisis calls from women and men and teens and young adults. WSLB also assists LGBTQ victims involved in domestic and intimate partner abuse/violence. Advocates provide support, assistance, and emergency referral services. In addition to personal help to individuals, Women Shelter is very busy advocating and educating the public. April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and WSLB collaborated with community partners on a number of events to honor survivors, raise awareness, and educate the community about how to prevent sexual assault.
This year, WSLB’s annual fundraiser was online, but nevertheless they added giving out a scholarship to one of their “youth ambassadors.” The organization continues to grow and thrive, even in these hard times.
Our special collection takes place on the second Sunday of November, but you may donate to the Women Shelter of Long Beach until the last Sunday in November by marking your envelope and check with “Special Collection.”