The mission of the WRC is to promote the self-reliance of women by assessing needs, providing services and acting as a gateway to community resources. In seeking solutions for unmet needs, the WRC provides strategic leadership through collaboration and partnerships within thecommunity.
In the mid-1990's, four Greensboro women -- Marian O'Connor Franklin, Vivian Lutian, Ashley Brooks, and Susan Sassmann -- began discussing developing a place where women in Greensboro could come for information, advice, support and assistance. While Greensboro had a wealth of community resources, there was not a system in place to guide women in accessing these services. After a year of study, conversations with non profit and government agencies, visits to existing Women's Resource Centers in North Carolina, and review of community needs assessments, the four women decided to open a Women's Resource Center in Greensboro.
The Women's Resource Center (WRC) opened on August 26, 1995 in the historic Ireland House in downtown Greensboro. The WRC offered programs in peer advocacy, a job-training program for displaced homemakers, a free attorney hotline, a computer data bank, a library for women's issues, and a barter board where women could exchange information about goods or services. During that first year, the WRC served approximately 800 women. Currently the Center is working with nearly 9,000 women each year.
During a significant growth period and following the third move in five years to leased offices, the leadership of the Women's Resource Center began to explore the possibility of finding a permanent home. In many ways, the Women's Resource Center was facing a problem that many of the women who come to the WRC understand -- finding safe and affordable housing. When WRC found the space it needed, it could not afford it and when WRC found what it could afford, it was not large enough.
In 2000, with the decision to build a permanent facility for the Women's Resource Center came an exciting and energizing opportunity. The Toleo Foundation, a long-time and generous supporter of the WRC, challenged not only the WRC, but the community, with a gift of $300,000 for the new Center, to be matched two-for-one with other gifts and grants. With this challenge gift in hand, the Board of the Women's Resource Center approved the undertaking of a $2,200,000 capital campaign entitled Building the Futures of Women.
On August 15,2001, we purchased almost ¾ acreofeland at thee corner of SummitAve. and Yanceyville St.) In April of 2003, the Women's Resource Center opened its new doors at 628 Summit Avenue.