On this first Feel Good Friday of Women’s History Month, let’s get to know Win, an organization helping women and children across New York City.
Founded in 1983 as Women in Need, Win began as a shelter for four homeless women and their combined six children. Forty years later, Win is " the largest provider of family shelter and supportive housing in New York City.”
Statistics on their website state that approximately 60% of New Yorkers in shelters are families with children and every night nearly 52,660 people in New York City, including over 17,000 children, go to bed in a homeless shelter. That’s why the vision of Win is “to break the cycle of homelessness by being the premier leader and trusted partner in innovative solutions for families in need.”
Win takes a comprehensive approach to break the cycle of homelessness which they call The Way to Win. It includes over 1,700 units of transitional housing where families stay for an average of 14 months. There are also 330 permanent supportive apartment units that include continued counseling for families with special needs, such as mothers who have aged out of foster care or who are in recovery.
In addition to housing assistance, Win provides childcare; education on life skills such as parenting, financial literacy, healthcare, employment counseling, and interview preparation; and counselors who can address issues such as mental health, domestic violence and substance abuse.
Last year Win served nearly 8,700 homeless people, including 4,700 children, and helped more than 730 families transition from shelters to their own homes. You can read some of their stories at this link. More recently, the New York City Council just passed Win-authored legislation which “requires the city to fund mental health clinicians at every shelter for homeless families with children, providing the support parents and children need and deserve, directly where they live.”
If you’d like to support the women and children Win serves you can attend an event, volunteer your time or donate your money. As always, I encourage you to amplify their work on social media. Follow Win on Facebook, on Twitter @WINNYC_ORG and on Instagram @winnyc_org.