Janelle Reed (right), Victory Mission’s Outreach Manager, visits with two other women in the new Women’s Drop In Center.
(Photo: Submitted by Janelle Reed)
Victory Mission has offered a food pantry and evening meals for the needy and shelter programs for homeless men for many years.
In recent months, the faith-based organization headquartered on Commercial Street has been working to expand services for women.
Victory Mission announced this week it would open its doors as a women’s drop-in center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays.
Any woman, particularly those experiencing difficulty or crisis, is encouraged to stop by the center located on the second floor of Victory Mission’s administration building at 1715 Boonville Ave.
The purpose of the drop-in center is to "meet women wherever they are and give them the support, encouragement, and resources to help them overcome challenges they might be facing," a news release said.
Amy Fouse, Victory Mission’s women’s ministry director, has been providing case management to women coming into the food pantry for a while now. That case management includes counseling and connecting women with other resources in the community, like Women in Need and the MSU Care Clinic.
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She hopes that by offering a drop-in center with no appointment necessary, more women will feel comfortable coming in and asking for help.
"We are trying to remove some of those barriers that keep people from coming in for assistance," Fouse said. "This is a safe place for women to receive encouragement and support."
This is Victory Mission’s Women’s Drop In Center. (Photo: Submitted by Janelle Reed)
Fouse said one woman stopped by the center Thursday — the center’s first day in operation.
"She stopped by because she lost her job and was trying to get a new job through (a temp agency)," Fouse said. "She didn’t know what she was going to do for food over the weekend."
Fouse was able to work with the woman to get her set up with food from Victory Mission’s food pantry.
Through the Women’s Drop In Center, it is Victory Mission’s intention to share the organization’s "commitment to showing God’s love in tangible ways by building intentional relationships and to providing support for life restoration," the release said.
Drinks and snacks are ready to go at Victory Mission’s new Women’s Drop In Center, which will be open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays at the administration building, 1715 N. Boonville Ave.
Supportive services at the center include things like needs assessments, community resource referrals, spiritual encouragement, goal setting and case management.
A light lunch is provided and there is a children’s room adjacent.
Fouse said she hopes to soon expand the drop-in center’s hours and services, perhaps adding classes and programs.
"It’s all kind of a giant experiment," she said. "We’ll see what happens, what kind of women are drawn."