In the spring of 1984, a group of concerned community members began meeting to discuss the issues surrounding domestic violence and the lack of support services. Out of these meetings, WISE was created.
In March 1985, a director was “hired” to coordinate the many activities of the organization and pursue funding sources. The director began as a volunteer.
Throughout these beginning years, a primary goal was to establish a shelter facility. This goal became reality in mid-summer 1987 when a facility was located and opened to provide shelter and support services to more women and their children for a longer period of time. Shortly after the opening of the shelter, WISE was granted additional funds allowing for the creation of the sexual assault component to the organization.
Through the years, the communities that WISE serves have been very supportive. Donations of food, clothing and household items arrive almost daily. These donations are essential for the continued existence of WISE. Please see the WISE Wish List if you want to donate.
Storage quickly became an issue for WISE due to the amount of donations. In October 1997 the opportunity arose for WISE to rent a storefront and open the WISE Shopper. In October 1997 the WISE Shopper was opened, and in 2012 was renovated and renamed WISE Fabulous Finds Resale Shoppe. This facility provided a place for donations to be received and for clients to shop for clothing and other items through the use of vouchers provided to them by WISE. Fabulous Finds was also open to the public and all proceeds supported the agency’s client services.
WISE is committed to educating the community in domestic and sexual violence, and holding batterers accountable for their actions.