Overview of Cambridge Women's Center

The Cambridge Women’s Center, founded in 1971, has long served the women of the Greater Boston/Cambridge area out of their headquarters on 46 Pleasant Street. In the 70s, when many women (especially those in poverty) had a great need for services and information, the building was used to fight discrimination and rally activism. From that time, the center assisted in creating many programs including, but not limited to, the first Battered Women’s shelter in Massachusetts, the first wheelchair accessible shelter in Massachusetts, the annual Women’s Health Day in Cambridge, and the Survivor Theatre Project (which brings survivors of sexual assault together in order to produce powerful stage performances). Below is more information about this hard-working, empowering, non profit organization everyone should be aware of.    


What is their mission?

The mission of the Cambridge Women’s Center is to provide a supportive community for women of all backgrounds and sexual orientations. They develop programs and services to assist those in the Greater Boston/Cambridge area. Their headquarters operates as a drop-in day shelter and safe space. The CWC will always support initiatives and policies that empower women, eliminate gender based poverty and stereotypes, expand women’s education/work options and protect women’s health and reproductive choices.      


What services do they provide?  

Besides being a drop-in day-shelter, the Cambridge Women’s Center operates telephone help-lines for those dealing with traumatic situations both physical and mental. Visitors have complete access to a fully stocked community food kitchen and a library for information. There is a computer lab with the Women’s Resource Database, enabling visitors to access employment, housing, parenting resources, and other needs. Homeless women can even use the center as a short-term refuge.

Outside organizations and other nonprofits come in to provide additional resources such as money literacy, language courses, financial planning, parenting skills, childcare, cooking, and more. Volunteers also run programs ranging from yoga and art to various support groups. Every program is completely free of charge with childcare accommodations (if requested in advance).


How can I get involved?

As a nonprofit organization, the Cambridge Women’s Center is always looking for passionate volunteers. Volunteers are able to work with the center’s residents and operate the telephone help-line. They can create their own programs and assist in making the headquarters as hospitable as possible (through cleaning, regular walk-throughs, and organization). For more information about volunteer applications, visit the CWC website.    

For resident college students, there are also opportunities for internships. The center is looking for people who love listening, taking initiative, and love the idea of empowering others. Like volunteers, interns also must go through mandatory training. They will do many of the same activities as volunteers along with participating in special project benefitting the center.

If you enjoy the idea of supporting this organization but do not have the means of a large time commitment, the Cambridge Women’s Center is always happily accepting donations both in-person and online. All donations go towards upkeep of the facility and running the center’s programs. Donations of books for the library and food for the community kitchen are also always appreciated. Any donation furthers the center to grow in community, support, and inspiration for the women that need it most.


Check out their current programs or refer a friend!


Sewing Group: Thursdays 10am-12pm. This group is open to anyone who loves to sew; whether by hand or with a machine. Information: Karlotta, [email protected].


Spanish/English Conversion Exchange: Wednesdays, 12:30pm-2:30pm. This program offers a space for native-Spanish speakers and native-English speakers to come together, comfortably converse, and improve their skills on the opposite language. Information: [email protected].


Yoga4You: Wednesdays, 12-1pm. A beginners yoga class open to everyone wanting to stretch their muscles. Ends with guided relaxations techniques. Yoga matts are provided. Information: [email protected].


Write Your Way: Tuesdays, 5:30-6:50pm. All skill levels welcome. This program explores the topics of relationships, identity, wellness, and more in the form of writing and storytelling. Information: [email protected].


Feminist Book Club: 1st Monday of every month, 7:00-8:00pm. A group which chooses a book each month and discusses it through the lens of feminism and the members own personal experiences. Information: [email protected].


Reconciliation Support Group: Every 4th Friday, 6:30-8pm. A support group for anyone assigned female at birth, in the process of questioning their identity, or who has once identified as something other than female. This program bring similar people together to reconcile and heal with the idea and process of being female. Information: [email protected].  


Straight Marriage, still questioning: A peer support group for women in a straight relationship struggling with their sexual identity and expression. Information: [email protected].  


 Trauma Support/Discussion Group: Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm. A small, support group where where women share and receive support for any form of past and present trauma. Information: [email protected] or check out http://cwctraumagroup.org/ for specific topics.


Women of Color Support Group: Every 4th Monday of the month, 5:30 -7pm. A program where WOC in the Boston/Cambridge area can meet, share their stories, and get support from other women like them. Pre-registration is preferred. Information: [email protected] (use subject line “attending WOC support group”).  


Women’s Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Meeting: Thursdays, 6:30-8pm. A support group for women recovering from drug/alcohol abuse. Info: Neile, 617-953-4878.


Lesbian and Bi Women Support Group: Every third Friday of the month, 6:00-7:30pm. A group for women attracted to other women to meet like-minded individuals for support and discussion. Information: [email protected].