Programs for all stages, tailored for each woman
WPA recognizes that men and women take different paths to the criminal legal system and have diverse experiences before, during, and after incarceration. Our programs are designed specifically for women.
At WPA, we listen first. Women are the experts in their own lives and know what they need. Some women need short-term solutions while others need long-term support. Caring and committed staff listen to each woman and co-create a vision for her future.
We believe women belong with their families and not behind bars.
When women first seek support from WPA they meet with a community team member who listens and suggests the WPA program or community partner best suited to meet their needs. Sometimes, that connection is all women need for short-term support, but more often, that experience is the first of many women explore across WPA programs.
WPA’s innovative alternative to incarceration (ATI) model allows women to return to, or stay in, their communities rather than serving time in jail or prison. The ATI team works with participants to enhance stability and overall well-being by addressing specific needs that may have contributed to their systems involvement, including, but not limited to, intimate partner violence and sex trafficking.
We offer safe spaces to live, heal, and grow.
WPA operates two shelters for women experiencing homelessness: one for single women and one for mothers and their children. Residents access a broad range of programs, defined by their individual goals, focused on education, employment, safe housing, health and mental health care, substance use support, and family reunification. In our family shelter, mothers manage the full range of day-to-day household and family challenges with WPA’s support and children receive homework help and recreational activities through WPA’s youth services.
WPA is a supportive and nonjudgmental presence to women with, or at risk of, HIV and Hepatitis C infection in the community, jail, and prison. We conduct HIV testing and education to ensure women have the information they need to protect themselves and their partners and to learn their own HIV statuses. If positive, we provide referrals to health care. Whether positive or negative, we provide counseling and peer support groups to reduce transmission risk and ensure a caring and consistent support system.
At WPA, we meet women wherever they are in their journey. Sometimes, they are in a difficult place where unforeseen stressors stand in the way of progress. Women facing emergency circumstances can find food, hygiene items, MetroCards, baby supplies, bill assistance, and emergency shelter support at WPA.
We honor each woman's experience and empower her to make supportive community connections.
Women seeking jobs become the narrators of their own career-focused stories through WPA’s work readiness and employment program. Participants are empowered to enter the workforce with confidence through multifaceted trainings, connection to paid internships, and jobs that match their skills and interests. Once employed, WPA remains a consistent source of support to both the participant and the employer.
WPA offers on-site legal services, primarily in family law, including child custody cases. Additionally, we assist women in understanding and navigating other civil legal issues, including employment and housing discrimination and domestic violence.
Program participants are often inspired to tell their personal stories to make change, so we offer leadership and media trainings that prepare women to share their stories at events, in writing, and in the news to raise awareness through the lens of those most affected by the system.
We believe the arts cultivate safe spaces where women can find sisterhood, relief, and liberation as they reflect on their personal experiences and connect to their inner artist. Through regular workshops, women experiment with a wide range of materials and ideas, which transform jail cells and shelter walls into galleries of self-expression. As women open up, their needs are shared and WPA is there to support them.