Created in 1973, the St. John’s Women’s Centre is the charitable non-profit arm of the St. John’s Status of Women Council. Throughout its long history, the Women’s Centre was instrumental in opening the first transition house for women fleeing domestic violence and was home to the first rape crisis centre in the province.
The Women’s Centre (SJSWC) is dedicated to providing FREE community-based programs delivered within a safe, non-judgmental, open, and caring environment. All of our programs and services are person-centred and for women and non-binary people in and around St. John’s. The Women’s Centre offers support and programs on many issues, including social isolation, mental health, violence, marginalization, poverty, housing, trauma, and system navigation. We aim to provide opportunities for personal growth, empowerment, and social connection.
Monthly Program Calendar
Right Here, Right Now: drop-in or call-in counselling program
What: Right Here, Right Now counselling is a program that provides single session therapy to women and non-binary people (18 and over) in the St. John’s area.
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 12pm-5:30p.m. Evening appointments are available – please call by 5:00 to make an appointment for that evening.
Where: 170 Cashin Avenue Extension. Our building is wheelchair accessible and has accessible parking. Counselling is also available on Zoom or by phone, by calling 753-0220.
What should I expect? No appointment or referral is required. Simply come in or call during the above hours to receive counselling. The process usually takes about 1.5 hours. We see folks on a first come-first serve basis and do our best to accommodate everyone who shows up.
What can I talk about? Women and non-binary people can talk about any issues that are impacting their daily lives. Folks often come with various concerns, for example: personal or job stress, emotional and mental health issues, grief and loss, the stresses of poverty, alcohol and drug use, separation and divorce, intimate partner violence/domestic violence, gendered/2SLGBTQ+ issues, and others.
Using a feminist, strengths-based, trauma informed approach, our groups are designed to work with women who have experienced or are experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Women can self-refer to any of our groups by calling the Women’s Centre or referrals can also come from social workers, government and/or community agencies. When funding is available women receive often crucial transportation and childcare stipends.
Empowering Ourselves: Exploring Intimate Partner Abuse
Funded by the provincial Department of Justice and Public Safety, this closed, eight-week support/psychoeducational group is designed specifically for women who have recently experienced or are currently experiencing intimate partner violence. Each session is specifically designed to embark on important conversations about IPV and its impact on women, while also providing an opportunity for women to build community and find supports and resources. This group is offered in the spring, fall, and winter of each year.
Helping Mothers Thrive
This closed, eight-week support group is designed to support mothers whose parenting has been impacted by intimate partner violence. Through facilitator and peer support, women will have the opportunity to rediscover their skills and strengths, explore new parenting skills, and identify the challenges IPV can have on family dynamics, whether women are currently in or out of the relationship. Women must have had prior support through individual or group counselling on the issue of intimate partner violence.
Clothing Boutique Program & Personal Care Pantry Program
Our Clothing Boutique Program is available to all women and non-binary people in the St. John’s area. Appointments are available monthly on Thursdays 10:30am-3:30pm. All items are FREE! This program has been a great resource to those experiencing homelessness, living on fixed or low incomes, experiencing violence, or simply seeking something new to wear.
Distributed through the Clothing Boutique, the Personal Care Pantry Program provides an array of hygiene products for women and their families free of charge. On average, approximately 750 appointments are made annually, not including numerous emergency referrals. Gently used clothing and new personal care items are donated to the Centre regularly by the caring community and as-needed drives.
Offered bi-weekly on Thursdays 2pm-3pm and serves tea/coffee with a nutritious snack. Participants are encouraged to network, socialize, with old and new friends as well as connect with staff and volunteers.
Let’s Talk Series: Information Sessions and Workshops
See monthly calendar for schedule of session topics. Information sessions and activities on a range of topics, including digital safety, stress & cultivating resilience, nurturing ourselves, healthy living, mindfulness, diet culture & body image, heart health, diabetes, relationships and consent, these workshops offer an opportunity to engage and connect on a variety of topics affecting women’s lives. Zoom link will be sent out through email once you have registered.
The St. John’s Women’s Centre offers a variety of free programs that encompass mind, body, and soul. Our holistic programs aim to build strength, tap into one’s personal energy, are designed to heal, uplift, and inspire, and leave participants feeling empowered. Our workshops encourage the opportunity to spark creativity, skill build and connect through with self through art and expression. These are held monthly throughout the year.
Pre-Release Program at the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women
Every five weeks, a staff member visits the Correctional Centre in Clarenville, Newfoundland (140 km west of St. John’s) as part of their pre-release process to talk about programs in the community. The Clothing Boutique and Personal Care Pantry Program have been great resources for women transitioning back into the community from the Correctional Centre. In addition to providing much-needed clothing and personal items, visits to the Women’s Centre following release help prevent the isolation and loneliness that often result in recidivism.
We will continue to offer interesting and inspiring programs to all women and non binary people in a safe, supportive space. Some additional examples of the Women’s Centre’s recent programs and projects are:
Mindfulness workshops, walking/running clubs (seasonal), crafts, floral arrangement workshops (twice a year), violence awareness, music programs, healthy living and mental health information sessions, menopause discussions, vision boarding workshops, and much more. There is always something new happening at the St. John’s Women’s Centre.