For ten years, Paula L. Whitman, Psy.D. LLP, worked for the Salvation Army Harbor Light in Monroe, MI, and witnessed the struggles of many women. At the facility, there was a very low success rate for women with addictions, and upon investigation, it appeared these women would fare better if they had a support network and a safe place to go while they learned a trade, improved their education, reunited with their families, and were given therapeutic assistance.
It didn’t take long for Paula to realize that no one would take her serious about this project as she was new to recovery and she had a high school education. Therefore, she began to pursue improving her education and when she graduated with her master’s degree in 1999, she began seeking potential board members to assist her in making her dream become a reality.
Together, the original founding board members of Women Empowering Women, Inc. stood strong against the city and fearful neighbors until they were they were able to find an appropriate house. She graduated with her doctorate degree in psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Farmington Hills, MI, in August of 2004 and, with permission from the city, the house opened in September 2004.
In 2006, Women Empowering Women, Inc., was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Housing of Urban Development, and with the support of our community has been able to expand providing services to women with their children.
Our Mission is to empower homeless women as they make the transition from treatment and/or incarceration to an independent lifestyle, in a homelike environment. We hope to assist women in reconstructing their lives and returning to our community with skills that allow them to be self-sufficient. Our goal is to reduce the occurrence of relapse and stop the "revolving door" of incarceration.
What We've Achieved
- We are accredited through the Council on Accreditation.
- Paula's house has helped 331 women and over 80 children since opening in 2004. (As of September 2017)
- Paula's House can currently house 30 women and 23 children at a time
- As of November 25th, 2017, we've had 14 babies born substance-free.
- 23 women have been reunified with their children since August of 2013