Spokane shelter helps women 'uncork' keys to success




Posted on April 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 7:09 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane shelter is running short on funds.

Transitions is s safe haven for women and children to use during the day and to get off the streets. Now, the Inland Northwest chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is stepping up to help the women in need.

It’s not an overnight shelter and it’s not where women go to get fed. It’s a place for women living on the edge of poverty to find new beginnings.

Women in Transitions often face the unthinkable. They’re living on the streets, battling addictions and wondering where they’ll turn next.

“I’ve been at my bottom. When I first got here, I was bad into my addiction and they kept praying. And every time I walked in, they smiled and loved me for who I was, even though I was in a bad place,” Carrie Wesolek said.

Wesolek walked into Transitions in 2005, desperately wanting help.

“I came here so shy and withdrawn, and so sick of my life. But there was a light here that I didn’t find anywhere else,” she said.

Nearly 70 women come in everyday, hoping to build relationships and learn the skills for success. The non-profit receives some state and federal funding, but its reserve is running dry. Transitions is down by more than $100,000.

“We’re keeping women out of jail, with full bellies. Keeping them showered. Giving them a safe place to be so they aren’t on street corners,” Development Director Mary Tracey said.

NAWBO is committed to the effort. Even Organizer Darrelle Volwiler wants to raise money to keep the doors open for the women.

“They are a group of women struggling, trying to get on their feet. That’s what NAWBO is all about: helping women get on their feet, and helping them with careers and businesses,” she said.

Women using Transitions say it’s about changing and helping each other in life.

“There’s no competition here. Just a bunch of ladies going for the same goals: housing and survival. They just want to make it in the world,” Wesolek said. “If the community didn’t donate, we would have nothing.”

NAWBO is sponsoring a wine tasting fundraiser for Transitions called Uncorked, set for Friday, April 19. Ten percent of the proceeds go directly to the Transitions facility. Click here for more information.