Gary Commission for Women

PURPOSE:

The Gary Commission for Women, acts as an advocate for women.  We operate a trauma informed care emergency shelter, the Rainbow-Ark shelter that caters to women and their children who are homeless or victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We also provide shelter to men who are victims of domestic violence.

We provide education and outreach on the topics of homelessness, domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, and numerous issues with special interest to women within the community. We provide outreach and education via written material, presentations, media contact and seminars/conferences.

MISSION STATEMENT OF GARY COMMISSION FOR WOMEN:

The mission of the Commission is to ensure that women, who are residents of the City of Gary, the utilization of their talents and full realization of their rights as citizens. Through this Commission, we educate the community on issues of special interest to women, using presentations, media contacts, written material and conferences.

SHELTER PROGRAM AND SERVICES:

The Rainbow-Ark Shelter is a 21-45-day program for women and their children affected by homelessness, domestic violence or sexual assault. We also provide emergency respite for men who are affected by domestic violence. We provide the following programming:

  • Crisis intervention and safety planning
  • Housing, income, employment, and educational resources
  • We provide daily living needs (such as food, toiletries, and emergency clothing)
  • Individual and group support
  • Life skills training in goal-setting, budgeting, and parenting
  • Legal advocacy to include court orders, protection orders and immigration
  • Referrals and linkages to social service agencies and entitlement programs
  • Education and information about the dynamics and effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, and the homelessness cycle
  • Specialized services for children who have witnessed domestic violence
  • We also provide out-client services and support group to clients as a form of aftercare once they depart from the shelter

MISSION STATEMENT OF THE RAINBOW-ARK SHELTER:

We provide residential and non-residential services, advocacy, resources, and referral to individuals who are homeless or victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. We also strive to educate our clients and the public on the issues of domestic violence and homelessness.

VISION STATEMENT OF THE RAINBOW-ARK SHELTER:

We envision a community where domestic violence and sexual assault are a distant memory and healthy relationships prosper. We endeavor to put an end to homelessness, by teaching economic solvency, self-sufficiency, and assisting citizens to find permanent and affordable housing.

SHELTER REFERRALS:

We accept 24 hour referrals for entrance into the shelter for victims of homelessness, domestic violence or sexual assault. Victims of homelessness must be residents of the City of Gary and have valid picture identification. Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault do not have to reside in the City of Gary, nor have accessible picture identification at the time of entrance. All persons needing shelter must personally contact the shelter themselves and speak with a client advocate for bed availability and address location. Male children must be under 18 years of age. Please call 219-886-1600 for bed availability.

DENIALS OF SHELTER:

We can’t accept clients that have committed the following in our program, or other programs: listed on the sexual offender registry, have threatened the safety of staff and others physically or with their actions, have committed a sexual assault, committed fraud or theft against a client, staff, or program, or used and/or threatened to use weapons against another client or staff.

DONATIONS TO GARY COMMISSION FOR WOMEN OR RAINBOW-ARK SHELTER:

We receive many requests from individuals who would like to donate to the women’s shelter. The shelter is a confidential, safe and secure location for clients, thus the address and location is shielded. We do not and can’t accept any walk up donations to the shelter facility directly. Rest assured, your donation will be utilized as you deem fit, to the clients in the shelter. Please call the Administrative office at 219-883-4155, in order to discuss donation of items.

 

If your donation is accepted, you will be asked to complete a contribution form at the time of delivery. After we receive your donation, the Commission for Women must get the donation approved by the Gary Common Council prior to being able to disseminate them.

 

The Commission for Women will only be able to accept the following types of donations:

  • Household Items: New kitchen, bath, and other household items. Sheets, towels, and other linens must be new and unused.
  • Clothing and Shoes: New seasonally appropriate women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing. Undergarments, undershirts, socks, hats, pantyhose and dressy clothes.
  • Cleaning supplies: New, unopened household cleaners, mops, and sponges
  • Personal care items: New, unopened personal care items such as soap, shampoo, and toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, especially sanitary napkins and pads.
  • Children’s items: New or like-new toys and books; new, unopened boxes of diapers, wipes, formula and other baby supplies.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept any stuffed/soft toys
  • Bus passes: To assist with barriers to transportation
  • Baby Items: Strollers, new car seats, clothing, shampoo, lotion, and clothing
  • Non-perishable food, can goods, or wrapped unexpired/undamaged food items (no leftover catered meals or cooked food)
  • Check or money orders to the Rainbow-Ark Shelter with it notated in the memo how you want your donation utilized (i.e. general operating or for a specific purpose)