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Center for Women shuts down

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The Center for Women, which focused on educating and advocating for Charleston-area women for nearly 30 years, closed its doors last month after the nonprofit’s board said competition for financial support made it impossible to sustain operations.

Sonya Wyatt, the center’s board president, said in a news release that the decision came after a lot of exploration and strategic planning.

“On behalf of the entire board, we would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the center over the years and who has been a part of the impact that the center has had in our communities,” she said.

According to the center’s 2017 tax forms, the most recent available, the nonprofit spent $185,521 more than it raised that year, and ended 2017 with $548,262 in assets. In 2016, the Center for Women spent $53,629 more than it raised and ended the year with $759,567 in assets.

YWCA Greater Charleston is considering taking over some of the Center for Women’s programming, according to the release. The programs include SheStrong, a program that provides skill-building and community service opportunities for high school-aged women, and Connect the Dots, a monthly lunch and learn series that features local speakers on personal growth, professional development and community engagement.

Members of the Center for Women will have their membership transferred to YWCA Greater Charleston through the end of 2019.

LaVanda Brown, executive director of the YWCA, said in the release that she is sad to see the Center for Women close.

“At the same time, we are glad to see this exemplary organization complete its many years of service on a strong note,” Brown said. “We look forward to continuing the Center for Women’s legacy, and hope that both its members and the community know that in us they still have a safe, strong, and welcoming place to come support the cause of women’s empowerment.”

The Center for Women was founded in 1990 as The Center for Women in Transition. Established initially as a counseling center, the organization aimed to help women develop skills for personal growth, productiveness and general well-being.

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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