On March 1, 1976, the Women's Center of San Joaquin County opened its doors. The Center evolved out of the initiative, planning and dedication of eight local women who realized there was not a central place in the community where women and children in crisis could turn to for information, encouragement, and support. They dreamed of a center where women could meet and make friends, share concerns, participate in workshops and discussions, and receive resources and support for family violence and abuse.
After six months of planning, these women incorporated as the Women’s Center Coalition, rented space in the First Congregational Church of Stockton, raised $275 at a garage sale, and opened the Women’s Center of Stockton. When it opened, the Tracy Press reported: “There is a new source of energy in Stockton, a place where the action never seems to quit.” In November 1976, the center was granted non-profit status under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Services expanded quickly and in 1979, the agency changed its name to the Women’s Center of San Joaquin County to reflect the county- wide scope of services provided.
The energy and the dedication of the agency’s staff, volunteers and Board of Directors, as well as the support of the community, has propelled the Center from its modest beginnings to its current status as a major provider of social services to the women in San Joaquin County, with an annual operating budget of approximately $2.0million. The agency continues to be the sole certified provider of crisis intervention services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in San Joaquin County, and operates the only undisclosed emergency shelters for battered women and their children.Please see our Milestones page for more details on our growth and accomplishments over the years.