07 Jan 40th Anniversary Letter
Happy New Year and happy 40th Anniversary to WTLC! When the Women’s Transitional Living Center was founded in 1976, we were operating on shoestring budget and could only offer a support environment and emergency shelter for women and children who had survived situations of domestic violence. Â Despite these odds,Â in the first nine months WTLC had served 236 women and children and provide 675 referrals.
Our founding was not easy. The Women’s Transitional Living Center was the dream of several members of the Orange County Chapter of the National Organization for Women who wereÂ tired of seeing “women and children spending nights in cars in parking lots.”Â Beginning with a groundbreaking survey of community members in June 1974, it became apparent thatÂ resources for survivors of domestic violence survivors in Orange County were “virtually non-existent.”
Despite these odds, the Women’s Transitional Living Center opened its doors and gradually grew from an emergency shelter to multiservice organization dedicating to ending the cycle of violence through multiple levels of housing, community education, counseling, and advocacy.Â Today, we continue to break new ground.Â WTLC serves those who otherwise struggle to find services – re-entry victims coming out of the prison system, victims with ongoing mental illness problems, victims struggling with alcohol and drug addition, transgender victims, and emancipated youth. Sadly, no other domestic violence shelter in Orange County will accept these populations.Â Over the years, supporters like you have given us the opportunity to HONOR, EMPOWER, and RESTART the lives of countless survivors who had no other place to go.Â Thank you!
Founded by trailblazers, WTLC is proud to be theÂ oldest domestic violence shelter in Orange County and the third in the United States.Â As WTLC looks towards the next 40 years, we are excited and encouraged by our progress. However, there is still so much to be done. We hope you will join us on thisÂ journey. Please visit our website atÂ www.WTLC.orgÂ to find out more.Â
Gigi Tsontos,Â Executive Director