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Womens Center & Shelter

Achieving Safety and Independence


When a woman comes into shelter, her immediate safety is the first priority. Once safety is established, she can begin to work with Women’s Center & Shelter (WC&S) staff to get back on her feet. Through a network of more than 100 collaborative partners, WC&S staff works to connect clients to community resources that can assist them in achieving safe and independent lives.

Because perpetrators of abuse frequently control access to all financial resources, utility assistance is an area where help is often needed. One of our key partners, Peoples Natural Gas, has social workers on staff who understand the dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV). Whether a WC&S client has outstanding utility bills, or they’re establishing new service for the very first time, we can connect them with a Peoples Natural Gas social worker who will assist them.

Abuse in a relationship can cause stress in the victim’s life in countless ways. Once the basic need for food, clothing and shelter is met, victims can begin to heal emotionally, regaining their confidence and self-esteem.  It is important for women to know that when they seek help through WC&S, they will be connected with the resources they need to help them rebuild their lives.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has special procedures and protections with respect to utility companies for victims of abuse who have Protection From Abuse Orders. Some of the protections include: service cannot be turned off during the winter without approval from the PUC; a special payment arrangement may be available; service cannot be terminated the day before a weekend or holiday; may not have to pay a security deposit or may have the opportunity to pay the deposit over a 3 month period. For complete details, click here to visit our website to download the PUC “Know Your Rights” booklet

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