Highlights From Our Past
1977 – The Women’s Survival Center
1978 – The first women’s employment program
1980 – The first substance abuse treatment program designed specifically for women
1980 – The first emergency home repair program for elders
1985 – Changed name to The Centre for Women
1997 – Founding partner with the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network
1999 – Founding partner to establish Elderlink Consortium
1999 – Assumed management of Family Service Association
2001 – Built and opened The Centre for Girls
2002 – Attained accreditation from The Joint Commission
2003 – One of 10 Finalists in the First National Business Plan Competition for NonProfit Organizations by the Yale School of Management
2003 – One of four organizations to be selected by Oprah’s Angels Network to receive a contribution
2006 – Purchased 12,000 sq. ft. warehouse to increase capabilities of SHIP
2006 – First recipient of Humana’s Tampa Bay Benefits Award of $100,000
2007 – Approved by State to participate in BRITE research project
2013 – The Women’s Business Centre Opens
2014 – The Centre for Women Becomes The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women
2014 – The Centre holds Inaugural Waves of Change Luncheon with Gloria Steinem
2014 – The SBA Funds The Women’s Business Centre and it becomes part of a National Network of WBCS.
2015 – Women Building Futures Launches to Train Women in Construction
2018 – The Centre for Women Hosts the National Conference of Women’s Business Centers.
2018 – Florida Blue Funds Wellness Emprise Initiative for College Students
2018 – The Centre for Women Opens Office at HCC Brandon
2019 – Employment Services Renamed Tampa Bay Works for Women
2020 – Girls Services Relocates to Hyde Park as Centre for Girls Closes
2020 – Tampa Bay Business Journal Designates The Centre for Women as one of the best nonprofits in Tampa.
In 1995 at the request of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court, The Centre entered a new arena and developed services for girls who had come to the attention of law enforcement. An increasing number of girls were being seen in the juvenile justice system. The interventions that had been effective for years with boys were not working, there were no existing gender specific services for girls in the community, and the courts assumption was that The Centre for Women would know how to work with girls. We initiated an interim program for the Court while we began to research what issues were important to girls, what type of assistance they thought would be helpful and a design to which they would positively respond.
The literature had recently begun to report the importance of gender specific services for girls, but the nuts and bolts of the services we created for girls were developed from running after school discussion groups for middle school girls for over a year. The emphasis of girls’ services is prevention, and the methods of intervention are psycho-educational groups, discussion groups for parents, family activities and a recently constructed facility, The Centre for Girls. Through the various programs, the girls we serve range in age from ten to eighteen.
The Centre for Women assumed the management and control of another nonprofit, Family Service Association of Greater Tampa. The Family Service Board determined that the organization was too small to afford an independent infrastructure, and felt The Centre had a comparable philosophy and complementary services. Family Service, the second oldest charitable organization in Hillsborough County, was established in 1907. Though its name and role changed numerous times through these many years, it has become a highly respected counseling organization for the past thirty years. In addition to its sliding fee scale, Family Service also has Employee Assistance contracts and is approved by a number of insurance carriers.
All of our programs promote independence and self-sufficiency, but in different ways, depending on the needs of the target population. Along the way, we realized that our current name created confusion –and research validated this — among those we serve and those who support our organization. So, in 2010, it was time to revisit our name so that we could better convey our mission, our programs, and our compelling story. The updated name, The Centre, reflects and preserves our deep history and good reputation in the Tampa Bay community while acknowledging our wide range of services and success in changing lives.
The Centre is a nonprofit organization that serves over 3,000 women, girls, families and seniors each year with programs such as individual and family counseling, employment preparation, small business development, and home repairs and rehabs for low-income seniors.
Remembering Helen Gordon Davis
Champion of the Disenfranchised and Beloved Founder of The Centre for Women
It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved founder, Helen Gordon Davis. As we celebrate her life, we are filled with immense gratitude for her remarkable foresight as a champion for civil and women’s rights. She stood up for all women, particularly those who had no political voice or social influence.