Women's Resource Center going through 'rebirth,' say leaders

Oct 12, 2016

Credit Women's Resource Center

For over 40 years, the Women’s Resource Center in Traverse City has provided shelter and relief to victims of domestic violence. The center operates a crisis hotline and a 22-bed shelter, among other services.

But the Women’s Resource Center has recently come under criticism. Former employees say a new management style has led to the departure of many experienced workers, and some services have been cut.

Executive Director Juliette Schultz says the rate of staff turnover at the Women’s Resource Center has been about 11 percent since she took over in 2013, which is about average for non-profits.

She says that due to cuts in government and grant funding, the center has been forced to reevaluate its mission.

“We’ve been struggling for years with state and federal funding not being reliable revenue resources,” says Schultz. “So what we did was [ask], ‘where are our revenue streams?’”

Schultz says the center has put more resources into its thrift shop, which now contributes more than 35 percent of its budget of nearly $2 million.

Schultz and Women’s Resource Center board member Jessica Wheaton say the center is going through a period of “rebirth.” They spoke to IPR’s Aaron Selbig about the criticisms they’ve received and the direction of the organization.