Women to Women…Resources with an Empowerment Approach

Thursday, May 3, from 2 pm to 4 pm

by Nicola Burnell

If you haven't accessed the resources of Cape Cod's HOW, WE CAN, and Independence House, you probably know somebody who has. As a former client of a couple of these organizations myself, I can honestly say that they can be life savers when you need support the most.

The Women to Women discussion, sponsored by Seashore Point, in Provincetown, will feature representatives from each of these organizations, providing a fantastic opportunity for women on Cape Cod to discover just how much support, education and networking is available to them, RIGHT NOW.

This is not a lecture, it is a conversation held in a safe and open forum that will focus on issues that arise in the day to day lives of women. If you aren't sure how these organizations can help you, then this is your chance to ask questions. If you have already accessed these resources and want to share your experiences, then join us! The goal of this event is to inform, inspire and reach out to women who may be feeling disconnected or unsure of their options.

Working with WE CAN and Independence House on this event, we hope to inform participants about resources, while we learn from them what we can do to help them respond to their challenges," explains Irene Rabinowitz, Executive Director of HOW.

"Seashore Point is hosting this event which is very appropriate; since they opened, they have become an integral part of health and human services provision on the lower Cape."

Established in 1993, HOW's focus is on providing services to women living with serious illnesses on the outer Cape. HOW's mission is to educate, empower and support women as they cope with chronic disease and life threatening illnesses. With an open policy, HOW provides referrals and advocacy to all community members.

"Our services are designed to assist our clients in maintaining a decent quality of life as they are faced with all the things that happen when illness strikes, such as poverty and loss of control over day to day life. Illness does not happen in a vacuum; the day to day struggles that many women face on the Cape do not go away and are even harder to deal with when they become ill."

Irene is passionate about getting the word out to Cape Women that HOW is a service available to them. "Our philosophy of assisting women to empower themselves, despite their challenges, means that we have an obligation to provide clear information about what resources are available that can help them cope with the issues that are disrupting their lives." The Women to Women discussion gives Irene an opportunity to do just this.

For more information about Helping Our Women visit

Andi Genser, Executive Director of WE CAN - Women's Empowerment through Cape Area Networking - is looking forward to participating with Helping our Women and Independence House in the Upcoming Women to Women event.

"As three sister organizations that provide a broad array of services to women, we know that sharing information about what we provide as well as how we approach our work will be both empowering to those attending and will allow us to learn more about the resources we each offer."

Since 2001, WE CAN has been empowering Cape Cod women of all ages to successfully navigate challenging life transitions such as career change, job loss, illness, retirement, divorce, isolation or personal loss.

It doesn't matter what a client is looking for. When a woman walks through their doors, located on Main Street, in Harwichport, they become part of a dynamic network of women who resemble nothing less than a sisterhood.

The staff and volunteers either connect the client to the right resource, or they refer them to another Cape Cod resource that can help to address their needs like HOW or Independence House. In response to their clients' needs, WE CAN has developed workshops and services that offer information and referrals, mentoring, legal services, workshops training and support groups.

The Women to Women event is an opportunity for these organizations to share who they are, what they do and ask what more can theydo for Cape Women.

"We welcome hearing from community members about their concerns, gaps in services and how we can continue to improve upon what we already offer," explains Andi. "As one of our program participants said recently: "Because of WE CAN, I can!"

Here are some of the programs WE CAN currently offer Cape Women and they are all FREE!

"Job ready" Computer Training

Financial Empowerment sessions

PathMakers ten-month mentoring program

From Surviving to Thriving, a 6-week program designed to bring women out from behind what holds them back

Divorce Support Group

Refurbished laptops are also available to WE CAN clients in need, through a special collaboration with the Geek Girls organization, For more information visit www.wecancenter.org

"Women to Women…Resources with an Empowerment Approach"

will be held on Thursday, May 3rd
from 2 pm to 4 pm

at Seashore Point,
100 Alden Street, Provincetown

Established in 1979, Independence House, Inc. serves as Cape Cod's counseling, advocacy and resource center for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children.

Full and part-time staff support Independence House along with the assistance of many dedicated volunteers who help clients re-establish lives free of fear and violence with a philosophy of empowerment and self-help.

All services are free and confidential.

All services are available in Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.

Independence House is accessible to people of all ages, sexual orientations, cultures and languages.

Independence House consists of many different programs dedicated to providing free and confidential services for victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children. Clients are encouraged to work with a counselor who can help determine which services may be most beneficial.

Clients learn skills needed to regain self-confidence, make informed decisions and initiate changes in their lives. Knowledgeable staff provides information about access to resources and teach clients how to use the courts, social services, housing and other community agencies to help clients regain their independence.

The mission of Independence House is to help all domestic violence and sexual assault victims, survivors and their children by creating opportunities to find safety and become empowered through crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, referral, outreach, education and inspiring change in our community.

For more information visit

Nicola Burnell is the Publisher and a contributing writer for this magazine. In addition to writing her own novel, she teaches novel writing classes through Nauset Community Education. As part of the Cape Women in the Community initiative, she also teaches a series of creativity development classes, including the Artist's Way, and has been a Reiki practitioner and Personal Empowerment workshop leader for over fifteen years.

Nicola is a member in Letters of the National League of American Pen Women and is Historian of the Cape Cod Branch.

Nicola is now offering a variety of FUN Events and Writing Retreats on Cape Cod. She will be offering Writing and Artist Retreats at Casa della Quercia, an historic villa in Northern Tuscany, in the Spring of 2013.

For details about any of her Classes, Events or Workshops, email Nicola@CapeWomenOnline.com. You can also follow her blog "Nic's Novel Project" and on Twitter.

Nicola lives in Harwich with her two sons and several pets.

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