Tammy Abernethy: Hope Women's Center
In this episode, we chat with Tammy Abernethy, the CEO of Hope Women’s Center. The center holds classes and support groups for women and teen girls to receive encouragement and support as they go through difficult life situations. During our conversation, Tammy shares her motivation to work at the center, her journey into the leadership role, and how their center has been affected by COVID-19.
Tammy Abernethy is the CEO of Hope Women’s Center. The center exists to encourage, engage, and equip women and teen girls facing difficult life situations. They offer classes, support groups, and one-on-one mentoring. They serve women in domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, unplanned pregnancy, addiction, or any other difficult life events. All of their services are free to these women.
When her children were 5 years old and 18 months old, Tammy went through a difficult divorce, and it shaped her thoughts and feelings around supporting other single mothers. She found her passion was in helping others and using her gifts to lift women in these situations. She says most of her job consists of talking to others, spreading the good work of the center, and seeking donors to help continue the growth.
At this time, Hope Women’s Center has five locations in Arizona. When Tammy joined on as the CEO, they had one center, and it has grown significantly since she started 7 years ago. About 90% of the work that gets done at the center is done by volunteers. She felt it was very important that they offer free childcare while mothers come to take classes and receive support. Her goal is to break down as many barriers for women being able to visit Hope Women’s Center.
How COVID has affected their center:
“We started crisis counseling during COVID, because we saw that was a need. We were seeing a lot of women coming in, struggling with mental health needs - very isolated - and they didn’t have the funding or resources to be able to get private counseling. We were able to have some donors come along to support that, and we were able to hire a licensed counselor that now provides the crisis counseling.”
The importance of design in each location:
“Safety is a big component for us, because when women are coming out of trauma and abuse, we want them to feel safe. We designed the space to be beautiful, warm, and inviting. Even our commercial spaces are still designed to be very warm and inviting.”
Why they share the stories of women from the center:
“The transformation in a life is what tells the story of what we do...The womens’ stories will inspire you to hear what they have overcome. It’s incredible. They give me so much courage and strength, just listening to their stories - what they’ve overcome, how they are coming back from healing from trauma, and how they are really trying to make a difference for their children.”
Learn more about Hope Women’s Center here: https://hopewomenscenter.org/