History

Connected to Community

Champaign-Urbana is a generous community with a deep commitment to its most vulnerable members. Indeed, the legacy agencies of Courage Connection began as grassroots, volunteer-run responses to local needs.

In 1971, A Woman’s Place (AWP) opened as the first battered women’s shelter in Illinois. This shelter, operated by A Woman’s Fund, was started by a volunteer collective. It operated as an independent agency until 2010.

Meanwhile, in the early 1980’s another group of determined citizens and social service providers came together to address CU’s lack of homeless facilities for women and children. The Women’s Emergency Shelter of Champaign County (WESCC) opened in June, 1985.

Over time, both agencies grew, added services, and saved lives. WESCC became The Center for Women in Transition and added additional shelters and a resale store to its operations.

Connected in Service

In 2010, The Center for Women in Transition acquired A Woman’s Place, thereby ensuring that life-saving domestic violence services would continue to be available in Champaign County. This alliance created a powerful continuum of services, connecting women in need to everything from emergency shelter to affordable permanent housing through one agency.

Connected to You

Today, Courage Connection celebrates the legacy of its parent organizations while focusing on a strong future for our clients and our community. As a member of the Champaign-Urbana Continuum of Care, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and other community collaborations, Courage Connection is committed to identifying and addressing the growing and changing needs in our community. We are always guided by our mission: to help individuals and families achieve safety, stability and self-sufficiency.