On March 1, 1976, The Women's Center of San Joaquin County opened its doors. The Center evolved out of the initiative, planning and dedication of eight local women who realized there was not a central place in the community where women and children in crisis could turn to for information, encouragement, and support. They dreamed of a center where women could meet and make friends, share concerns, participate in workshops and discussions, and receive resources and support for family violence and abuse.
After six months of planning, these women incorporated as the Women’s Center Coalition, rented space in the First Congregational Church of Stockton, raised $275 at a garage sale, and opened the Women’s Center of Stockton. When it opened, the Tracy Press reported: “There is a new source of energy in Stockton, a place where the action never seems to quit.” In November 1976, the center was granted non-profit status under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Services expanded quickly and in 1979, the agency changed its name to The Women’s Center of San Joaquin County to reflect the county-wide scope of services provided. From 1976 - 2012, The Women's Center of San Joaquin County provided services and shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
On July 1, 2012, Family and Youth Services (FAYS) merged with The Women’s Center of San Joaquin County to become Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services (WCYFS). Prior to the merger, FAYS served homeless youth in San Joaquin and surrounding counties for more than 40 years, giving young people the safety, support and positive options they need to improve their lives. WCYFS has a budget of $3.9 million, and a staff of 60 providing services at 11 program sites throughout San Joaquin County.
PREVAIL is San Joaquin County’s primary provider of shelter and services specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless and runaway youth and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. PREVAIL serves more than 20,000 individuals annually through its direct services and community outreach, including more than 600 women, children and youth who stay in our shelters each year.