What is Women Sanctuary?
Women Sanctuary is a new, nonprofit, community building wellness center.  We aim to serve any woman in or around Rochester that is looking for support, empowerment, or just to hang out and make friends!  This center is for everyone, and we mean everyone!  We have senior citizens, single moms, working moms, stay at home moms, child-free women, women who work from home, women on disability or with physical/emotional disabilities, and refugees all come into our center and enjoy each other’s company.  Our aim is to bring all different types of people together and we value diversity.

Is there a cost associated with the classes, and will there be going forward?
We are trying out a “free model” where all classes, activities, and groups are free to everyone.  We are relying on grants, business solicitations, and individual donations to stay open.  Ideally, we will continue this model, but if necessary, we may have to charge nominal fees in the future to stay open.

What does “child friendly” mean? Can I bring my child to classes? Can I drop off my child for any classes?
Children are never allowed in Women Sanctuary without adult supervision.  Most classes are “child friendly” though, meaning children are welcome to attend classes with a parent or caregiver.  Some classes are specifically for children, such as mom’s meeting, family movie night, and story time, though we also welcome children at coffee hour, jewelry making, and some events.

We ask that young children do NOT attend any support groups, healthy relationships, or holistic health classes.  If you have an older child who can participate in a 20 minute guided meditation, a 45 minute tai chi class, or a 45 minute, silent gong sound bath, you are welcome to bring them as participants, but children cannot be left to play while parents are participating in these classes out of respect for other community members.

If you have questions as to whether a child would be welcome at a specific class or event, feel free to contact us.

What are the volunteer opportunities available?
We have a variety of volunteer opportunities that fit anyone’s schedule!  You can learn more about volunteering by visiting our volunteer page or contacting us for more information.  Our schedule is always up to date with volunteer trainings listed, committee meetings that are open to all, board meetings for interested members, and fundraising opportunities we could always use help with.

How can I teach a class?
If you are interested in teaching a class at Women Sanctuary, we ask for a regular commitment of weekly, twice a month, or monthly classes offered for a minimum of 3 months.  We require our staff volunteers to complete a volunteer application, consent to a background check, and attend a volunteer training session (offered about once a month for about an hour.  Check our schedule for the next training session).  After completing all necessary steps, volunteers can begin offering classes and meet the other volunteer staff at Women Sanctuary!

Who teaches the classes?
We have over a dozen volunteers who help us run our community center.  Check out our volunteer bio page for more information about our devoted volunteer staff.

May I make a donation?
Of course!  We are completely supported by grants, fundraisers, and individual contributions.  Click here to donate today!

Where can I find a schedule of classes/information about teachers?
Our schedule is always up to date with class offerings, and you can read more about our diverse offerings here.  You can read about who teaches classes on our volunteer bio page.

How do you handle confidentiality?
We collect some sensitive data through our center and consider confidentiality to be of most importance.  All confidential materials are kept in a locked desk in the locked back office, with only key administrative staff having access to them.  All volunteers sign confidentiality agreements.  Our support groups are run by a marriage and family counseling student intern, who is well versed in confidentiality laws.  All support group members also sign a confidentiality form so what is said in group stays in group.

We also have all members sign a photo release when entering our center.  If you mark “no” on the release, we put you on a “no photo” list and no one at the center should ever take your picture or post anything of you online.

Are men allowed at Women Sanctuary?
Yes!  We have had men at a variety of events, and currently have a male volunteer staff member.  Men volunteer and are welcome to apply for board positions or sit on committees at Women Sanctuary.  Although we welcome men and do not wish to exclude someone who could benefit from our services, our support group is a women only space where men are not allowed to participate.  This is for the safety and comfort of all our women.  Although our policy is to welcome men, in general you will find that the day to day classes and groups at Women Sanctuary are all attended by women. If you ever have a safety concern about having a man in a class, please contact jennie@womensanctuary.org and we will promptly address the concern.