Women’s independence


CCI’s Women’s Independence Program, a workforce development program, offers a 3 tiered training series that connects assessment, supportive services, soft-skills education, workforce skills training and employer specific training and opportunities.

Our Women’s Independence Program envisions a community in which all women and parents are empowered
to achieve the economic needs of their families, without at the same time having
to worry about meeting their basic needs.

Additionally, case managers work individually with shelter guests and community clients to assist them in securing income through the workforce and public funding sources.

CCI’s Women’s Independence Program focuses on:

Soft skills for the workplace

Job readiness training

Resume/cover letter writing and interviewing skills

Direct training in hospitality and other service industries

Homeless women and families have unique needs related to securing income for housing.

There is a clear service gap for this population. CCI’s new workforce initiative was developed to help increase income for both housing and food security. The program leverages CCI’s expertise in working with this population along with community partners within a new model of employment-focused support for the homeless.

CCI’s Women’s Independence Program (WIP) is a new approach to workforce development within the homeless provider service arena. WIP is unique because it addresses employment barriers specific to women and families struggling with homelessness through a combination of onsite intensive individual support; life-tools; consistent, positive behavior reinforcement; incentives; and access to community resources that will help a marginalized population transition out of homelessness and on to self-support. WIP leverages case management services and a deep understanding of clients’ struggles, recognizing the common lack of healthy support systems.


  • I am a unique individual with personal power.
  • I agree to do everything in my power to achieve my goals.
  • My individual plan for independence and employment is my roadmap to success.
  • The workshops and training I receive will help me achieve my personal goals.
  • I will uphold the principles of dignity, integrity and respect for myself, my peers and others.
  • I will not be penalized for not achieving my goals, but I will be rewarded for every step I take.
  • I am completely in charge of my actions.
  • The choices I make today, good or bad, will affect me for the rest of my life.

Women’s Independence Program Services

This training is available to all adults served by the Cathedral Center, both in the community and in shelter. Focusing on communication skills, personal development, and life skills the classes are reflective and informative touching on multiple subjects and providing strategies and tools to succeed.

This training is available to adults interested in employment and focuses on employment relationships, professionalism and problem solving while resolving barriers to employment. During this training participants also develop a resume and learn interviewing techniques.

Industry specific training is provided in partnership with employers, such as hospitality, food service, customer service and retail. In addition, industry-recognized credential opportunities are available, such as ServSafe®.

Throughout the hiring process and after job placement, participants receive on-going employment skills and problem-solving support to help ensure retention.

Upon completion of training and job placement, participants become eligible for a one-time stipend to help reduce barriers to employment or housing, such as uniforms, transportation or security deposit.


Even during a difficult year, Cathedral Center's team worked diligently to meet our client and employer partner needs. While employment opportunities were down in 2020, our Women's Independence Program team guided our clients toward success:

REFERRALS were received by WIP & of this number:


participated in
on site workshops


completed employment


were facilitated for
154 duplicated attendees




interviewed and
secured employment

total monthly household income increased

Cathedral Center also continues to offer employment retention support, that serves as a bridge between employee and employer to ensure success in the initial stages of employment.

Launched a Customer Service Skills Training
(Certificate Program) in Partnership with Kohl’s

The Training, in partnership with Kohl’s Credit & Customer Service Training Center, incorporates materials used at Kohl’s Call Center.

How You Can Help


The Cathedral Center

845 N. Van Buren Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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