Major grant awarded to support The Center’s emergency housing services

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The Center for Women and Families Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Support Emergency Housing for Families Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence

Fund grants $123.45 million to 40 nonprofits across the U.S. to move the needle on re-housing and supporting families experiencing homelessness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – (November 22, 2022): The Center for Women and Families, Kentuckiana’s domestic violence and rape crisis center, today announced that it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—one of the largest private gifts in the organization’s history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to leading organizations on the frontlines that are employing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families move from unsheltered homelessness and shelters to permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability.

“With intimate partner violence on the rise in our area, including local deaths doubling over 2021, this gift from the Day 1 Families Fund could not have come at a more critical time,” said Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, president and chief empowerment officer at The Center for Women and Families. “So many survivors turn to us in the midst of a personal safety crisis, and they’re counting on us to provide a safe place for them and their children as they take steps toward building safer lives.”

This one-time grant will help The Center for Women and Families in its tireless work to support families as they are often forced to weigh their safety against skyrocketing rent costs and their ability to support their families financially. The Center plans to use the grant funds to improve and expand access to emergency shelter services and programming for survivors and their children who experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

The Center was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past five years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 170 grants totaling more than $520 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. This year, the Fund issued a total of $123.45 million in grants to the following organizations: Carpenter’s Shelter; CATCH, Inc.; Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona; The Center for Women and Families; Changing Homelessness; Chapman Partnership; Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County; Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc.; Community Services & Employment Training (CSET); Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO); Family Promise of Hawai’i; Family Promise of Northern New Castle County; Family Services of Tulare County; Flagstaff Shelter Services; Gateway180; Heartland Alliance; H.O.M.E. Inc.; Homeless Alliance; Hope House of Milwaukee; Housing First, Inc.; Housing Forward; HRDC; Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc.; LA Family Housing; Mother Nation; Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, Inc.; New Reach; Oglala Sioux Tribe; Partners for HOME; PATH; The Salvation Army, Denver Metro Area; Samish Indian Nation; San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness; Sojourner Truth House; Solo Por Hoy, Inc.; Start Corporation; Strategies to End Homelessness; The Wellspring; YWCA Cass Clay; and YWCA Missoula’s Housing Programs.

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit

About The Center for Women and Families

The Center for Women and Families provides assistance and resources to anyone directly affected by domestic or sexual violence, as well as their family, friends, and partners and citizens who want to help create a safer community. In addition to serving the immediate and long-term needs of survivors, the organization works to promote healthy relationships and stop violence from occurring through community advocacy and education. The Center is the only domestic violence and rape crisis center in Kentuckiana, serving seven counties in the Louisville metro area and two in southern Indiana. Services are safe, free, and confidential, and help is available 24/7 at 1-844-BE-SAFE-1 (1-844-237-2331). Learn more at