Since 2001, WE CAN has empowered Cape women through mentoring, information, education, networking, and support.
WE CAN had its beginnings in the Cape Cod Community College program called Women in Transition (WIT), which was designed to help women of all ages and demographics improve their lives through education. When the program ended in 2000, several individuals realized the need was still there. They met and formulated what became WE CAN – Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking.
In 2001, WE CAN served 15 women.
In 2019, WE CAN served 2,747 women.
Our first year, 2001, WE CAN helped 15 women, providing guidance and options, including: How to get back to school; Connections to volunteers for mentoring and support; Helping to complete forms for emergency assistance, Financial aid for education, Job applications; and Information and Referrals to other organizations on the Cape. Legal consultations provided by volunteer attorneys begin.
By 2011, our 10th anniversary year, we were serving approximately 1,200 women a year with a broad range of programs and services. Thanks to a committed base of donors and supporters, WE CAN had achieved financial stability and began to expand services to include a financial empowerment program and additional work and career support services.
Two years later, in 2013, following a highly successful capital campaign, we moved into a permanent home on Route 28 in Harwich Port with a sign prominently displayed for all to see. This increased visibility and the growing awareness of WE CAN's effective work across the Cape community drove tremendous growth in the number of women served year over year. During this period, we began offering personal development workshops, and the PathMaker’s mentoring program expanded.
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By 2015, WE CAN was serving more than 2,000 women a year and handling more than 11,000 calls and walk-in visits from women on Cape Cod. We began to bring our programs to the Upper Cape through a partnership with the Falmouth Service Center as well as expanding services to Hyannis. Organizational growth necessitated an expansion of our building and upgrades to technology.
Arriving at our 20th Anniversary in 2021, WE CAN has continued to meet increasing demand for our services from women across Cape Cod. With a strong staff and board of directors leading the way, we’ve built deep and strategic partnerships in different regions of the Cape, grown our network of generous and committed volunteers and supporters, and expanded our programs to meet the changing needs of women in our community. WE CAN now serves more than 2,400 women each year across Cape Cod, providing free and confidential legal services, employment and business support, financial empowerment, mentoring, and personal development programs.
More than 70% of our participants access more than one service at WE CAN.