Gary Commission for Women


The Gary Commission for Women, acts as an advocate for women. We provide education and outreach
on the topics of homelessness, domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, and numerous
issues with special interest to women within the community. We also provide domestic violence mobile
advocacy and emergency shelter care for women and their children affected by homelessness or
domestic violence. We also provide emergency respite for men who are affected by domestic violence.


The mission of the Commission is to ensure that women, who are residents of the City of Gary, the
utilization of their talents and full realization of their rights as citizens. Through this Commission, we
educate the community on issues of special interest to women, using presentations, media contacts,
written material and conferences.



PROJECT EMERGE is mobile domestic violence advocacy, whereas our Victim Education Advocate meets
survivors in a safe location of their choice. This can be at the park, in a coffee shop, or survivor’s home.
Mobile advocacy is not a crisis response, however, an initiative that will allow us to reach individuals and
families who may be in danger and those who may have never reached out to us for services before
because of the barriers often associated with entering or accessing a shelter. We also provide
emergency respite accommodation solutions for victims, for 1 night, on a case by case basis.

We provide the following advocacy and support services and programming:

  • Referral Planning to necessary community services
  • Development of a safety plan in order to feel safer going forward
  • Assistance in locating and accompanying victim/survivors to refuge services
  • Assist with solutions to survivors that have barriers to transportation for work or appointments
  • Completion of protective orders or Address Confidentiality Program
  • Assistance with accessing employment and education
  • Any other support to help improve a victim/survivor’s current situation

For Mobile advocacy, please call (219) 883-4155 and ask for Project Emerge.

Support Services & Advocacy Survey Link (for PROJECT EMERGE CLIENTS ONLY):

The Rainbow-Ark Shelter

trauma informed care emergency shelter for women and their children affected by homelessness or
domestic violence. We also provide emergency respite for men who are affected by domestic violence.
We provide the following programming:

  • Crisis intervention and safety planning
  • Housing, income, employment, and educational resources
  • We provide daily living needs (such as food, toiletries, and emergency clothing)
  • Individual and group support
  • Life skills training in goal-setting, budgeting, and parenting
  • Legal advocacy to include court orders, protection orders and immigration
  • Referrals and linkages to social service agencies and entitlement programs
  • Education and information about the dynamics and effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, and the homelessness cycle
  • Specialized services for children who have witnessed domestic violence
  • We also provide out-client services and support group to clients as a form of aftercare once they depart from the shelter


We accept 24-hour referrals for entrance into the shelter for victims of homelessness, domestic violence
or sexual assault. Victims of homelessness must be residents of the City of Gary and have valid picture
identification. Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault do not have to reside in the City of Gary,
nor have accessible picture identification at the time of entrance. All persons needing shelter must
personally contact the shelter themselves and speak with a client advocate for bed availability and
address location. Male children must be under 18 years of age. Please call 219-886-1600 for bed


We can’t accept clients that have committed the following in our program, or other programs: listed on
the sexual offender registry, have threatened the safety of staff and others physically or with their
actions, have committed a sexual assault, committed fraud or theft against a client, staff, or program, or
used and/or threatened to use weapons against another client or staff.


We receive many requests from individuals who would like to donate to the women’s shelter. The shelter is a confidential, safe and secure location for clients, thus the address and location is not open to the general public. We do not and can’t accept any walk-up donations to the shelter facility directly. Rest assured, your donation will be utilized as you deem fit, to the clients in the shelter. Please call the Administrative office at 219-883-4155, in order to discuss donation of items.


If your donation is accepted, you will be asked to complete a contribution form at the time of delivery. After we receive your donation, the Commission for Women must get the donation approved by the Gary Common Council prior to being able to disseminate them.


The Commission for Women will only be able to accept the following types of donations:

  • Check or money orders to the Rainbow-Ark Shelter with it notated in the memo how you want your donation utilized (i.e. general operating or for a specific purpose)
  • Bus passes from Gary Public Transportation: To assist with barriers to transportation
  • Household Items: New kitchen, bath, and other household items. Sheets, towels, and other linens must be new and unused.
  • Clothing and Shoes: New seasonally appropriate women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing. Undergarments, undershirts, socks, hats, pantyhose and dressy clothes.
  • Cleaning supplies: New, unopened household cleaners, mops, and sponges
  • Personal care items: New, unopened personal care items such as soap, shampoo, and toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, especially sanitary napkins and pads.
  • Children’s items: New or like-new toys and books; new, unopened boxes of diapers, wipes, formula and other baby supplies.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept any stuffed/soft toys
  • Baby Items: Strollers, new car seats, clothing, shampoo, lotion, and clothing
  • Non-perishable food, can goods, or wrapped unexpired/undamaged food items (no leftover catered meals or cooked food)