HOLLYWOOD — Broward Outreach Centers for the homeless celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Women and Children’s Center Friday, and announced a gift of a five-unit house to shelter graduates of their program.

Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, who was present at the opening of the center 10 years ago and credited as being instrumental in bringing the center to Hollywood when she served on the Hollywood commission, joined Broward County Mayor Sharief to present a proclamation in honor of the 10th Anniversary.

About 150 community friends and supporters went to the event themed “Women and Children are covered at Broward Outreach Center Women and Children’s Center.”

They sat under tents that had umbrellas overhead, as a sign for the cover given to patrons of the facility.

The center has served more than 10,000 women and children over the past 10 years.

Organizers said the theme was appropriate for various reasons.  “One, the women are covered with love, food and shelter, clothing, education, career readiness and more,” said  Marilyn Brummitt, the organization’s development director. “Number two, all guests today received a black or pink umbrella which was not only appropriate for the theme, but the weather was cloudy and a little rainy.” 

Opened in 2004, the women’s center is housed in a four-story building, with two floors dedicated to more 50 women and children and some entire families who are homeless.The first floor is dedicated to classrooms and intake rooms.  The second floor is used for education classes and case management offices. 

AmTrust Bank Senior Vice President of Retail Sales and Marketing Mark Beausoleil,  the keynote speaker, spoke about the collaboration the bank and bank employees have with Miami Rescue Mission | Broward Outreach Centers.

The bank recently donated a five-unit house to provide affordable housing to some graduates the program. This makes the second multiplex housing for those who have passed through the program but are unable to find a home.

Beausoleil, who is a board member, said the community needs to help women and children caught in a web of domestic violence or homelessness.

“We know that after they graduate the program and have jobs, they really need to go to safe and affordable housing.  We at AmTrust are happy to be a part of this solution.”