We are a faith-based, non-profit, community agency that longs to make a significant and eternal impact on our community by offering services that empower and educate women and youth that reside among us. Acceptance and Accountability are two major keys we focus on here at The WAY Center. We believe that a combination of giving, teaching, and loving our clients the way Jesus would is the best possible way to help someone in need. Ours is a family-focused community organization.
The WAY Center was founded in 2003 by Cindy Gallucci. She started out in her garage, and then moved into a small house on 10th Street in Haines City in 2004. In November of that same year, The WAY 2 Shoppe opened at its former location (34 N. 6th St) and The WAY Center was relocated to the back area of the Shoppe. In February, 2009, The Way Center and The WAY 2 Shoppe moved to its new location at 20 N. 6th Street in Haines City.
LeAnn Pierce became the Executive Director in September of 2005 while also working a full-time job. LeAnn accepted the full-time position of Executive Director in May of 2007.
Where Did We Get Our Name?
The Women and Youth Center also known as The WAY Center is an acrostic for Women and Youth. It also stems from our purpose statement, “Leading lives the right WAY” which comes right from John 14:6 as Jesus answered Thomas saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Our purpose is to lead lives the right way through biblical principles and life skill teachings that encourage positive personal development and good work ethics. The WAY Center is a place where women and youth can come to find hope, comfort and peace. We believe this powerful method of service will reduce unemployment, aid in crime prevention, and build strong, healthy families within our community.
We hope to see many souls saved and lives changed as we share the love of Christ with everyone who comes through our doors whether they be clients, assigned community service workers, volunteers, customers or even financial contributors.
We also desire to have The WAY Home which would provide temporary housing for women who desire to improve their quality of life either by getting a higher education, finding a job or simply working through an unforeseen crisis.
Our Board of Directors
Kenneth Kipp: President
Travis Keyes: President-Elect
Joy Sims: Parliamentarian
Kay Crittenden: Treasurer
Loretta Cameron: Secretary Deborah Ferguson, Board Member
Debra Parker: Board Member
Nurka Soto-Valentine: Board Member
Executive Director: LeAnn Pierce
Program Director: Sarah Burton
Shoppe Manager: Elizabeth Hovis
Case Manager: Vonda McNeil
Case Manager: Donna Nordby
Shoppe Assistant Manager: Steve Spielman