Wagner Law Office
Original Shelter
New Building at 801 Jenson Ave SE
History and Purpose

Since 1977, Beacon Center has been committed to bringing support, hope and healing to those facing significant life challenges. Our methods have developed over the years, and with increasing resources, support and growing community awareness, we are able to change the lives of trauma victims for the better.

In 1977, a group of citizens concerned about domestic violence founded the Women’s Resource Center. They were given office space in the basement of Robert Wagner’s law office on Kemp Avenue. Armed with a phone and answering machine this group embarked on an incredible journey that continues today.

In the beginning, victims were sheltered in private homes within the community. As Women’s Resource Center’s work grew it was determined that a permanent shelter was desperately needed. In 1983 a home was purchased at 504 2nd Avenue SE. This home sheltered victims until 2014.

In 1995, Women's Resource Center received the extremely generous estate gift from Attiemay Barbour. With this gift, the facilities at the 2nd Street property were expanded to include Family Visitation Center and office building. This gift would also be instrumental in the move to a new location in the future.

In 2008, Women’s Resource Center changed its name to Watertown Resource Center to reflect that their services were not only available to women but to men as well who were experiencing abuse.

In April 2014, Watertown Resource Center moved to 801 Jenson Avenue after outgrowing the original shelter. The new property allowed the shelter and offices to be ADA compliant and accessible to all no matter their abilities.

With this move came a new name. The name Beacon Center was chosen to reflect the work and mission of the agency. Beacon Center stands to help those through the darkness of violence and also to send out a message of non-violence.

While buildings and names may change our goals remains the same.

Beacon Center Mission


To empower individuals and families of abuse to achieve self-responsibility and initiative through advocacy and support; and to educate and motivate the community to move toward our vision of eliminating abuse.



Beacon Center Vision


To eliminate abuse.