About ROW


Since the founding of ROW, the organization has developed expertise in working with women who have been impacted by poverty, homelessness, and/or intimate partner violence. Poverty, gender, and violence are often interconnected for the families utilizing our services. ROW focuses on the economic and social context in which women find themselves and builds upon their current strengths as women and as parents. It has become clear to us that understanding the unique interconnections between poverty and gender are critical to providing the most successful intervention services.


ROW's mission is to empower low income women and their families to build safety, skills, economic security, and hope for the future. ROW has carried out its mission through a variety of programs that create a foundation where women are able to develop the necessary skills and abilities to begin to take control of their lives. ROW has a longstanding history of implementing programs that stabilize lives and create opportunities for women facing enormous challenges – particularly poverty, domestic violence, and homelessness.


ROW will be locally and nationally recognized for assisting women and their families, with limited options, to achieve a stable and hopeful life. It will also be recognized for its contributions to identifying pathways to personal and economic security for women.


ROW is committed to assisting women reach their potential and build a hopeful future for themselves and their families. We serve women whose opportunities for advancement are often limited. We respect the women we serve and demonstrate this through flexibility and we integrate knowledge gained from clients into our delivery of services. We also believe it is important to communicate what we are learning about how to assist women with others engaged in similar work and to increase the field’s capacity.


  • In 2005, Oprah Winfrey, in her “Live Your Best Life Tour” nationally recognized ROW as 1 of 4 organizations for their hard work and effectiveness in the community.
  • ROW was one of three local partners in the Starbucks Coffee Foundation Mark McGuire’s Out of the Park, Into the Books national literacy campaign.
  • In May of 2006, ROW was the winner of the inaugural Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition (SEIC) through Washington University Skandalaris Center. The competition was designed to foster growth for social entrepreneurs who craft innovative processes, approaches, and solutions to help resolve social issues. ROW received an Incarnate Word $30,000 Award to help launch the REAP Training Institute. The REAP Training Institute has been established to train domestic violence advocates with the knowledge and skills needed to increase the economic empowerment of women experiencing domestic violence.
  • In 2007, ROW’s Economic Action Program (REAP) was selected as a winner of a FOCUS St. Louis “What’s Right With The Region” award in the category of Demonstrating Innovative Solutions. The FOCUS St. Louis awards are given to organizations that are making a significant and positive difference in our community.
  • In 2011, ROW’s Executive Director, Meg Schnabel, was nationally recognized by the White House as one of fourteen influential leaders making a difference in working to end domestic violence in their communities. The recognition was a part of the Champions of Change - Winning the Future Across America program, honoring Americans who are doing extraordinary things to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.

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